Director: Jack M. Sell   
Jack M. Sell, Forrest Tucker, and the future bathroom attendants of America

Editor's note: Several years ago, before starting this web page, I had one of the worst experiences of my life. An experience that haunts me even today.

That experience was when I watched the movie Outtakes. A movie so bad, it made The Sex O'Clock News look like Kentucky Fried Movie.

When I started this page, I knew that somehow I had to let people know just how bad it was, to save them from a potential hell. But I couldn't make myself rent the movie again, to relive that nightmare. Fortunately, my friend Michael Sullivan volunteered to risk everything so that the public may know and be warned. For that, I salute him. Here is his review of Outtakes.

By Michael Sullivan

Hey! I have an idea. Let's take a trip into the very depths of Comedy Hell. Let's go past Beverly Hills Ninja, past the brain melting Jeff Altman vehicle Doin' Time, past everything Mark Pirro has ever done, and enter the 9th circle of comedic Hell, Outtakes.

For the past couple of years I've seen every possible rip-off of The Groove Tube. While most of them are hit or miss and have their fair share of unfunny moments, I never thought I could despise any of these films -  that is, until I saw Outtakes.

Well, it can't be all bad, can it? Let's put it this way; imagine a comedy starring Tom Arnold, Pauly Shore, Joe Piscopo, Rosie O Donnell, Murray Langston, and for good measure, let's throw in talented (as in he was a talented costume designer) director Joel Schumaker, and Outtakes would still be twice as bad as that film. (In case you're wondering about the mystery film above, it would be about wacky firefighters and the title would be Fireballs!)

Anyway Runny Dog Turd: The Movie begins with a dedication to Forrest Tucker. Which I'm sure his spirit was ecstatic over being memorialized in this "comedic masterpiece". Too bad a slightly funnier film wasn't dedicated to his memory, like Faces of Death or Tonya Harding's Wedding Night video. After this "touching" dedication, we see people protesting the Hollywood premiere of Outtakes. Some of the protesters hold signs that read, "Outtakes Sucks!" and "This Movie is Sh*t." No arguments here. In fact, here's a tip: if you're going to make a movie, don't use jokes like, "Ha Ha, my movie's bad", because it will probably backfire, especially if your movie sucks big time.

A reporter at the premiere warns us that the film isn't actually a film but just a collection of scenes funded by special interest groups and commercial sponsors. All while a guy shakes a 7-Up bottle next to the reporter's head. The reporter then adds that he and his (wink) Calvins are going to greet the special guests. This scene may sound funny like the similar scene in Wayne's World, but keep in mind it's staged with all the finesse of a Special Ed class production of The Odd Couple.

The guests at the premiere have to be the worst collection of celebrity impersonators I've ever seen. First up is an Asian Dolly Parton with a dubbed in high pitched man voice. "Dolly" arrives in a limo with a license plate that reads "2 Boobs". Hey I get it! 2 Boobs! Dolly Parton has two big breasts. That's something I never picked up on before! Thanks, Outtakes, for opening my mind. Hey, why not do a joke about Reagan being forgetful, or how's this for freshness: Marlon Brando's fat hahahahah aaaah....Good Times. Next guest is an Eddie Murphy impersonator who both sounds and looks nothing like Eddie Murphy. The only way you find out that this guy is supposed to be Eddie Murphy is that the guy wears that red leather outfit that Eddie seemed to always wear in the 80's and he unsuccessfully tries to emulate Eddie's edgy style, and winds up sounding like a kid with Tourette's syndrome. The last guest is a female impersonator doing Liza Minnelli, who flatly sings New York, New York whenever he/she is asked a question.

The film's not even five minutes in, and already you feel like you just had a plateful of bad clams, but  brace yourself, because we meet the egotistical director of this film (Jack M. Sell), who swaggers down the red carpet like he's God's gift to film. The reporter tells Jack that critics are calling his film a real "Bow Wow" (again, no arguments here) Jack then cleverly quips, "Drop dead, schmuck!" (Truly a comeback that would put the sorry likes of Oscar Wilde and Groucho Marx to shame.) Jack then tells us to "chill out" and enjoy the movie.

Inside the theater we see that it is packed and the audience is so excited we hear them chant "Outtakes, Outtakes". Which I'm sure are two events that never happened in real life. Finally the film within the film begins with what the video box calls a parody of music videos. Really? Because it looks more to me like a horrible vanity project featuring our uncharismatic director and almost makes Phil Collins's music seem listenable (almost).

