I’ve previously written a series of reviews of Hard Case Crime books I found in a pile at the nearby Big Lots store. I dig Big Lots because you can usually find interesting things at a clearance price. Really clearance. Down to the bare concrete pricing (that’s for all my Louisiana peeps…WHO DAT!).
They’ve recently been stocking a lot of closeout DVDs. I’ve used their $3 per disc pricing to start building a pretty impressive UFC library. Granted the UFC events are from the 40s through 60s, but I haven’t seen any of them so the fights are new to me.
A couple of weeks ago while searching for more UFC discs, I actually paid attention to some of the other titles I was moving aside in my search. They ranged from the well reviewed, to the big hits at the time, to the “wasn’t that a SciFi original“, to the unnecessary remake. They even had full seasons of Charles in Charge.
Then, being the GonzoGeek that I am I realized that using nothing more than the change in my truck’s ashtray and under the couch cushions I could create whole new feature for our website. I picked up a title I’d been intrigued by for a while and Big Lots Cinema was born.
So, buuuuuuuuuuudy, sit back, chill and prepare your melon for the epic journey that is Pauly Shore is Dead. It’s major.
Let me preface this by saying I dug Totally Pauly. Well, at least at first. Pauly broke when I was fresh out of college and working a couple of jobs to make ends meet. They were night jobs so I had some free time in the afternoon. Coincidentally, so did Pauly.
That being said, I’ve never seen a Pauly Shore movie all the way through. That is, until now.
Pauly’s act got stale in a hurry and he found himself the punchline to jokes by just about everyone. PSID postulates a theory of what happened to Pauly once his career evaporated like so much pot smoke.
We join the action on the debut night of Pauly’s ill-fated 1997 Fox television show, Pauly. The show is a bomb and Pauly is quickly blacklisted. Things get so bad Pauly can’t even get serviced by a hooker, his favorite porn tape is eaten by his VCR and he runs out of Lubraderm.
Enter Pauly’s guardian angel, Sam Kinison. Well, not the real Kinison, but a really good facsimile. Guardian Sam points out that in order to be seen as a comic genius, a comedian has to die young. So what does Pauly do? Work on his craft? Find another line of work? No. Naturally Pauly fakes his own death.
Pauly being Pauly it things don’t go as planned and he ends up in prison on the end of a knife wielded by his #1 fan.
Hilarity and redemption ensue.
I wanted to say something witty and urbane about Shore coming to grips with the past and the Wiez, but in the end, I just couldn’t. Shore understands his place in the world. He knows he will never truly escape the Wiez. PISD is his way of letting the world know that he knows and that he is okay with it.
PSID was written, directed and financed by Shore. Sure, its a vanity project, but its a pretty good one. I found myself surprisingly entertained. Had it starred anyone other than Shore, it would probably found a place as a cult indie.
Of course, one of the main reasons to watch this is for the cameos. Pauly must have called in every favor owed him. There are appearances by Charlie Sheen, Bill Maher, Ben Stiller, Heidi Fleiss, the Hilton Sisters, Tommy Lee and Verne Troyer to name just a few.
Perhaps, PSID’s greatest achievement is answering, once and for all, one of the great Hollywood mysteries. That being the difference between Michael Madsen and Tom Sizemore. That difference? Six inches.
It didn’t win any Oscars when it came out in 2003, but by the same token it didn’t win any Razzies either.
Naming Pauly Shore is Dead the best Pauly Shore movie of all time is damning with faint praise. It was entertaining for what it was, and it was fine being just that.
Now to gather my change and go back for that Chupacabra movie.