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Crazy Famous Review

January 10, 2018 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Crazy Famous
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Crazy Famous Review  

Crazy Famous Review

Gregory Lay– Bob Marcus
Richard Short– Smith
Victor Cruz– Larry
David Neal Levin– Dr. Phil
Bob Jaffe– Agent Mustang
Alexander Cendese– Agent Bilch
Ajay Naidu– Dr. Manning
Jessica Renee Russell– Hannah

Directed by Paul Jarrett
Screenplay by Robert Farkas

Distributed by Gravitas Ventures

Not rated
Runtime– 78 minutes



Crazy Famous, directed by Paul Jarrett, is a strange, low budget comedy about a group of escaped mental patients who want to kill Osama bin Laden. The fact that bin Laden is already dead when the story begins is irrelevant, as there’s also a weird government conspiracy story imbedded in the plot that seems to imply that bin Laden isn’t dead when the story begins. I’m not entirely sure if we’re meant to take that part of the story seriously or if what we’re watching is actually what we’re watching. This kind of comedy probably shouldn’t be this weird.

The movie stars Gregory Lay as Bob Marcus, a mental patient who desperately wants to be famous. When we first meet him we watch Bob jump over the fence at the presidential retreat Camp David. Bob believes that such a stunt will get his name in the newspapers and on TV (he even does it only wearing his underwear to give the bit a bit more notoriety. I mean, who the hell jumps over a fence in only his or her underwear?). The stunt doesn’t bring out the media as the President wasn’t visiting the camp at the time. Bob’s doctor, Dr. Manning (Samir from Office Space hisself Ajay Naidu), tells Bob that he needs to stop trying to be famous and that he should try to be a “normal” person. Bob, though, refuses to believe that he’ll never be famous.

So then some stuff happens, Bob attempts to commit suicide, and then he comes up with another scheme to get famous. Bob wants to break out of the hospital and assassinate Osama bin Laden. Now, as I said at the beginning, bin Laden is long dead at the time Bob comes up with his plan, but that doesn’t keep him from developing his plan to find the terrorist mastermind and kill him. Bob enlists the help of fellow mental patients Larry (Victor Cruz doing his best Dan Fogler impression) and Dr. Phil (David Neal Levin), two people who want to leave the hospital by any means necessary (well, sort of. It’s complicated). Bob also gets Smith (Richard Short) to come along.

Now, Smith believes he’s a secret agent/Special Forces operator, or he really is a secret agent/Special Forces operator, and he is the guy who really gets the “kill bin Laden” ball rolling. We watch Smith get tortured at the hospital by multiple people, including Dr. Manning and a government agent named Bilch (Alexander Cendese). There’s also a shadowy government agent named Mustang (Bob Jaffe) who keeps talking about “jackpot,” which is the codename for the target of a government assassination plot that Smith is involved in.

The whole “mental patients escape hospital to go on a big mission” thing is a great idea and usually makes for a great movie when done right. When it’s intertwined with some other scheme it just makes the movie messy and confusing. It probably would have made more sense to just have the mental patients escape the hospital, go on their adventure, and then come back without accomplishing all that much. Adding a sort of serious plot to work alongside that plot is dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Director Paul Jarrett does a fine job with the mental patients basically messing around while on the road trying to accomplish their mission, but when the story gets serious and people start dying the movie stops working and becomes hard to watch. Because what the hell is going on here? I’m still not sure.

And that’s the real problem with Crazy Famous. It’s just too weird for its own good. Is it supposed to be a mystery? Is it supposed to be a government conspiracy movie? Why does it need any of that? Why not just do a movie about a group of friends on a mission to do something ridiculous and then just leave it at that? Does it really need more than that? I don’t think it does.


Now, the cast is quite good. Gregory Lay does a good job as Bob Marcus, the guy who really wants to be famous no matter the cost. His life story is sad but, at the same time, hilarious (the flashback sequence where we see him fail at being a child star and an elite athlete is a highlight of the movie). Lay’s scenes with fellow mental patient Hannah, as played by Jessica Renee Russell, are also funny as hell. And check out the suicide smock Bob is forced to wear after threatening to kill himself. It’s bizarre.

Victor Cruz, as Larry, is basically playing Dan Fogler on speed. I actually thought that Cruz was Fogler when the movie started. He has an uncanny resemblance to Fogler. Cruz certainly knows how to cuss like a professional, and he’s annoying as hell when he gets belligerent (in a funny way). Cruz’s best scene is when he explains why he’s in the mental hospital in the first place. It’s actually sadder than Bob’s life story.

