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"CECIL B. DEMENTED"
(2000) (Melanie Griffith, Stephen Dorff) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Moderate Extreme Minor Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Heavy None None Extreme Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Extreme None Minor Mild Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: A band of renegade filmmakers kidnaps a Hollywood actress and forces her to appear in their low-budget, independent and decidedly anti-Hollywood film.
PLOT:
Honey Whitlock (MELANIE GRIFFITH) is a major Hollywood star who's arrived in Baltimore for a benefit premiere of her latest film. Pleasant to the press, but mean to everyone else - including her personal assistant, Libby (RICKI LAKE) - Honey loves being a movie star but hates the responsibilities that came along with the role.

Sinclair Stevens, a.k.a. Cecil B. Demented (STEPHEN DORFF), is an angry young man who hates everything to do with Hollywood and the commercial films it constantly spits out. He's assembled a small and renegade filmmaking crew - the "sprocket holes" -- whose assignment is to take back the cinema along the lines of acting like a bunch of terrorist filmmakers. As such, they kidnap Honey at her premiere, dye her hair and force her to appear in their low budget film that, not coincidentally, is about a bunch of young and angry filmmakers who wish to destroy anything and everything to do with mainstream films.

Among the crew are its two stars, Cherish (ALICIA WITT), a former porn star, and Lyle (ADRIAN GRENIER), a drug addict. The crew consists of Lewis (LARRY GILLIARD, JR.), the art/set director; Raven (MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL) a Satan worshipping makeup artist; and Fidget (ERIC M. BARRY) a young costume designer who occasionally wants to run back home. Then there's Chardonnay (ZENZELE UZOMA), the sound woman; Pam (ERIKA LYNN RUPLI), the film's cinematographer; Dinah (HARRIET DODGE) the producer; Rodney (JACK NOSEWORTHY) the self-hating hair designer; and Petie (MIKE SHANNON) the crew's driver.

With Honey quickly becoming one of their "brainwashed" participants, the renegade filmmakers make various guerilla-style ambushes on film screenings, functions or on location shooting - including that of "Gump Again," the sequel to "Forrest Gump" that stars Kevin Nealon (KEVIN NEALON). They then plan to use the resultant film footage of such action, along with their increasingly pent-up sexual energy, into making their low-budget, and decidedly independent film, "Raving Beauty."

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of John Waters' films or someone in the cast, it's not very likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong crude sexual content, violence, language and drug use.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • MELANIE GRIFFITH plays a mean and spoiled, Hollywood movie star who use strong profanity, drinks martinis and eventually accepts her role in Cecil's mission of being a film terrorist.
  • STEPHEN DORFF plays a violent cult-like leader who wants to disrupt and/or destroy anything to do with mainstream moviemaking. As such, he leads various disruptive and occasionally lethally violent ambushes against such activity. He also uses strong profanity and has sex with Cherish.
  • ALICIA WITT plays that former porn star who uses strong profanity and is constantly aroused for Cecil, eventually having sex with him.
  • ADRIAN GRENIER plays a drug addict and costar of the renegade filmmakers' film.
  • MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL plays a Satan worshipper and the film's hairstylist.
  • LARRY GILLIARD, JR. plays the film's set designer who has a penchant for attacking people with his staple gun.
  • ERIC M. BARRY plays a young man who's torn between serving as the film's costume designer and wanting to run back home to his mother.
  • ZENZELE UZOMA plays the film's sound technician who often strikes others with her boom microphone.
  • ERIKA LYNN RUPLI plays the film's cinematographer.
  • JACK NOSEWORTHY plays the film's hair designer who uses strong profanity and is or wants to be gay.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated comedy. Profanity and inappropriate music are both rated as extreme due to more than 70 "f" words collectively occurring in both, while plenty of other expletives and colorful phrases are also present. Sexual content is also rated as extreme due to several encounters (with movement and sounds but no explicit nudity), mutual oral sex between men (we see the back of the standing recipients), implied and partially seen masturbation during a porno film, some scantily clad women, and plenty of explicit, sexually related dialogue and some crude humor.

    Many people are shot and killed or wounded, with some mildly bloody but not graphic wounds, while many others are struck and/or knocked unconscious in various fashions. The film's villains, members of a cult-like, renegade filmmaking crew, have bad attitudes, as does the major movie star they kidnap. One such member is a major drug addict (we see him taking and/or commenting on various drugs), while others drink.

