The In Crowd (2000) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Our kind of superbly crafted cinema classic! The cast of unknowns is probably best known for Dinner Theater in Bradenton, Florida, although certainly not in any leads. I think one of the girls may have sprayed on the gray hair once to play Aunt Eller in Oklahoma! The guys all went to the Ryan Philippe school of acting and hair design. The plot was probably improvised from day to day. The direction is just downright confusing and inept, with people occasionally moving out of the shot. Not that it mattered, because some shots were so dark you couldn't even tell which actors were there, if any. Then when it got lighter, it was blurry!

Unfortunately, it isn't big and bold comic opera bad like Habitat. Or even stupid bad like The Skulls. It's just boring, hard-to-see bad with a furniture commercial acting level, which is the least entertaining of all the bads. The only real addition it makes to the Bad Hall of Fame is the introduction of Evil Lip Gloss.

Here's the deal. In the beginning, sexy Adrien is released from a mental hospital on the recommendation of her doctor. She is given a probationary job at a country club summer resort. The mental health board gives her four conditions:
  • no drinking
  • no drugs
  • no losing her job
  • no crossing the county line


Actually, there was more than I expected from a pg-13 film. Susan Ward appeared topless, and Lori Huering appeared in a transparent bra.
The conditions aren't that onerous, really. As long as she can stay in Greater Podunk County, and clean, she can do anything else. Pretend to be Regis Philbin, have oral sex with barnyard animals, run a psychic hotline, go on a murder spree, or even hang around with the rich kids who go there for the summer. She immediately starts to hang with the designated rich-bitch, who appears to have adopted her based on her resemblance to her runaway older sister. Prissy Rich-Bitch is allowed to invite a psycho scullery maid into the in-crowd because Prissy looks like a morph of Yasmine Bleeth and Tiffany-Amber Thiessen, and the loony-bin scullery maid looks like a morph of Christina Applegate and Madonna. So Loony Scullery Chick gets invited to parties, gets drunk, takes drugs, and leaves the county, but nobody catches her for a while.

Altogether too much time passes before some bodies start to appear. Unfortunately, it takes something like 50 minutes before we get any body count, so the first half is essentially a slasher flick without any slashing. The scariest thing is a breaker switch which is thrown as a prank. O-o-oh, pretty scary, eh kids? Arooooooo!

To get the idea, picture The Birds without any actual birds, just the suggestion that there may someday be birds, and maybe there's an occasional parakeet spotted out of the corner of your eye, or some ominous little "tweet-tweet" noises. Maybe there are some birds, or maybe it's just a cuckoo clock somewhere in the distance.

But that was still a lot better than the second half. At least I think so. The second half is so dark, I couldn't tell if anything was happening. Maybe it was some really fresh shit, and I just missed it.

I think there was something about how the runaway sister was really dead, and the surviving sister killed her, and is also killing other people, and would like to kill the loony girl as well, or at least frame the loony girl for her other murders. And the frame included a semen-stained dress, so maybe Clinton was supposed to be the real murderer.

DVD info from Amazon.

This is a very strong DVD. Tons of features. Too bad the movie is so poor.

Anamorphic widescreen, enhanced for 16x9 screens.

Full-length commentary by two of the stars.

Publicity, behind-the-scenes and stills gallery to go with a highly detailed version of the usual cheesy bios.

Three deleted scenes.

Separate music track.

As a result of the frame, and the fact that her lawyers weren't as good as Clinton's, the loony girl ended up in the loony bin again. She was supposed to have killed her psychiatrist. Well, actually she was allowed to do that according to the rules, but she also crossed the county line and had a beer, and that's what blew it for her. If she had had the good sense to drink mineral water and kill the guy in her own county, she'd have been OK.

Eventually she managed to escape by saving her medication and dumping it in the coffee of her new female psychiatrist, waiting for the shrink to pass out during a long counseling session, and then walking out disguised as the shrink. All perfectly believable.

And then, master of disguise that she is, she impersonated the presumed-dead sister in order to get the murderous sister to reveal the grave site. As it turned out, the sister was buried under about an inch and a half of sand in a hazard on the golf course, therefore explaining why the assistant rich-bitch (killed earlier) would not play her ball out of that lie in an earlier scene. Even one decent divot would have revealed several stray body parts.

And then they got the main rich-bitch to betray all her crimes by leaving behind her custom-designed Evil Lip Gloss container.

In the final scene, Prissy Rich Bitch is in prison at last, but the jailer who brings her food slips her something else. What could it be, we wonder. No, NO. I think it's .... Evil Lip Gloss.

The end?????

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: One and a half. Generally considered bad by everyone. Apollo rated it highest at 53/100, Berardinelli gave it only 1/4. The film was not pre-screened for critics, which is pretty much a sure sign that the studio knows it stinks.

  • Rotten Tomatoes summary. Awful. 18% positive overall, and a perfect zero from the top critics.

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 3.7, agreeing with the critics.
  • With their dollars ... a bomb here as well. Took in only five million dollars despite a 1300 theater run. Was on 1335 screens July 30, and 22 screens August 13th!

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