Hacks review by Matt Fuerst


There was a time in the 90's when I guess the stand up comic gig really flared up. We had Seinfeld hit it big time with a hit TV show, Jeff Foxworthy was being annoying at 200+ big venues a year and stand up comics were getting HBO gigs and selling CD's. It was a good life for them. Luckily this era is way over and comics have returned to the caves where they belong and get to struggle from crappy bar to crappy bar living a lonely and depressed life. Hacks is a look into the lives of stand up comics. It really doesn't surprise me that stand up comics are douchebags. To really desire to be a standup comic you've probably been pretty messed up your entire life. Picked on, beaten down, really a desperate human being. Glenn Rockowitz, a funnyman himself, apparently agreed with my diagnosis and set out to document just what total ass clowns comics can be.

Hacks is set up in a mockumentary style. We are introduced to a set of comic managers and their stable of comics. There is a story involved, basically about how the managers are getting together artists for a big show. But really the thrust of the film revolves around skits of the comics doing their sets, and the daily grind they have to endure to get there. We see the only female comic, Slappy, having to take a piss while running alongside the car (awesome) and give up sex from the sacred orephous just to get a spot on the open mic night. Once her set starts you realize why she has it so rough, she completely sucks. The story does intertwine throughout the movie but the payoff, the "big show" isn't nearly as funny as the surrounding material.

The comic you're most likely going to quote after the flick is going to be Otis (Victor Vornado). Victor is a Black Albino comic whose bread and butter is crude humor. If a joke can be made about using a "leg" to have sex with heavyset women or insulting a woman with a hook arm by asking "Do you scratch your ovaries up?" then Otis will fill in that void. Otis is awesome and will have you rolling on the floor. Also memorable from the flick is Skully (Perry Wolberg) who only has one bit, asking "What's the deal with _____?". In it's nerve wrecking aggravation it can be very humorous.

Hacks is filmed very competently and there's a neat mixture of film stocks varying through the movie. The Hacks DVD is actually quite awesome. Produced by Film Threat, Rockowitz obviously had DVD in mind while filming since we get a ton of outtakes and other goodies. Rockowitz's commentary at times can be trying, he's like that annoying kid that was on Ritalin in your elementary class. He's pretty hyper for most of it and tries to be funny for the entire running 93 minutes. He's funny for 40 minutes of it, but that leaves 53 minutes of forced humor. But hey, even Babe Ruth only hit about .400. The deleted scenes and outtakes vary in quality but there is some stuff in there that was too raunchy for a general release film so that definetly makes it worth watching (including Otis' blast against the hook lady, two thumbs up!).

The question rolling around in my head now is: who would like to watch Hacks? I for one liked it, but I don't think it's a general movie most of the world would rent and love. Maybe if you have a chip on your shoulder about the world it's your cup of tea. Hacks provides a very good amount of laughs per minute of movie, and the extras make it a great DVD worth owning. However, if you expect a strict storyline from your movies, then you might want to stay away.

7 out of 10 Jackasses
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