15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2007
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Simply stunning that a film like this could exist. Simply stunning that a character like Perry exists. As mind-boggling as it is hilarious.
The real movie does not exist, yet in his commentary (done two years later), Perry talks about 'getting the role' genuinely as if it was all for real. Though he does also make reference to it being like a reality show, he still thinks most of the situations were for real (BTW, you have to check out Burt Ward's appearance in the commentary).
At least I don't have to feel bad for Perry about what they did to him. Hell, they gave him a wonderful ride. In an extra, we see him watch the film with Mole and Barris (this film, not the 'real' one), and he has a glimmer in his eye every time he his honored (i.e. 'getting the role' and being given an award by the 'President of Show Business'--in fact, he gets choked up seeing the 'President's' award in the commentary).
Knowing him so well for so long, I believe Don and 'Mole' knew what they could get away with without Perry either catching on or being crushed in the end. Which is apparantly ANYTHING.
He does seem to get a few things ('Roman Polanski,' Charlton Heston being fake, some of the pranks they played on him), but his thought to this day is that it was overall mostly genuine.
I am just glad to see that at the end of the commentary he feels his dreams were fulfilled. And Perry, if you are reading this: they were, my friend, they were...
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2007
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
This is a great hoax. Don Barris, Jimmy Kimmel, and friends spent years playing pranks on their gullible friend Perry before they finally got the funding to play one of the most epic pranks ever on him. They succeed in making Perry think he is starring in a poorly written action movie. He's such a narcissist, he never suspects it is a prank. Unbelievably, he still seems to have trouble realizing the whole movie is a joke on him...or maybe the joke is on them since Perry actually did get to star in a movie called Windy City Heat! Since then, they've been continuing the prank, telling him Johnny Knoxville is going to play his role in Windy City Heat - Part 2.
For those who think the movie was staged, I have first hand proof of the star's gullibility. I e-mailed him through Myspace and offered him $5000 to host the opening of my new night club (I don't own a night club). He called me about 10 minutes later and left me a lengthy voicemail explaining how happy he would be to do it because he "needs a good gig."
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2006
If one had to rate something merely on ambition, 'Windy City Heat' would, without question, deserve five stars. It is perhaps both the best and worst example of cinematic exploitation I've ever seen, and because I've become so desensitized over the course of my life, I commend the film far more for the former than the latter.
Now the question of whether this is 'real' or a [...] has come up, and frankly here's my thoughts on it: it's real, or at least, most of it is. If anyone is doubtful of this, they need but to watch the extra features on the DVD. Perry Caravello, the real-life 'actor' and the film's focal point for mockery, is indeed a real person. In 'Windy City Heat', he plays the role of himself, to us, the audience; to his deluded mind, he plays the role of 'Stone Fury', the star of a Hollywood action film in the making. Questions inevitably arise because, naturally, anyone with half a brain watches with utmost skepticism. Surely nobody in Caravello's position could be so ignorant of the events that take place? But, yes, somebody could -- Caravello himself. The story, as one becomes familiar with through the extra features, goes a bit like this:
The two guys who play Caravello's sidekicks in 'Windy City Heat' (the absurd, fake film) -- Tony Barbieri as "Mole" and Don Barris as "Big Lou" -- have actually been screwing around with him for like, a decade. This becomes apparent as one views the extra footage on the dvd, which demonstrates short clips of Barbieri and Barris harassing Caravello, all the way back to 1996. And it's not staged... completely real. Barbieri and Barris -- who I might add are ...awesome... here -- are the type of guys who transcend shame and empathy for outrageous, condescending comedy at the sake of a mentally challenged 'entertainer', in this case Caravello. They had basically mastered this circus act over many years, and that it all comes together so perfectly in this film isn't quite as perplexing when you're able to understand this. And, again -- especially after viewing the films numerous times; I have seen it four -- one ultimately realizes that Caravello is, in many respects, retarded; his obviously demented behavior lends credibility to the whole 'it's real' thing. If, in fact, Caravello 'was' performing all of this as an act, I'd personally think him to be the next Pacino, because no Human being can emulate a persona like his so utterly convincing.
And so, the joke goes on from there. Everyone in the film takes stabs at the situation, and while it's usually hit and miss, it's always entertaining if only for the premise. Take, for example, Perry getting thrown into a dumpster of manurer for a 'more realistic approach'. Or Perry chugging a blended pizza, donut, and beer not once, but twice for a scene. And these are just the most obvious examples of how they mentally screw with the guy; subtle gags literally run through the entire thing, rarely letting up. My favorite, personally, is when they get to the "merchandising" of the film, and each of the three leads are shown their action figures. Mole and Big Lou's are presented first, completely normal and visually representative of themselves; Perry, on the other hand -- after a drum role by the crew, to add effect -- is shown his figure... the most grotesque little doll imaginable, with a green face, huge gut, his face gawking sideways, seemingly ready to hurl. The figure is "so" impeccably perfect that just the thought gets me rolling. Perry's reaction is cut quickly but obvious -- he doesn't know what to make of it, but is somewhat sure that something isn't right.
The film needs to be seen to be respected, though it's definitely not for everyone. The bottom line is most of us 'DO' find this stuff hilarious, even if it's in bad taste. There are a variety of human beings on this Earth, some smart, some not so smart. It's part of the ever-progressing humor we seem to take on as a whole collective these days; cynical mockery of the bizarre circumstances found within the reality we live in. And hey, if a guy like Caravello can make it through this impossible set of circumstances shown in the film, I'm pretty confident that, at whatever point he found out the trick was on him, he didn't sink into an everlasting state of psychological despair.
If 'Windy City Heat' were more consistent through its run, I'd be honored to award it five stars. Due to its sheer originality and its stunning ability to ACTUALLY PULL IT OFF, I really want to give it a perfect rating, but alas it is slow at times without much laughs for often minutes at a time. But when it strikes, oh lord how it strikes the most radiant of gold.
Update: I was just reading about Perry's life, and I don't know if this information is correct, but it's been said that he was actually an intelligent, suave, good guy, but was in an automobile accident in late high school. This really makes me sad, actually, and I'm really interested in this weird guy now. Anyway, I just found it strangely profound, that he's possibly this way because of horrible circumstances early in his life, pondering the thought of how his 'previous' being -- before the brain damage -- would look upon all of this. Again, sad...
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2014
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Late to the party as usual, I first saw Windy City Heat in early 2012. It came highly recommended for years and I finally took the plunge. I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard!
I won't bother rehashing the plot, as several other reviews likely have. (check out Amazon's Product Description for a concise, spoiler-free explanation) What I will do is promise you this movie is INCREDIBLY FUNNY and the less you know about it before seeing it, the better.
It's a shame Comedy Central basically disowned the project, as it belongs in their Hall of Fame, alongside other legendary network originals like South Park and Chappelle's Show.
There's a wealth of hilarious mythology related to the "Perry Project" (as it was originally known) out there, but this is where you should start. Because believe me, once you do, you won't want to stop.
PS - My review title, about laughing so hard I worried I'd die, is absolutely true. In fact, it's happened twice..