SEX, DRUGS, ROCK & ROLL (director: John McNaughton; screenwriter: Eric Bogosian; cinematographer: Ernest Dickerson; editor: Eleana Maganini; cast: Eric Bogosian; Runtime: 100; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Frederick Zollo; Lionsgate; 1991)
“Eric Bogosian puts on an energetic one-man show of impersonations and satirical monologues.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Standup comedian Eric Bogosian puts on an energetic one-man show of impersonations and satirical monologues, where all the characters are loud self-absorbed types (ten characters in all). It was filmed on a bare stage for nine nights before live audiences at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston, Massachusetts, in December 1990. Performance artist Bogosian based Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll on his Off-Broadway stage show. John McNaughton (“Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer”) handles the directing duties with great skills, effectively keeping things minimal in much the same way that Jonathan Demme filmed Spalding Gray’s monologue Swimming to Cambodia.
The raucously funny observant routines include a menacing subway panhandler just released from Riker’s Island laying a guilt-trip on the captive passengers as he passes a cup around to get money to support his drug habit, a superficial and hypocritical environmentalist English rock star doing a radio interview and telling about the evils of drugs by stating: “You’re having such a good time, you don’t know what a bad time you’re having,” a sleazebag browbeating entertainment lawyer doing his best to get his racquetball partner with medical problems fired, a low-life wise guy getting high at a drug-filled stag party and foolishly picking a fight with a bad-assed Hell’s Angel, a pothead connecting computers and microwaves with the incineration of the world, an obsessive artistic derelict going on a rant about pollution, an unrepentant stud raving about the size of his prick and using Plato’s model of perfection to make his point of how blessed he is that women seek him out, and a millionaire middle-aged suburbanite boasting about his Olympic-sized pool in his New Jersey home.
It exhibits Bogosian’s great skill in mimicry and good insights into the modern pop culture scene, whose password into the hipster scene is “Rock on.”
REVIEWED ON 1/29/2009 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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