Comic Intervention: The Film (2006)

Rating: C+

Dir: Mike Stoklasa
Star: Jo Anna Larson, Karen Seltz

On the lighter side of Phoenix movie-making can be found Comic Intervention: Karen Seltz, Jo Anna Larson, and… whoever else they can harass into assisting. This has been more than two years in the creation, and is perhaps closest to Amazon Women on the Moon in spirit, being a loosely-connected series of stabs at TV culture – in particular, commercials. Seltz and Larson play a pair of wannabe actresses, who never seem to get many roles save television adverts for a whole range of dubious products. When not appearing in those, they’re usually to be found watching TV, and commenting sardonically on proceedings, like female versions of Beavis + Butthead.

It doesn’t all find the mark, but few films of this type ever do – the version seen here was still being tinkered with, and some scenes will be removed before its official premiere next month. However, even in its current form (running around an hour), this scores a number of bullseyes, such as ‘Crank Stick’, the deodorant for drug addicts, and the ‘Pixie Musk’ line of products, “for an active (read, “nympho”) lifestyle” – you do not want to know the purposes of ‘Beaver Dam’. And most of the rest are fun – or at least brief, since the film operates on the principle that, hey, if you don’t like this bit, something different will be here in a minute.

About the only lengthy thread is a spoof of Mexican telenovelas (soap operas), and there, it would help to speak Spanish, since the main joke is that the subtitles are utterly at odds with what is actually being said. [Thanks to Chris, inevitably, for pointing that out!] Otherwise, subtlety is unashamedly absent, in favour of broad, often sexual satire. If largely basic from a cinematic view, the writing is the most important thing for any comedic project, and that will generally keep you amused. It’s lewd, crude – and occasionally, pretty darn good.