Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

After watching this mess of a movie ‘Dead Lenny’, easily the worst movie I’ve ever seen Armand Assante in, one my favorite actors, it got me to thinking how actors feel once they’ve been in something that I’m pretty sure they’re ashamed that they’ve showed up in. As I’ve said I will fault nobody who makes an honest buck and it’s not like I’ve got a production company in my basement, so I’m obviously not doing much hiring. But still, there’s a sense of pride with these actors and they do consider themselves artist. So some dude named Serge Rodunsky directs this flick, sends out the notices to the cast and crew that all post production is finished and schedules a screening for his hard working team. Then they watch it. American Gangster’s Armand Assante, Scarface’s Steven Bauer, Cat People’s John Heard and Joe Piscopo… who knows Eddie Murphy really well. What goes through their minds when they watch something that is pure and simply an embarrassment? Hell, I’m embarrassed and I’m not in the movie. I’ve seen all of those actors in some really bad movies, but I haven’t seen any of them in anything this bad. I saw Armand Assante in ‘Dot.Kill’, which was pretty damn bad, but this was worse. I saw John Heard in ‘White Chicks’, which was pretty damn bad, but this was way worse. I saw Steven Bauer in ‘Doing Hard Time’ which was simply awful, but this was infinitely worse. I saw the female lead in this movie, Nicole Eggert, in a flick I thought could possibly be the worst movie I’ve ever seen in ‘Lightspeed’, but inexplicably this was worse. The only good thing about Dead Lenny is that hardly anybody on the planet earth has seen it… except me. And should my phone ring from an ‘associate’ of Armand Assante threatening me with death should I publish this review, I would completely understand. But I would not comply.

Mobster Tony Thick (Assante) is upset because Lenny (Bauer) has run off with five million dollars so he hires retrieval man Shady (Steve Baker) to head to wherever and find Lenny and get his money back. Thick and Shady have this lengthy pointless conversation that I think was trying to channel the ghost of Quentin Tarantino, but

however got rerouted and instead channeled his retarded doppelganger Quentin Kangaroo. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to make Armand Assante seem uninteresting? Serge Rodunsky has found a way. Next we meet Eve (Whitney Able), Lenny’s Goombah, who is confronted in her home by Sally (Eggert) Lenny’s wife. Sally wants to know where Lenny is, Eve doesn’t know and this scene also goes on way too long. Sally also wants to get pregnant with Lenny’s baby, or somebody’s baby since she has sex with just about everybody and she also takes a lot of pregnancy test, including one in her BMW convertible which is pretty damn nasty and she made NO effort to clean off the leather seats. We also meet Lenny’s brother Luis (Piscopo) who is looking for Lenny, and we are introduced to Lenny’s neurosurgeon Dr. Hooker (Heard) who has informed us that Lenny has an aneurism that could blow at any minute. We also have a pair of country bumpkin hit men hired by Tony Thick to keep an eye on Shady. Where is Lenny? He’s in a hospital bed after getting bopped on the head by a couple of carjackers who are unknowingly in possession of said loot, which is booby trapped to explode if opened the wrong way for some reason. Eventually all these divergent elements will come together with the theory being that madcap entertainment and comedy shall ensue. Similar to the theory that the sun revolved around the earth.

Understand that there are different levels of crappiness. There’s ‘Supercroc’ crappiness which features a poorly made film featuring folks you’ve never seen before and probably will never see again. There’s ‘Date Movie’ crappiness which features Big Studio’s throwing big loot behind big garbage hoping for big returns, and there’s ‘Dead Lenny’ crappiness as ‘Dead Lenny’ represents the worst movie featuring the most prominent cast I’ve ever seen. ‘Supercroc’ is probably a worse movie all things considered, but ‘Supercroc’ has no Golden Globe or Emmy winners in it like ‘Dead Lenny’ does. Nobody in ‘Supercroc’ was ever directed by Brian DePalma or Tony Scott or Roman Polanski like certain cast members of ‘Dead Lenny’ were. No sir, in many respects Dead Lenny’ is the worst movie I have ever seen. Why? First the entire movie looked yellow. Literally. At first I thought I had crossed the component cables on my DVD player but nope, everything was in place. I’m assuming this was some form of ‘cinematography’. Secondly, there is clever dialog and then there’s ‘Dead Lenny’ dialog in which characters prattle on about absolutely nothing, for what feels like an eternity, ultimately making the viewer physically ill. Then there’s the non-existent editing which could have compressed the story, or cut out the lulls, or eliminated the occasional flubbed line, or assisted the continuity, but this was apparently deemed unnecessary. Finally there’s the over all gloss of crappiness in which nothing works, nothing is interesting, talent is wasted, and the hard work that I’m certain all who were involved tried to put in was squandered.

Enough said. I almost didn’t want to send the disc back to Netflix to hopefully spare some other sucker watching this mess. But then they would have charged me for it – and even I don’t deserve that.

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