The Perfect Host
Dinner Parties Are A Dying Art
by Woofer McWooferson
Director: Nick Tomnay; Writers: Nick Tomnay, Krishna Jones; Stars: David Hyde Pierce, Clayne Crawford; Rating: R; Run Time: 93 min; Genre: Comedy | Crime | Thriller; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2010
The Perfect Host is one of the smartest and funniest crime thrillers in recent years. As Warwick Wilson (David Hyde Pierce) prepares for his dinner party, petty thief John Taylor (Clayne Crawford) searches for a hiding place after being identified as the culprit in a bank robbery earlier that day. Taylor dumps his car, also identified, near an upscale neighborhood and begins his search. After being turned away from one house, he moves on quickly and spots another possibility. A card in the mailbox indicates that the resident has a close friend, Julia, vacationing in Australia, and Taylor decides to masquerade as an acquaintance of Julia. Though he first denies Taylor entry, Taylor's tale of lost luggage and a mugging eventually weigh on Wilson, who relents and invites him in. Wilson offers Taylor a drink and use of his phone while apologizing for being distracted with his dinner party preparations. Eventually, both men learn that neither is what he seems to be.
Through flashbacks, John's reason for robbing the bank is revealed, and it is not what the viewer expects. Taylor has been trying to stay straight and legitimate, and his motivation for the robbery is to help his sick girlfriend. Warwick, on the other hand, is the model of a propriety, affording Taylor every consideration until he learns the true identity of this unexpected guest. While Taylor's story is told in flashbacks, Wilson's story unfolds linearly and when it does, the audience is treated to a well paced cat and mouse game.
Directed by Nick Tomnay and written by Tomnay and Krishna Jones, The Perfect Host could not be more aptly cast. David Hyde Pierce (Frasier) plays Wilson with verve and finesse, easily switching from nebbish to neurotic, and Clayne Crawford (Evil Remains) is equally awesome as he switches from stranded traveler in need to hardened petty criminal. Tyrees Allen (RoboCop), Cooper Barnes (Henry Danger), Indira G. Wilson (Reversion), and Annie Campbell (Anoosh of the Airways) round out the dinner party, affording Taylor the opportunity to see Wilson completely immersed in his element. As the movie progresses, the audience switches from wondering if Wilson will survive the night to wondering if Taylor will. As with everything else in this film, however, nothing is what it seems to be at first.
Shot in only 17 days and with a budget of only $500,000, The Perfect Host is an almost perfect comedic thriller. Clocking in at just over 90 minutes, the movie is tight, neat, and suspenseful. Certainly there are a few flaws, but the positives far outweigh the negatives, and David Hyde Pierce and Clayne Crawford are amazing, true professionals. Their abilities to demonstrate a wide array of emotions ensures their characters are not cardboard cutouts. According to IMDb, this movie made only $48,000, and Tomnay has done nothing since. That is just plain wrong. The Perfect Host deserves more recognition and Tomnay deserves credit for crafting such a fun comedy crime thriller.
Spoiler Alert: Do not watch the trailer first. If you like dark comedies and/or crime thrillers, you will not be disappointed.
8/10 claws – Underrated, underappreciate, and unapologetic.
By Machete Von Kill
Director: Jim Sharman
Writers: Richard O'Brien (original musical play), Jim Sharman and Richard O'Brien (screenplay
Stars: Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Richard O'Brien, Barry Bostwick, Patricia Quinn, Nell Campbell
Rating: R; Run time: 100 min; Genre: Comedy, Musical; Country: UK; Language: English; Year: 1975
Sweethearts, and OH SO VANILLA, Brad (Bostwick) and Janet (Sarandon), newly engaged, are caught out in a storm when their car gets a flat tire. While looking for assistance, the straight laced couple discover the creepy mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Curry), a transvestite scientist from Transylvania, and a whole new (and FAR FROM VANILLA) world. As their innocence is lost, Brad and Janet meet a houseful of over the top characters, including Riff Raff (O'Brien), a creepy butler, Eddie (Meatloaf), a biker from the deep freeze, and Columbia (Campbell), a crazed groupie. During the Transylvanians' celebration, Dr. Frank-N-Furter unveils his latest creation: a muscle man named Rocky.
It's just a jump to the left, and a step to the right...My October just isn't October without Rocky Horror. I honestly couldn't tell you how many times I've seen the movie. I can say I have worn out one VHS and two DVD copies of this cult classic. I know every word and can do the Timewarp like nobody's business. I've dressed up (and would gladly do it again) as Magenta (Quinn) and still find 1975 Tim Curry in drag to be the sexiest thing ever. The movie exposed sheltered, junior high me to kink, men in drag, and many more interesting things than I would see on an average day in my little town. (THANK YOU RICHARD O'BRIEN & JIM SHARMAN!!)
If the story and songs weren't enough, the fact that the movie encourages audience participation makes it even more fun. If you haven't attended a live performance or a viewing that allows fan partici...pation, YOU ARE MISSING OUT! Do it right now! You heard me, go Google it and find a showing or live performance, dress up, gather your props (you can use the fan participation script at the link above), and head up to the lab to see what's on the slab.
And remember, don't dream it, BE IT.