Written by: Martin King & Robert Tiffi
Directed by: Martin King
Starring: Robert Tiffi, Jackie Zane, Kyle Ingleman, Ben Trimm, Carlee Baker
I’m not surprised you haven’t heard of Buddy Flavinoid (Tiffi). His story is one that is only known to the most devoted Hollywood Z-movie
cultists fans. His Attack of the Atomic Reptiles should have been the Robot Monster of its day. It’s amazing how he managed to get it made, too, what with clubbing the producer to death with a baseball bat and all. But when that film didn’t go anywhere, Buddy was forced to get a day job and wait for his next project, Attack of the Slime People to be realized. And years later–shazam! Another producer! One with money even! Trouble is, nothing’s ever that easy in Hollywood. So Buddy will have to break out the bat and break some heads if he wants to get his project made–and get it made his way.
[ad#longpost]It’s clear from the get go that while we are not in the city limits of Tromasville proper, we are definitely within the metro area. This primarily because the film is like a serial killer Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Where in the hell am I getting that analogy? Well, Tiffi’s Buddy is like a cartoon character wandering about in the real world. Except with a real bat that crushes real skulls. It’s one way to look at it, too, because unless the guy was a cartoon–who would want to work with him? His insane grin, overworked eyebrows, and how his hands have their fingers splayed out completely in eighty percent of the film…and another ten percent of that they’re wrapped around that baseball bat. Nobody seems to bat an eye at this maniac in their midst, so we’ve left the real world way behind.
If anything this makes Sydney (Ingleman) stick out like a sore thumb, as he seems to be the only other person playing up to Level 11 like Tiffi. Zane, who plays the weird but kind but voyeuristic but helpful but sinister Marge quite effectively (and hilariously), seems positively normal compared to these two.
And that’s not a bad thing, don’t get me wrong. I appreciate whacked out films as much as the next guy with no life. And this has some moments of just sheer greatness in it. One that just knocked me in the head (no pun intended) was Buddy hanging out at the local watering hole with an ex-Nazi filmmaker who tells him it’s time for the violin (makes sense in context, trust me)–something Buddy reacts to in a way that reminded me of the cat in “It’s Hummer Time.” That was priceless. Also was Tiffi’s discovery of a new actor who’s perfect for his movie–and I can say no more, lest I ruin it. Of course, a completely separate bit with a bunch of vomiting involving did nothing for me.
All in all, it’s a fun enough flick. If you can catch a screening with the right audience, I’m sure it’s even better. As for everybody involved, I look forward to seeing what they do next. Especially Tiffi. His moments when he’s not a seething Tasmanian Devil are perhaps his best.