After hearing the phrase, "You can be an outtake" chanted about a thousand times, Forrest Tucker shows up. Forrest plays our host, who has to introduce the flaccid sketches and put up with the tired "clapboard slamming shut on the nose" bit. Forrest then goes on to tell us that Outtakes is a brand new concept in comedy filmmaking. Sure it is. If you can overlook the same concept in The Groove Tube, Tunnelvision, Kentucky Fried Movie, and at least seven other films. He then introduces the first sketch entitled "Donawho". An unmemorable parody of Donahue that contains even more strident impersonations (Donahue, Dr. Ruth) and painful commercial breaks. (One commercial pushes a porno rag called PUBES, which isn't so much a rip on pornography as it is an excuse to show pubic hair.)

When "Donawho" finally has the courtesy to end, the nightmare just starts over with an even worse sketch. This one is a spoof of films like Silent Night, Deadly Night and appears to be an unreleased film cut down to the length of a trailer, and it also steals its title from the superior Bob Clark film Black Christmas. Some of the "highlights" are a Santa Claus who's so wooden he can't even say "ho, ho, ho" convincingly, a guy getting murdered yelling, "Beam me up Scotty!", Santa getting stabbed in the ass (who then farts), a woman masturbating on the phone for no reason, and sex jokes that would make Benny Hill cringe. I think there is justice in this world when Black Christmas remains unreleased, and thank God, because it actually looks more creatively bankrupt than Outtakes. (*)

There are certain images in films that will haunt me for the rest of my days, images that appear in nightmares and make me rise from my bed screaming in terror. Some of those images are from the first Halloween, others are from Texas Chainsaw Massacre. But mostly they're from this next scene (*shudder*). A quartet of musicians warm up to play the execrable Outtakes theme. While they play, their instruments accidentally rip each others clothes off. We then get an eyeful of their hideous naked bodies mechanically dry humping each other. Even worse, the camera gives us loving close-ups of droopy pockmarked breasts and flabby asses in thongs. The scene is supposed to be both funny and erotic, but it's about as funny and erotic as getting your d*ck slammed in a car door. (I should also point out that one of the musicians is a dead ringer for Weird Al Yankovic, so if you've ever had the desire to see Weird Al get it on, then you might want to check this out)

The last sketch is the sketch that is required in all Groove Tube rip-offs, and that's the news parody segment and like most of the other films Outtakes rips off, this news segment is unmemorable and lame (At least they got something right) and really isn't worth talking about.

Even though Outtakes runs 75 minutes, it still has to pad out the running time with fifteen minutes worth of blackouts with no punchlines, abandoned sketch ideas (truly a shame we'll never see a full length version of I Fart on Your Grave), and footage of a real street performer whose entire shtick is following a person around and imitating the way they walk. One can only hope that this irritating jackass got a steel toed boot planted firmly up his ass one day.

Oh, I almost forgot about the commercial parodies. Usually the commercial parodies are the films' best part - sometimes they're the only bright spot in the entire movie. Not so in Outtakes (but in this movie it's hard to pick out a bright spot when everything gets progressively worse as it goes along. Hell, even the closing credits manage to be awful.) The commercials run the gamut from pointless gross jokes (A woman in a restaurant has a really bloody period, people throw up over it, then it ends) to moronically predictable (one is advertising chili.)

To use this space below to rant about this film's extreme levels of badness would be redundant. So I'm just going to rant about the films talentless director, Jack M. Sell. Despite his apparent lack of filmmaking ability, I counted his name over ten times in the closing credits. Not only did he direct, he also wrote the screenplay and the awful score, and he edited and acted. It's amazing that a person can do so much and be so untalented in all of them. But his acting has to be the worst out of all of them. Whether he's sticking his smug puffy face in front of the camera, or calling a real woman (who's auditioning for a commercial) a "stupid c*nt", you just want to beat his squishy little head in with a pillowcase filled with copies of his hemorrhage-inducing film. (Oh, the irony.)

But I will give credit to Forrest Tucker, who is likable in his nothing role and does try to give a little life to the preceding, and there is one (unintentionally) funny moment, and that's seeing an extra wearing one of those "Choose Life" T-shirts from that Wham video.

