London Betty (2009)


(director/writer: Thomas Edward Seymour; cinematographer: Mike Anderson; editor: Thomas Edward Seymour; cast: Daniel von Bargen (Maury), Nicole Lewis (London Betty), Clint Howard (Narrator), Thomas Edward Seymour (Billy), Margaret Rose Champagne (Jess), Russ Russo (Volgo), Dick Boland (Mayor Plumb), Phil Hall (Sgt. Stone), Matt Ford (Roy McCoy), Philip Guerette (Todd), Sheri Toczko (Cindy), Rachael Robbins (Mindy), Chris Ferry (Karate Stan), Jon Gorman (Stanley), Haydria Finocchiaro (Reporter); Runtime: 80; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Mike Aransky/Robert Cosgrove Jr./Sheri Toczko; Hale Manor Productions; 2009)
“An amateur production that has its heart in the right place.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

An amateur production that has its heart in the right place but is overwhelmed by its slight story and forced slapstick comedy, though the enthusiastic cast give it the ‘ole college try.’ It’s advertised as “an adventure comedy about thieves, whores and immigrants,” and is served up as a gross-out black comedy about a band of misfits in the small New England town of Pharisee. It has some appeal for those who relish raunchy Benny Hill-like lowbrow comedies, except this one is too dirty for network TV. It seems conceived as an Internet pic rather than a more polished theatrical release. Thomas Edward Seymour (“A New Wave”/”Welcome to Earth”/”The Land of College Prophets”) directs, writes, edits and costars. Clint Howard acts as narrator.

Spunky recent arrival in Pharisee, London Betty (Nicole Lewis), is the wide-eyed, eager-beaver new reporter for the local newspaper and finds that her fearful homebound publisher Maury (Daniel von Bargen) refuses to meet her. Left to her own devices, Betty soon stumbles on the town’s obvious story that Mayor Plumb (Dick Boland) is corrupt and is a pervert. The persistent reporter gets help from a pair of petty thieves (Thomas Edward Seymour & Russ Russo), the whore friend of theirs with a heart-of-gold (Margaret Rose Champagne) and a transvestite ex-Marine hitman (Phil Hall), and the unlikely five teammates work together as outcasts to bring the mayor down.

It is what it is, a zany film filled with clichés, banality and juvenile potty humor.