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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 04.25.11] movie review news

Year: 2011
Director: Evi Quaid
Writers: Evi Quaid, Randy Quaid
Trailer: NA
Review by: Marina Antunes
Rating: 3 out of 10

Randy Quaid was once a great actor. His long career is peppered with great films, great directors, an Oscar nomination and a number of prestigious awards but as of late, Mr. Quaid has been spending his time in Canada as a refugee, hiding out from a Hollywood system he and his wife claim is trying to kill him off. It’s a bizarre proposition but it’s what has kept the Quaids in the spotlight these last few months. Last week, the duo debuted a new film, a “docu-drama” directed by Evi Quaid (who previously directed The Debtors) titled Star Whackers which was being toted as an explanation of their theory.

An art film (with a capital A), Star Whackers stars Randy Quaid, wearing nothing but an open fur coat and wondering through the desert for 88 minutes reciting lines from various Shakespeare plays most notably Falstaff from “Henry IV,” while a man in a suit and wearing antlers sends another man in a black suit out to track down and kill him. All three characters are played by Quaid who essentially fills the screen for the film’s 88 minute running time. Mostly nude and wearing a prosthetic penis (or so Mrs. Quaid claims).

The “work in progress” screening was a zoo, a combination of fans, curious onlookers trying to decipher whether Quaid really has lost his marbles and media looking to fill the pages with the latest stunt from the ostracized star. Erroneously picked up by local media as a documentary, many started to leave partway through the film, having seen enough of the “hyper reality” (as described by Mrs. Quaid) presented in Star Whackers.

The low budget endeavour is certainly interesting and fits quite nicely into the Quaids’ assertions that Hollywood is targeting certain actors for removal from the Hollywood system. If one was to examine the film, an argument could be made that the naked man is the star who opens himself up to the work, vulnerable and easily abused, the man in the antlers is a representation of the Hollywood system and the man in black is the killer on the hunt. It’s a great analogy but it’s vague and gets old quickly and the film’s running time makes it nearly impossible to sit through. Star Whackers would make an interesting short film but clocking in at nearly 90 minutes, it’s an endurance test that gets repetitive and boring 20 minutes in. What is impressive is Randy Quaid’s ability to capture attention. He delivers Shakespeare with the best of them but it’s sad to see him lowered to this mess when his talent is deserving of so much more.

Whether anyone outside of the few hundred gathered on Friday will have the opportunity to see Star Whackers is beyond guess. It’s a mess of a film, if it can even be classified as a film, and outside of cutting out an hour from its running time, I can’t imagine anyone wanting to see it. Yet, I have the distinct feeling that this isn’t the last time we’ll hear about Star Whackers. This all seems like a small part in a big joke in the vein of Joaquin Phoenix & Casey Affleck’s I’m Still Here (review); we’ve all been privy to some inside joke that will eventually come to bite us in the ass. There was a documentary crew floating around throughout the evening, which concluded with Mr. Quaid performing a few songs followed by a Q & A in which Mrs. Quaid made some mention of a documentary which is in the works.

However this plays out, the truth remains that Randy Quaid is a talented performer who has lost his way. Here’s hoping a script which was thrown on stage during the Q & A gives him the opportunity to showcase his talents.

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ReplicA (9 years ago) Reply

It is sad to see what's becoming of Randy. He WAS a comic genius, with fantastic timing in his delivery. And if you've seen him in Parents, he had the ability to be honestly creepy, in a very good way.


sonaboy (9 years ago) Reply

90 minutes of over-wrought, art-house-aping psychodrama? Watch your back, "The Room."


Michael Allen (9 years ago) Reply

Why did you give the word penis a little p, instead of a big one? Quaid might take offense.

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