Outtakes is the cinematic equivalent of a slow nine year old who wont stop making fart noises under his armpit, annoying and unfunny. Even at 75 minutes, this feels twice as long as Titanic (and twice as painful). Avoid this like you would avoid a porno flick starring Rip Taylor.

UPDATE: Reader Jeff Sparkman alerted me about Jack Sell himself hawking the DVD(!) for this movie on Ebay, and mentioning this review in his description. Intrigued, I checked it out myself. Here is an excerpt from the review:

"FINALLY, has 2 "Sexy Ladies are Mad for Nags" (sic)  internet site that was set up just so they could write the most nasty & funniest review I've ever read about our starts: "EDITOR'S NOTE: Several years ago, before starting this web page, I had one of the worst experiences of my life. An experience that haunts me even today...that experience was watching 'OUTTAKES.' When I started this page, I knew I'd have to let people know just how bad it was, to save them from potential hell. But, I could not rent the movie again, to relive the nightmare. (So, she got one of her feminist friends to do it!) Michael Sullivan writes: "Hey, I have an idea. Let's take a trip into the very depths of Comedy Hell...and enter the ninth circle of comedic hell, 'Outtakes.' There are certain images in films that will haunt me for the rest of my days...a quartet of musicians warm up to play the execrable OUTTAKES theme. While they play, their instruments accidently (sic) rip each others clothes off...but it's about as erotic as getting your d***slammed in a car door...truly a shame we'll never see a full length version of (a short sketch) 'I FART ON YOUR GRAVE.' OUTTAKES is the cinematic equivalent of a slow nine year old who won't stop making fart noises under his armpit." Speaking for the producers of this film, we love all the awards and the huge advance from COLUMBIA PICTURES, but these gals website is the BEST!!! Check out the detail and the obsession they have for this movie! (maybe Freud could figure it out for them!) Anyway, We guarantee that "OUTTAKES" will make to you (sic) laugh! GOOD LUCK!

Good luck indeed - you'll need it if you watch this movie. I did send an e-mail to Mr. Sell regarding the obvious errors regular readers of this site will see in the above paragraph, but as of this update I've heard nothing back from him.

UPDATE 2: R. Dolton sent this in:

"Greetings Greywizard. I been visiting your site for the past few years and sent maybe 2 or three letters before.

"I am not sure why but for some reason I decided to google Jack M sell. From what I've read his movies seem to be train wrecks caught on film. I've never seen any of his films and really don't want to spend the money to order to them online. Just to see how bad they truly are. The first site listed was an official site. He now teaches a filmmaking camp for young indie filmmakers in FL.

"I just thought you might like to know there are indeed More outtakes. The sequel to "the film that almost every Frat House in the country has been watching for years"

"Now I am not a sadist suggesting you review it and suffer the pain. Just thought people might be interested to learn there's a sequel to a film they never head of. Anyways keep up the good work."

UPDATE 3: Daren Mullins e-mailed me with this:

"I remember when Jack and his wife Edie were making this film at Lake Point Tower in Chicago. They were basically grabbing anyone to be in the movie. A guy I worked with at the health club there at the time played Eddie Murphy and a girl I was dating had some role in it...maybe Marilyn Monroe or something. Anyway I googled the movie because it had to be the worst movie ever and it appears you agree."

UPDATE 4: "Anthony" sent this in:

"I was the guy you referred to as the Weird Al Yankovic dead ringer in the musician scene of Outtakes.   Here is an interesting fact about my part in the movie.   I was promised $250 for filming at Lake Point Tower in Chicago and another $250 if the movie was ever produced.   I never received  a cent for my part and my name did not appear in the credits (which is probably a good thing).   It has been a source of amusement through the years for me and my friends.   I did not however end up as a bathroom attendant.   I'm a retired police officer now.  I have to agree with your assessment of the film, it probably is one of the baddest movies ever."

* Another editor's note: I read a review in Variety several years ago concerning Jack M. Sell's subsequent movie, Deadly Spygames. He actually reused this Santa Claus footage (as a flashback) in this James Bond spoof. The most interesting thing about the review, however, was that the critic though that (aside from the recycling of this footage) it was a pretty good movie.

Check for availability on Amazon (VHS)

See also: Flicks, Prime Time, Viewer Discretion Advised