David Neal Levin gives the funniest performance in the movie as Dr. Phil, a guy who believes he is Dr. Phil. His line delivery is spot on. And I dare you not to laugh when he explains why he doesn’t wear pants while sleeping. That one line should be a goddamn novelty ringtone.

And then there’s Richard Short as Smith. Is he batshit insane or is he a competent assassin who is being held against his will in a mental hospital? The movie doesn’t really answer either one of those questions and because we don’t know what’s going on with him his performance just adds to the movie’s overall weirdness. Short could be an action star if he wanted to be as he looks good shooting a gun, fighting hand-to-hand, and doing one of those roll things that action heroes always do.

I sort of liked Crazy Famous. I’m not sure I can totally recommend it, though. It’s too weird for its own good. I want to commend the movie for its heart and its performances, but its story is, again, just too weird. It probably should have tried to be more of a comedy and left it at that.

So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: Around 9.

Explosions: None.

Nudity?: None.

Doobage: A man in his underwear jumping over a fence, mental patient interrogation, childhood flashbacks, asshole talent scouts, barfing, attempted wrist cutting, talk of the bladder project, electroshock therapy, mimicking rifle fire with a tree branch, talk of being anally raped by Santa Claus for some reason, big time ice cream eating, an escape plan meeting, a beating, talk of shitting brocks in hell, a half-naked man, dick to the face, crawling through air ducts, physical violence, piling into an AMC Gremlin, gun store hooey, gun stealing, an off screen erection, a police car chase, an oil slick, mild racism, handicap school bus stealing, comic book reading, a dramatic intervention, a man-on-man kiss, a sad life story, a gun battle in the woods, attempted dead body removal, gun up the butt, a man falls asleep with a rocket launcher, kick to the balls, TV watching, bondage, and then some bullshit about Elvis possibly being alive.

Kim Richards?: None.

Gratuitous: Camp David, Ajay Naidu, people watching old black and white cartoons that, I assume, are public domain, an anti-suicide smock, electroshock therapy, talk of Osama bin Laden being alive, a man who really thinks he’s Dr. Phil, farting, double night stick attack, walking as a group scene, a “no liberals allowed” sign on the door of a gun shop, guy wearing a T-shirt that says “I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy,” fear of wide open spaces, and some bullshit about Elvis possibly being alive.

Best lines: “So, you jumped the Camp David fence so you could be on the eleven o’clock news?,” “When did you first try to become famous?,” “This is not fair!,” “You’re doing it wrong!,” “I just want to be famous,” “Hey! Control yourself!,” “Who the fuck are you calling pussy?,” “Do you really know where bin Laden is?,” “Time for a new batch of delusions,” “How does that feel, Mr. Smith? Shocking. Absolutely shocking,” “If being famous were so great then how come almost every celebrity has tried to commit suicide?,” “I would like you to join our escape so we can capture bin Laden,” “It’s my fucking ice cream,” “This is not gonna work. Not with that attitude,” “Why aren’t you wearing any pants, Phil? So that my genitals might breathe as I slumber,” “Oh, that’s a relief. I thought we wasn’t circumcised,” “You’re a good friend, Felix. A good friend indeed,” “Fuck you, Montgomery!,” “An AMC Gremlin?,” “You fellas from the circus or something?,” “Fellas, I found the grenade launcher!,” “It looks like it’s time for a sporting game of leap frog,” “Mr. Flintstone, can I have your autograph?,” “How appropriate. A bunch of mental patients in a short bus,” “What, did you join the army or something?,” “Still thinking about wide open spaces my dear pussy?,” “Failure? What the hell do you know about failure?,” “Oh, this is sharp. Someone could get hurt,” “Keep in mind, Felix, one fart gets us all killed,” “Payback’s a bitch, isn’t it?,” “Sorry, Bob,” and “Patient is contemplating eating his feelings.”

The final score: review Average
The 411
Crazy Famous is a low budget comedy that’s a little too strange for its own good. You’re not quite sure if it’s supposed to be a funny story or some other kind of story. The performances are generally good, and they’re the only reason to make an effort to see it. I don’t know if I can outright recommend it. If you do check it out, though, send me a message and tell me what you think of it. I’m curious to know if you get it.