    Meanwhile, all sorts of imitative behavior (all presumably played for laughs) occurs and includes people following a cult-like leader and thus allowing themselves to be physically branded, have their hair set on fire, jump from buildings and behave like terrorists, etc. Should all of the preceding not answer your questions about the film's appropriateness for anyone in your home, we suggest that you take a closer look at our more detailed content listings for more specific information.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Honey has a martini.
  • People have drinks at a reception.
  • Upset about the limo offered to her, Honey asks, "Do I look like a coke dealer?"
  • Lyle smokes some pot.
  • Lyle breathes glue fumes from a paper bag.
  • Lyle asks Honey if she wants some Ecstasy, but she declines.
  • Lyle comments that he's "never taken this much acid before."
  • After initially declining a martini that Fidget brings her, Honey eventually accepts it.
  • Lyle asks Honey is she wants some crack (cocaine). She declines but he smokes some himself. He then states that he once had many problems, but now is grateful that he only has one (drugs).
  • We see a young woman drinking liquor straight from the bottle while Lyle smells gasoline fumes to get high.
  • Lyle mentions something about trying some "special K" and we then see him snorting what's presumably cocaine off his hand.
  • People drink beer and champagne at a reception.
  • Honey has a martini and we then see her making another one.
  • We see Lyle inject a needle into his leg (but we don't know what's in it).
  • After being wounded, Lyle asks for some "poppers."
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see a person vomit after inhaling some tear gas (or something similar).
  • Raven states that she's drinking goat urine.
  • A bandage on a man's head has some bloodstains on it.
  • A person who's been shot has a small patch of blood on their shirt.
  • We see a small, bloody bullet hole in a person's head.
  • A man etches a word (or letters) on his forehead with something sharp (that forms the letters in blood).
  • We see a small, bloody bullet hole in another person's head.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Honey has both toward nearly everyone during her pampered/spoiled movie star moments, including her personal assistant, and most anyone else she comes into contact with. She then joins the others in becoming a film terrorist.
  • Cecil and his followers obviously have both for kidnapping Honey and disrupting and robbing a benefit premiere, for admitting to stealing much of what they have from city construction sites, for telling Fidget that his parents are the enemy of the cinema (after he states that he wants to go home) and disrupting other events and opening fire on others.
  • A boy in a wheelchair acts rude and disrespectful to a chairwoman introducing him (being short with her, calling her "ugly" and kicking her). In turn, she maliciously adjusts his oxygen flow to make him pay for that.
  • One of the "sprocket holes," Raven, is a Satanist and at one point states that she "hasn't had this much fun since my last livestock mutilation."
  • Various crewmembers sneak into a drive-in movie theater by hiding in the car.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • It's possible some viewers could find scenes listed under "Violence" as a bit tense, but none of them are intentionally played that way.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Shotguns/Machine guns/Explosives (bombs, hand grenade)/Electronic zapper: Used to threaten, wound or kill people. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*ck the studio system," "Little f*cker," "F*ckheads," "F*ck off," "Cool as sh*t," "Boner" (erection), "Laid" and "Horny" (sexual), "Look at the t*ts on her," "Lunatic," "Bitch" (said many times, including in one song), "Shut up," "Balls" (testicles), "Scarier than hell," "Bite the big one," "Nut" (crazy person), "What the hell," "Whackers" (masturbators) and "Bite me."
  • Various "sprocket holes" have tattoos on their bodies and later are all branded on the arm (with a hot, metal branding iron) with a symbol of their cinematic resistance.
  • One of the "sprocket holes," Raven, is a Satanist and at one point states that she "hasn't had this much fun since my last livestock mutilation." Later, she states that she's drinking goat urine.
  • For part of their film, Cecil has Honey jump from what looks like a several story high roof down onto the street below them without any safety gear (and she does, without getting hurt).
  • Various crewmembers sneak into a drive-in movie theater by hiding in the car.
  • For part of their film, Cecil asks Honey to have her hair set on fire, and she finally agrees. We then see her walk out with her hair fully ablaze (but she's not hurt and it's quickly extinguished).
  • A man etches a word (or letters) on his forehead with something sharp (that forms the letters in blood).
