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Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash


September 14, 2000

TORONTO, Canada - Get ready for a slew of gross films. Twisted, disturbing movies are causing a stir at the Toronto International Film Festival, and the aptly titled new "Vulgar" leads the pack.

New Jersey bad-boy filmmaker Kevin Smith - whose "Dogma" inspired a boycott by a Catholic group - shocked the audience Tuesday night with the world premiere of this latest film from View Askew, his production company.

And Toronto audiences don't shock easily.

Darren Aronofsky's "Requiem for a Dream" graphically depicts the descent of a drug-taking mother and son (Ellen Burstyn and Jared Leto) in Brighton Beach.

Tom Twyer's German "Princess and the Warrior" shows a tracheotomy in stomach-churning detail. Jon Shear's deeply disturbing "Urbania" (opening tomorrow in Manhattan) features a brutal gay-bashing incident. And the French-Canadian black comedy "Maelstrom" starts with a chilling, clinical depiction of an abortion.

Even Robert Altman's cheery and otherwise audience-friendly "Dr. T and the Women" opens with Richard Gere performing a gynecological examination - and closes with a close-up of a live birth.

But the compelling "Vulgar," written and directed by Smith's longtime friend Bryan Johnson, goes way beyond pushing the envelope.

This very dark revenge comedy features a brutally intense male rape scene that, one audience member suggested afterwards, makes those in "Pulp Fiction" and "Deliverance" seem mild by comparison.

The victim is a children's party clown, fearlessly played by "Clerks" star Brian O'Halloran, who offers a raunchier version of his services for bachelor parties so he can afford his mother's nursing home.

Unfortunately, his first customers are a perverted middle-aged man and his two adult sons who are all too taken by the bustier and fishnets the clown dons for the role - and they ravage him at knife-point in an unforgettable sequence.

Though Smith - who did battle with the Hollywood ratings board over his potty-mouthed debut, "Clerks" - doesn't direct and the low-budget movie has a far more twisted sensibility, the connections with his other movies are unmistakable.

"Vulgar" shares the same central Jersey setting and features several familiar actors, including Smith himself - who drops his patented Silent Bob character to play a slick producer who hires the clown for a TV series, unaware of his awful secret.

"Vulgar" doesn't yet have a theatrical distributor, and Smith conceded the film's violence may make it a tough sell for mini-majors like Miramax, Fine Line and USA Films.

But he said at the opening-night party at the trendy Bauhaus nightclub that he was pleased only about 50 people walked out of the first screening.

"I thought it played very well," he said.

Director Johnson said the film was inspired by the drawing of a transvestite clown - the logo on the movies produced by View Askew, going back to "Clerks."

"The first draft was much rougher," said O'Halloran. "I read it and I just had to put it out of my mind for a few days."

For more information on 'Vulgar' please see the press release and personal messages and the Vulgar website.

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