SHAFTED! Image

SHAFTED!

By admin | March 21, 2000

That the hero of this film is named John Shat and that he escaped from the Herve Villechaize School of Podiatry & Institute for the Criminally Insane should tell you all you need to know about this warmed over blaxploitation parody. Filled with just these sorts of groaner puns and circa 1980s (i.e., “unfunny”) Saturday Night Live humor, Tom Putnam’s marginally amusing film introduces us to Shat, the alter ego created by troubled mental patient Steven Byzinsky (Morgan Rusler). Together with his state-appointed mental health advisor Dr. Foxy Brown (Angelle Brooks) and Marlene Fujiyama (Hayley Man), a Japanese cop impersonating her assassinated brother, Shat must stop a scheming villain who plans on taking over the world. And don’t they all? Even though this whole schtick — unhip white guy thinking he’s black/blaxploitation parody — has been beaten into the ground over the years, it’s still goofy enough to be funny…for about fifteen minutes. Then its inherent unoriginality — cops eating doughnuts and Asian people talking out of sync — begins to drags it down. It would take a lot better everything — script, acting, action — to sustain the humor for an entire feature. Putnam has done a decent job stylistically, as his music and wardrobe departments recapture the thankfully long gone 1970s nicely. Unfortunately, Rusler’s John Shat veers wildly between the comical and the irritating, spending far more time in the latter category, while Dr. Brown waits far too long before she transforms into Foxy. Ultimately, in spite of a few chuckles here and there and even one or two outright belly laughs, the film simply can’t maintain its comic pace. Ninety minutes based on one joke is enough to turn “Shafted!” into “Flaccid” in any decade.

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