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The Film Crew: Hollywood After Dark - comedy DVD review
THE FILM CREW: HOLLYWOOD AFTER DARK Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 3 stars
Actors: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Bill Corbett
  Studio: Shout Factory
DVD release: 10 July 2007   Runtime: 90 minutes (1 disc)
Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
DVD features: Audio tracks (English, Dolby Digital Stereo)

The only thing that could possibly redeem a filthy, rotten, uncomfortable farce of a film like Hollywood After Dark is its presentation on Mystery Science Theater 3000. But MST3K was taken from the air years ago, you say? Well, yes, but Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett (writers and performers from MST3K) have risen once more from the rich, fertile soil of Minnesota to make the unwatchable films of the past viewable again. This time they call themselves The Film Crew, and their job is to add DVD commentary to forgotten films of the past.

Their first outing is Hollywood After Dark. It's a nasty little number which took Golden Girl Rue McClanahan from absolute obscurity, threw her in the trunk of a car, drove her around the block and dropped her off, just as obscure and a bit more disheveled. In it she plays Sandy, an actress who's trying to make her way in the Hollywood system while doing some "dancing" and waiting for her break. She meets a guy named Tony, and they fall in love. At some point in the story Tony, is compelled to help with a robbery while Sandy is slipped a mickey during ameeting with a writer. That bit is tough, and in a better movie it may have been handled with sensitivity. This is not a better movie.

Mike and the gang add their hilarious commentary to this clunker, this time being a bit more adventurous in their musings. They play a bit blue, as their target audience is more adult than MST3K's. It's all excellent. They start out with a host segment in which they are given their assignment by their boss, Mr. Honcho. He, Richard Branson, and George Clooney are big Rue fans (McClana-fans).

The commentary is great, though lacking the silhouettes we so loved at the bottom of the screen in MST3K. Mike, Bill and Kevin are great writers and fine performers, and oh, I've missed them so. The host segments could use a bit more breaking in, but that will happen if they continue with this project. I sincerely hope they do. The only thing that drags my rating of this DVD down is the movie itself. It's just one of those films that you feel dirty after watching, even with the commentary. One must wonder what kind of debasement Rue had to go through on her career path. Well, we don't wonder too much, because it's right there on screen.

If you love the commentary here, check out RiffTrax.com, where you can download great commentary from these guys for newer and even better-reviewed movies. No host segments, but great stuff!

reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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