Sally (2002) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Independent film produces some of the freshest material in the arts today. Because of the lack of restrictions, the indy filmmakers are free to explore an uncompromised vision. There are those who assume that this is, in itself, a positive, but when you strip away the emotionalism, you'll realize that freedom itself is a neutral concept, neither positive or negative. Was it good that Hitler was able to act with complete freedom, unfettered by the compromises that would have been imposed on him by men who thought inside the box? Of course not. It was bad that he was able to realize his uncompromised vision. Freedom is like The Force. It also has a dark side. And so it sometimes is with independent filmmakers. When the director is also the screenwriter and has no need to answer to any studio money or marketing guys, it can be a great blessing, but it can also mean that there is nobody around to say, "you do know this completely sucks, right?"

The same unfettered artistic inhibition that engendered The Producers and Reservoir Dogs also produced Sally from the dark side of the force. It is an example of everything that is wrong with independent filmmaking.

The film opens with a nutty, emotionally dysfunctional loser driving a car. This is Jack and he's on a road trip with Sally, his imaginary girlfriend. He stops and picks up a teenage female hitchhiker, and they are eventually joined by a stowaway, "Bugs", another nutburger who has spent his whole life in the Marlboro Country Home for the Seriously Mental until he decided to escape and begin a search for his own dream woman. His own imaginary girlfriend is "Sally", a woman pictured on the soup cans at the institution.

Now do you see the essential conflict? The two insane guys realize that they are in love with the same imaginary girlfriend. This situation probably wouldn't mean too much if occurred between you and me, but you have to remember that these two guys are the quintessential bull goose loonies. For them, the conflict produces plenty of jealousy, and their heightened emotional states result in a lot of gun-waving and reckless driving. Imagine Jack's distress when he finds Bugs making love to his imaginary fiancée. (You'll have to be content with your imagination. That might have made for a good scene, but it never happened.)

In the process of resolving their jealousy over the imaginary woman, they both begin to feel attached to the female hitchhiker. She ends up going for Bugs, the sensitive insane loser, rather than Jack, the macho insane loser. Of course, this causes Jack to wave his gun around even more than usual, because he now feels that Jack has stolen two women from him.

There's only one sensible solution. The other two have to tie down Jack with duct tape and make him continue the road trip from the comfort of the trunk. Hey, it seemed sensible to a bunch of gun-totin' looney-tunes.


None, but there is some sexy non-nude material. Rachel Leigh Cook wears a white t-shirt through most of the movie, and does her one love scene with a towel over her breasts.

Thus it proceeds until they all end up back at the Marlboro Country Nuthouse, where they eventually set aside their differences to form a strange bond against the forces of the establishment, because the hitchhiker is pregnant with Bugs's future loony child, and the evil head doctor wants to perform an abortion. I guess preserving the life of the child is some kind of survival instinct that unifies all loonies against the non-loonies. I mean, if they aren't allowed to reproduce, how can they maintain enough members to defend themselves against the anti-loony elements of society? What would happen, for example, to the Extremely Silly Party?

DVD info from Amazon.

  • no widescreen

  • no features

Or something like that.

I can tell you that it is every bit as good as it sounds.

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The People Vote ...

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The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or even 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. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). 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.

Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this film is a D- or maybe an E. It's just about completely unwatchable.

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