  • Crewmembers pour gasoline (or something similarly flammable) on a willing participant, light him on fire in a wheelchair and then roll him off the top of a building.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • At least 19 "f" words, 11 "s" words and many uses of "bitch" occur in several songs that play on the soundtrack.
  • PROFANITY
  • Combined with the above, there are at least 71 "f" words (10 used with "mother," 8 used sexually), 19 "s" words, 3 slang terms for/using male genitals ("d*ck" and "c*cks*cker"), 1 slang term for female genitals ("p*ssy"), 2 slang terms for breasts ("t*t"), 2 slang terms for sex ("laid"), 12 asses (7 used with "hole"), 3 damns, 3 S.O.B.s, 2 hells, 1 crap, 6 uses of "Oh my God," 4 each of "G-damn" and "God," 2 of "Oh God" and 1 use each of "For Christ's sakes," "Jesus" and "Good God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Due to staying in a hotel room's presidential suite, Honey asks Libby, "Do you think Pat Nixon got f*cked in this hotel room?" She then tells Libby to call the manager and asked if the First Lady "got f*cked in my hotel room."
  • A man exclaims, "Look at the t*ts on her" (but we don't see anything explicit).
  • We hear that Cherish formerly starred in many porno movies (see below for further details).
  • Lyle tells Honey, "I've had a boner for you for years." Cecil then states that no one "gets laid" until they finish their movie. He then adds that they're "horny," but continues that their film comes first.
  • We see various instances (and amounts) of Honey and Cherish's cleavage during the film.
  • After Fidget, the costume designer, tells Honey to take off her clothes, most of the young men gather around (or look through holes in the walls) and begin making anxious sexual sounds. We then learn that they're not allowed any form of sexual release. As she takes off her pants, we do see most of her butt in her thong-like leotard (and one man smells the crotch of the pants she just took off).
  • Petie asks Honey, "Did you ever f*ck Mel Gibson?" and "How big is his d*ck anyway?" He then adds, "Tell me about Mel Gibson's d*ck and balls."
  • Cherish tells Cecil that she wants "a little action" as we see most of her upper thigh/side of butt in her fishnet stockings.
  • As a couple dances, we see the man's hand on the woman's clothed breasts.
  • Cherish asks Cecil how he can "not want to f*ck me." He replies, "I do want to f*ck you, Cherish, but I can't." In turn, she replies, "All of my directors f*ck me." He then tells everyone to save his or her sexual energy for the silver screen.
  • Chardonnay shows cleavage in her small bikini top.
  • We see Lyle sexually humping the back of a movie projector.
  • Lewis asks if they can't have sex, can they at least make some money.
  • While lying next to Cecil, Cherish has her leg wrapped up around his leg/waist and is humping him (both are clothed - she's still in her fishnet stockings that show most of her butt/upper thigh) and making sexual sounds.
  • Rodney is upset with himself for not being gay and states that another man loves him, but he can't love him back and then mentions him kissing him and the "thickness in his pants."
  • In various scenes, we see Fidget rubbing at or near his clothed crotch.
  • Cherish admits why she became a porno star in the past, stating that when she was ten "my entire family f*cked me under the Christmas tree" and then adds that her brother repeatedly said "jingle balls" regarding that. She then adds that "my father sat on my face" as he opened his Christmas presents.
  • The crewmembers rush into a porno movie theater for refuge that just so happens to be playing one of Cherish's porno films, "Rear Entry" (the marquee reads "An All Anal Evening"). Inside the theater, we hear sexually related sounds and then see various audience members masturbating (nothing explicit is seen, but we do see arm movement and related pleasured expressions on those viewers' faces). In the film showing on the screen, Cherish is lying on a bed (stomach down) in a skimpy outfit that shows cleavage.
  • Meanwhile, the theater manager is looking through a porno magazine with the title, "Hershey Highway" and then gets Cherish to sign a box of "Sticky Bunz" (a sex toy presumably molded after her rear end). We also see some dildos in a display case behind him. He then tells her and her crewmembers to "go on in, pop a load."
  • Back in the porno movie, Cherish suggestively asks, "Why is it that men only want my ass?" She then kisses a gerbil that she's holding, but it gets away and it's implied that it then crawls up her butt (as we see a shot of her scantily clad rear and then of her reacting to such an occurrence). Meanwhile, there's more masturbatory behavior from the viewers in the audience.
  • After Cecil announces they're on their last location shoot, Cherish chimes in that they're then "going to get laid." Someone then mentions that there's just one last camera setup and they can then have sex. Moments later, it's announced that principal photography is completed and someone chimes in, "You mean we can f*ck?" and Cecil replies, "From here to Timbuktu."
