Penn and Tell’Em: Rifkin and Jillette Pair Up for DIRECTOR’S CUT

Crowd funding has been a complex subject when discussing independent cinema. There has been highly successful and honest campaigns (here is looking at you Unearthed Films), but those have been few and far between. Most have been moderate to massive cluster-fucks that either stole patrons money or took ungodly amounts of time to fulfill their promises. Ive been burned a few times and this movie from cult legend Adam Rifkin serves as a great revenge fantasy for those few times that filmmakers just ran off with my money. Director’s Cut is a highly unique take on the horror film and goes (far) beyond the concept of “meta”. Its so self aware that I was almost uncomfortable. Written by Las Vegas mainstay, Penn Jillette, this is a clever concept that manages to pull off this tough-sell to varying degrees of success.

Director’s Cut is a film commentary of an imaginary thriller that was made with Crowd Funding dollars. One disturbed fan contributes a large sum of money and decides to hijack the film in post production when he is unhappy with the results. He stalks cast members and eventually detracts (entirely) from reality and starts killing cast and crew members.

This high concept idea of making the viewer watch a psychopath’s “director cut” of a fake film is a tall order to ask of anyone. What is impressive is that it is capable of keeping the viewer’s attention from beginning to end. What shines is Penn Jillette’s great script and perverse sense of humor that bleeds through every scene. Its hard not to laugh every time he points out continuity errors and inserts his shitty post production effects. Both Jillette and Rifkin paint a fully realized picture of insanity that is both terrifying and hilarious.

What doesn’t work is when it occasionally breaks into “behind the scenes” moments. These moments feel a little forced and have a tendency to pull you out of scenes that you were enjoying. This is a small complaint in an otherwise great concept and original film. If you’ve ever been ripped off or disappointed, this is the movie for you. So sit back and relax and enjoy watching madness encapsulated.

Head to the Epic Pictures website for a list of places you can watch Director’s Cut.

Blaine McLaren
Bald and Beautiful / Exploitation Guru
Blaine McLaren was born in Texas, but has called Atlanta his home for over 20 years. He has spent a lifetime obsessed with cinematic oddities, with a soft spot for rubber monster flicks and gore soaked head scratchers. He is the lead writer and owner of and is a regular contributor for multiple sites and podcasts.
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