Slash Film

After what feels like 8 hours following the rise and fall of stars and would-be stars in the transitional period to the talkie era, we are introduced to the mobster James McKay, aka The Count. He is owed a lot of money and is threatening to kill a starlet, so studio exec Manny goes to the Count to pay her debt and save her life — albeit not knowing he is actually delivering fake bills.

The Count immediately strikes a memorable image. Unlike everyone else in the film, who looks either dapper and larger than life or scruffy and relatable, The Count is a cartoon character brought to life, with sunken eyes, and gremlin teeth. He is essentially the Bully Maguire meme from “Spider-Man 3” on a lot more drugs.

The Count also happens to be a major cinephile, and he has a lot of ideas to pitch Manny, all of them both incredibly problematic and hilariously deranged. His biggest idea, however, is one that he promises will revolutionize Hollywood, a whole franchise revolving around a single man, who they simply have to see to believe. So he suggests they go meet him, in a secluded location.

What follows is a trip through “the a-hole of Los Angeles,” a sequence that echoes the massive party from the opening scene, only twisted and corrupted. Rather than a bacchanal, it’s a Dantean tour of the layers of Angeleno hell, with deathmatches, a dark sex dungeon that feels more like a proper torture dungeon, and even a hallway guarded by an alligator, all before finding McKay’s star: a giant of a man who eats live rats for money.

/Film – ‘Slash Film: An Ode To Tobey Maguire’s Coke Gremlin In Babylon’
Author: Rafael Motamayor
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January 21, 2023

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