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Cecil B Demented

3.5 out of 5 stars 98 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

John Waters spoofs independent filmmaking at its most absurd fringe with this affectionate portrait of a guerrilla filmmaking collective that declares war on Hollywood drivel. Bitchy screen queen Honey Whitlock (Melanie Griffith, whose kewpie doll voic

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John Waters spoofs independent filmmaking at its most absurd fringe with this affectionate portrait of a guerrilla filmmaking collective that declares war on Hollywood drivel. Bitchy screen queen Honey Whitlock (Melanie Griffith, whose kewpie doll voice and aging baby face are right at home) is kidnapped by would-be auteur Cecil (Stephen Dorff), a slogan-spouting bottle blonde with a cult-like crew of cinema outlaws called "The Sprocket Holes." Cecil has declared war on Hollywood with the ultimate underground movie, "Raving Beauty," and his reluctant star Honey soon adopts her young misfit captors like a worried Mommy as her cultural cachet rises: the falling star has turned into a cult cinema rebel. It's a bizarre revision of the Patty Hearst story (with Hearst herself in a supporting role) full of film insider jokes and '60s revolutionary references, but it's more spoof than satire. Waters's primitive style is often clumsy, and the picture moves in fits and starts, but the cast's enthusiasm brings it to life. Waters has always celebrated misfits, outcasts, and cultural rebels and their self-made families, and this is his most outrageous, anarchic such bunch in decades. Through all the shootouts, bomb throwing, and fights with angry teamsters and suburban moms, there's an odd sense of innocence to the enterprise. It's as if Waters wants to remind us: it's only a movie. --Sean Axmaker

Special Features

  • Comedy Central's Canned Ham: Cecil B. Demented Behind the Scenes Special

Product Details

  • Actors: Melanie Griffith, Stephen Dorff, Alicia Witt, Adrian Grenier, Lawrence Gilliard Jr.
  • Directors: John Waters
  • Writers: John Waters
  • Producers: Anthony DeLorenzo, Fred Bernstein, John Fiedler, Joseph M. Caracciolo Jr., Mark Tarlov
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Live / Artisan
  • DVD Release Date: January 23, 2001
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000053V7C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #159,782 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cecil B Demented" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on January 31, 2001
Format: DVD
Even if you're not a fan of John Waters, which I am, this movie is worth seeing at least twice. Despite Melanie Griffith's somewhat tepid acting,its absolute absurdity at times will have you laughing long and hard. And not only is it a spectacular comedy but, like all John Waters films, it's got something to say. Cecil and the Sprocket-Holes' absolute disgust of mainstream film, while taken to ridiculous measures, makes one think: Why ARE there so many movies based on video games? Why do we insist on re-making wonderful foreign films just so we don't have to read subtitles? WHY ARE THERE TWO BRADY BUNCH MOVIES?????? Being something of a film coneisseur myself, as well as an aspiring film-maker, this movie held a lot more than a few laughs for me. I often found myself screaming obscenities along with Cecil's misfit gang. Stop the mass distribution of mediocre films. Yeah! Bring back the dream. Yeah!!! Family (as in "family films") is just another word for censorship! YEAH!!!!! Power to the people who punish bad cinema! YEAH!!!!! Ok, so perhaps I need to get a life. Be that as it may, Cecil B. Demented is still a great flick. If nothing else, watch it for the laughs...and the Christmas Trees. You'll see.
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Format: DVD
Any film with Alicia Witt and Maggie Gyllenhaal has very good things going for it visually. And although a little weird for mainstream audiences, "Cecil B. DeMented is a very entertaining film. Imagine a spoof about the American film industry and American movie audiences, packaged as a cross between "Dr. Strangelove" and "State and Main".

It is after all a John Waters film, and a film set in his hometown of Baltimore. Which means the jokes will be hit-and-miss, with many best appreciated by film industry insiders and Maryland area residents. But the obvious fun the cast has playing their out-there characters is infectious. Melanie Griffith (Tippi Hedren's daughter) has a ball tweaking her diva image as she plays an aging star gradually won over to the cause of her kidnappers (insert Patti Hearst here who actually has a small part in the picture). Alicia Witt gives her best ever performance as the delectable porn star turned revolutionary. The best scene is when she and her fellow film revolutionaries hide out at a porn theater showing "Rear Entry", an anal epic co-starring Witt and a randy gerbil.

Stephen Dorff, before he went insane and got involved with Pamela (slug) Anderson, does a good job as the title character. But watch closely for an absolutely glowing performance by Gyllenhaal. She is something special with lines like: "I haven't had this much fun since my last livestock mutilation!"

Worth watching if you have a sense of humor, even better if you are demented.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
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Format: DVD
Mainstream movies and the studio system, as well as independent films and filmmakers, are sliced, diced, hammered and shredded by writer/director John Waters in his biting and funny satire, "Cecil B. Demented," starring Stephen Dorff and Melanie Griffith. Railing against convention and adamant in his quest, a young man who wants to make a statement about bad movies, the way they're made, those who participate in these cinematic transgressions and those who flock to theaters to see the final product, dubs himself "Cecil B. Demented" and sets out to make a "real" indie film. Toward this end, he assembles a group of like-thinking would-be filmmakers and forms them into a lethal band of cinematic guerrillas he names the "Sprocket Holes," and has them take jobs at and infiltrate a theater in Baltimore that is about to hold a lavish premiere of a new movie featuring Hollywood star Honey Whitlock (Griffith). Honey herself is scheduled to attend, and Demented's plan is to kidnap her and force her to star in his film, which will be shot "ambush" style, intruding upon real people and situations, rolling film and getting it in the can before anyone knows what happened. He hopes. Dedicated to making the kind of movie that should be made, the Sprocket Holes are not only willing to die for their art, but go so far as to take a vow to remain chaste until the film is completed.
"Demented" is by turns outrageous, violent and hilarious, and-- some would say, subjectively speaking-- that Waters pushes the envelope of good taste to the limit. But then again, he usually does, and it usually works. Anyone who knows John Waters' movies knows what to expect (indeed, anticipate), but those who come to his work unawares may be in for a jaw-dropping eye opener.
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If you're not a John Water's fan, don't watch it. Not his best, but camp and entertaining.

PS. you can really see the similarity in looks of Dakota Johnson and her mother (Meg Ryan). "The apples don't fall far from the tree."
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The purchase itself - as well as the delivery were great. A friend recommended this movie - saying it was great. I thought it sucked.... I find John Waters' other stuff very humorous - but this one lacked - big time.
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Format: DVD
In this John Waters movie we have a renegade crew of underground filmmakers making their first movie. This is a movie about making a movie. This "gang of cinematic terrorists" is headed by Cecil B. Demented (Stephen Dorff) who directs the movie and leads all of his "sprocketholes". They kidnap the stuck-up and ultra bitchy Honey Whitlock (Melanie Griffith) to save her from her bad career. She is the star of their film, and they at first, force her to do everything, but she soon becomes one of them. They use "real life violence", so in their movie people die, and they are all in hiding because they are up for the death penalty. They film their movie throughout the city targeting a local strip mall with a movie theater playing Patch Adams. Then a Maryland film festival which beforehand goes on live television to make a statement against them. It's hilarious with a purposely tacky element that's always present in Water's movies.

Long live guerilla film making!
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