Bongwater (1999) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna

Two thumbs way down

Scoop's comments in white: 

The best thing in the film is the fact that the stripper is played by Muffy. That's her whole name. Not Elizabeth R Muffy or Muffy Castro, but simply Muffy. Hey, could I make up anything that silly? C'mon, did Tarzan need a last name? He didn't need to be Robert Q Tarzan or Tarzan Schwartz, right? If he didn't need another name, then why does Muffy?

When you look at the cast, you think this movie might have some potential as a counter-cultural comedy about the pot culture. Andy Dick, Jack Black, Luke Wilson, Alicia Witt, Brittany Murphy, Amy Locane, Scott Caan ... these people have all been funny and/or competent at times. The video box markets the film as a hilarious stoner comedy. I like most of those people. I like stoner comedies. I thought it might be fun.


Well, they do smoke some weed, but you won't get a lot of laughs out of this film. Here's what watching it is like. Imagine you to to a pot party, and you arrive too late. The weed is all smoked, and the giggly stage is all finished, and now everyone is in that stage where they're too lazy to stand up and they're muttering about how their feet don't match each other. There you go - not stoner humor, but stoner babble. Of course, most stoner humor shows the way that outsiders view stoners. This film basically shows an insider look at how they view each other. If you've ever wolfed down any wacky weed, you know that the stuff that seemed funny then doesn't always seem funny when you describe it a week later. Everything seems embarrassing all of a sudden, and you had to be there to get the joke. 

There's the problem with this movie. You had to be there.


A stripper called Muffy is topless in the first few minutes of the film.

Two unidentified guys are seen naked in bed - from behind.

Oh, it might be realistic in some ways, but it isn't funny. If I'm not mistaken, it wasn't really trying to be a comedy. Mostly, it's a shrill romantic mix-up where people make the wrong choices and regret it, and some of the characters happen to be stoners. The dialogue is sometimes confusing, and Alicia Witt is obnoxious and completely unlikable except for her looks. (Real stoners hate those obnoxious, self-promoting, type-a personalities. They ruin the vibes, dude) 

Mostly, it's so bo-o-o-o-o-ring.

Tuna's comments in yellow:

Bongwater is a stereotypical nerd gay doper artist pyromaniac musican romantic comedy, which is distinctly unromantic and unfunny. I know, Scoop, you warned me.

The film does look good and has several attractive players, but is otherwise a total waste. F+

DVD info from Amazon.

no widescreen, no meaningful features

Throughout history, many of the most important and influential people have needed only one name, such as Plato, Isis, Cleopatra, Shaft, Ghandi, and Jesus, and now another worthy person joins this noble rank. I am speaking, of course, of Muffy, the stripper who provided the only worthwhile footage in the movie.

The Critics Vote

  • no reviews online

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 5.7, based on an insignificant number of voters. 
  • With their dollars ... no theatrical release
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is an E (Scoopy), or maybe as low as an F+ (Tuna). Excruciatingly bad. All the jokes fall flat, and it isn't possible to relate to the characters.

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