  • Cherish then climbs on top of Cecil's lap, we hear some quick ripping sounds of part of their clothing and they then have sex (with her on top with movement, but no nudity). The other crewmembers then pick out people from a crowd with whom they'll have sex and we then see two men alternating giving oral sex to each other (seen from behind a standing man with the other man kneeling at his crotch - thus nothing explicit is seen). We then see Fidget unzip his pants, put his hand in there and begin masturbating (nothing explicit/no nudity is seen). We then see Cherish and Cecil having sex again with movement and sounds but no nudity.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Some attempted humor comes from parents talking via the phone or bullhorns trying to talk some sense into their kids.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The differences between mainstream and independent films.
  • The cult-like aura that Cecil has over his followers and the way in which Honey is easily "brainwashed" into following and participating in their agenda.
  • The way the film loosely parallels the kidnapping of Patty Hearst and her later joining her captors.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Lyle hits another man over the head with a large film reel, knocking him unconscious.
  • A boy in a wheelchair kicks a chairwoman who's introduced him.
  • Cecil has his followers fire some shots from their weapons and set off some explosives during a premiere (as well as spray people with mace or something similar). One of the followers kicks another person, another elbows a person, various people are knocked down, one hits a cop on the back of the head, and various followers fire warning shots into the air and/or aim their weapons at others. They then kidnap Honey and put her in the trunk of a car and Cecil fires a shot into a movie poster display (breaking the glass). We later hear that a woman died of a heart attack brought on by the raid.
  • Raven strikes Honey on the face after believing that she's too pale.
  • After Honey says that she doesn't feel the correct motivation to act, Cecil zaps her with an electronic zapper.
  • As Honey does some awful acting in her first scene, various "sprocket hole" members inflict pain on themselves in response. One strikes herself and another puts a gun in his mouth, while one puts the pointy end of a comb into his own ear, another staples himself with a staple gun and a woman puts what looks like an eyelash curler on her tongue.
  • During another cinema raid, Lyle hits a theater worker who Cherish then kicks. Cecil fires a warning shot into the ceiling, while Cherish fires a shot into the popcorn popper, while a table and display are also turned over. Chardonnay then hits someone with her boom microphone and some tear gas is thrown into the theater.
  • A young woman shoots a book.
  • Chardonnay hits someone with her boom microphone, while her associates hold guns on others. Another hits a person with a serving tray. Honey tosses a hand grenade that explodes behind some people (she was told it was a fake) and the police then show up. Some tables are overturned and the cops then open fire, hitting one of renegade crewmembers. In turn, the other crewmembers fire back, hitting several cops, while Cecil is shot and injured.
  • Trying to rescue Honey, the crewmembers ram their van into a police car. They fire back and Cecil then shoots out their tire, causing the police car to crash into a theater box office.
  • A group of family filmgoers throw candy and other concession items at Cecil and his crew.
  • We briefly see some martial arts combat in an old movie.
  • One of the crewmembers grabs a deliveryman and slams him into the side of his van, knocking him out.
  • A crewmember hits someone on the back of the head with a handgun. Others then grab and briefly choke other people (we also see that they've bound several Teamsters). Cecil then zaps the camera operator and his assistant with an electronic zapper, while the others hold guns on other people.
  • The Teamsters free and arm themselves and one fires a shot that hits one of the renegade filmmakers in the forehead (eventually killing him). A gun battle then follows where several people are shot on both sides, while Lewis repeatedly staples a man in the neck with his staple gun (no gore).
  • A Teamster throws a person up against a wall.
  • A man etches a word (or letters) on his forehead with something sharp (that forms the letters in blood).
  • A crewmember is shot and someone in the growing crowd punches another person.
  • A person is shot in the head and Honey hits a person with a movie camera.
  • Crewmembers pour gasoline (or something similarly flammable) on a willing participant, light him on fire in a wheelchair and then roll him off the top of a building (knocking someone else off as well).
  • Fidget throws large movie marquee letters down onto cars before he's shot in the leg and falls onto the hood of a car.



  • Reviewed June 29, 2000 / Posted August 11, 2000

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