By Merle Bertrand | April 26, 2001

Earl (director Pat Healy) has got a big problem. Actually, he starts with one big problem; his hardass landlord Bucky (the always comical Henry Gibson) is about to evict him from his apartment because of a second big problem; the uselessness of his snivelling doughboy crackhead roommate Phil (Michæl Shannon). Desperate times call for desperate measures, as the ol’ cliché goes, and Earl finds himself in the comic book store owned by childhood friend turned bitter enemy Dennis (Eric Hoffmann).
Dennis, a sweaty, fat and disgusting slob loaded with odious personal habits, is in no mood to be magnanimous, disdainfully turning down Earl’s offer to sell several valuable pristine comic books. Nonplussed at this not entirely unexpected response, Earl comes armed with more than just comic books, however. He knows, since Bucky foolishly showed him, that his landlord, a Barbara Streisand freak, somehow managed to get a piece of Babs’ wedding cake…which he’s kept preserved in his refrigerator’s deep freeze.
The plan is for Earl to steal the cake from Bucky, sell it to the slavering shop owner Dennis, and use the money to pay Bucky the rent. The result, which is where “Mullitt” opens, is a bruised and bloodied Earl clambering out of a dumpster, the battered owner of nothing but more problems.
“Mullitt” is a first film from Healy, who, in this film anyway, bears a slight resemblance to Danny Bonaduce. Danny Bonaduce on a really bad day, maybe, but Danny Bonaduce nonetheless. This is a stripped down film that doesn’t waste any time with subtleties or political correctness. “Mullitt” goes straight for the throat and grabs hold, shaking the (usually cheap)laughs out of an audience like a pit bull on speed.
This is a tacky and distasteful film…which is exactly why it’s so outrageously funny. With luck better than Earl’s, this first film from Healy won’t be his last.

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