Director: Peter Vack
Cast: Peter Vack, Betsey Brown, Jack Dunphy, Eileen Dietz
Running Time: 74 Minutes
Assholes is one of the most repellant movies I’ve ever seen. Yes, I know comedy is subjective and you can make a joke out of anything, but even viewers with the strongest stomachs and the sickest senses of humor won’t get much out of this dreadful excuse for a film.
There’s the germ (and I use that word intentionally) of a good idea here. Adam (writer-director Peter Vack) has trouble coping with the fact that his sister Adah (Betsey Brown) and best friend Adam (Jack Dunphy) are dating, but a lot of that gets sidelined for disgusting, cheap make-up effects, bizarre detours that just show how little of a script he has.
You will see close-ups of cold sores, scabby penises and a woman covered head to toe in feces. Adah and Aaron are both recovering addicts, but their ugly relationship causes them to relapse. Again, there’s potential there, but the film would much rather gross you out than go for any genuine laughs or depth.
I’ve found plenty of laughs in comedies with nasty elements, and two of my favorite sitcoms are about genuinely reprehensible people (Seinfeld and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia). But those had great writing and a terrific ensemble. Assholes is so smug, seemingly saying with every new appalling scene, “Look at us! Look at how vulgar we’re being! Aren’t we cheeky?” It’s one thing to be truly boldly go for laughs. It’s another to draw attention to yourself the whole time.
Assholes is just over an hour long, but it’s an insufferable time filled with weak attempts at body horror, sex comedy and total WTF-ery. But it’s easily the worst thing I’ve seen this year, and a contender for the worst thing I’ve ever seen.