Penn & Teller Get Killed [VHS]
Penn and Teller burst onto the scene as part of the new-vaudeville wave of the mid 1980s. Riding high on the basis of a hit off-Broadway show, these two magicians--who poke fun at magic even as they pull off masterful illusions with a taste for blood--tried to transfer that sense of gruesome wonder to the big screen and missed the boat badly. Working with director Arthur Penn, they concocted a movie about themselves, in which Penn (the big one, who talks; the diminutive Teller never speaks) announces on national TV that he wishes someone would try to kill him. An intriguing idea, except they never do anything with it. There's the occasional bit of sleight of hand and the odd practical joke, but otherwise, this movie can't pull a rabbit out of its hat. --Marshall Fine
Top customer reviews
Crazy good. Beyond good. Mark Twain meets Patrick McGrath and they both have coffee at The Factory with Edie Sedgwick and Frederick Pohl and Luis Bunuel and then Thomas M. Disch (circa 1974) and Alice B. Sheldon (James Tiptree Jr.) show up with glazed donuts good. No - glazed donuts AND crullers. That's how good this is.
Perhaps the best part is the Fan's home video, but the whole thing is purest grow-a-whole-new-brain good. Watch this and have mad new thoughts about public and private acts, illusion and reality, spectator and performer, celebrity and obscurity, fame and responsibility, envy and identity, and how they all gooshily bleed into each other. And just generally be entertained as hell.
But I want it on DVD! So will you; you'll want to watch holes in this thing, Eraserhead eighties hair or no Eraserhead eighties hair. I believe I acquired my copy the year it came out, and I still get that hair-raising chill that tells you you're in the presence of genius, real mythic dreamtime inspiration, every time I watch it. Like other masterpieces, it probably has more depth and meaning than the authors themselves were aware of at the time, and it reveals new levels every time you watch it.
But I'd really like it to be available on DVD.
A respectful request to P&T from a devoted (but not like in the movie) fan: it's not the fourteenth century, and it would make a lot of us very happy to see this on a medium that doesn't get all stretched out after four hundred viewings.
No hard feelings?
It's a bit like their magic act: it's not going to the usual thing.
I won't tell you the story, the title pretty much gives it away however I will say I was impressed by the acting of them both not all TV & stage actors can make the transition.
I was especially impressed with Teller's physical acting, very savvy, the silent film stars would have been touched. Yes it's a dark and funny film, so was Dark Star (remember that one? Harold and Maude?), so were many of Hitchcock's it's no suprise to find Teller is a fan.
Sit back and enjoy Penn and Teller's world. N.B no sequel!