Let’s just get this out there at the start: Offer Schlomi, aka Vince Offer, aka Vince from Shamwow, directed and co-wrote a film starring Michelle Rodriguez, Rob Schneider, Lindsay Lohan, and Adrien Brody, and that film has found a distributor. I’m passing out this article next time I hear someone complain about the economy.
The infamous omnibus film “InAPPropriate Comedy” — the brainchild of “ShamWow!” impresario Vince Offer — will get a theatrical release courtesy of Freestyle Releasing, which has picked up North American rights to the project. The company will also release the film on DVD and VOD through its Freestyle Digital Media.
I can’t find anything written about this project that gives some clue as to why it has “APP” capitalized in the middle of the title – is it a play on words? Is the movie about iPhone apps? Appetizers? – but that’s exactly the kind of out-of-the-box comedic thinking that got Rob Schneider where he is today.
Lindsay Lohan, Michelle Rodriguez, Rob Schneider and Adrien Brody are the most high-profile stars that appear in the series of sketches that make up the film. Offer directed and co-wrote the script with Ari Shaffir and Ken Pringle. Robert B. Shapiro produced along with Ken Pringle for Square One Entertainment.
“‘InAPPropriate Comedy’ totally delivers to the ‘Jackass’ and ‘Borat’ audience,” said Freestyle co-president Susan Jackson. “We are also delighted to be working with director Vince Offer, whose experience and following from his remarkable direct marketing successes will prove invaluable to the promotion of the film.” [Indiewire]
I like to imagine Chris Pontius looked up from a freshly-chugged pint glass of horse semen and said, “Hey hey hey, you leave us out of this, we have a little something called integrity.”
Interestingly enough, this isn’t a departure for the Shamwow Guy, it’s actually a return to his roots.
Vince Offer wrote, directed, and starred in a 1999 movie called The Underground Comedy Movie, which was a sketch comedy film. To say that Vince’s movie was panned by critics would be quite an understatement. The New York Times claimed, “The Underground Comedy Movie stands as a monument to ineptitude and self-delusion.” Entertainment Weekly rated the movie an “F” and said of Vince Offer, “He’s got a second grader’s notion of satire.” The public doesn’t seem to like this movie any better than the critics: The average user rating on Netflix is 1.6 (out of 5) and caustic comments like “This movie was by far the worst movie I ever saw” appear with some regularity. [InfomercialHell]
Offer’s unsourced Wikipedia profile also says that the movie bankrupted him and spawned several lawsuits, which sort of makes it sound like the dangerously offensive film it tried to bill itself as in infomercials, until you read on and realize that most of the lawsuits in question were filed by Offer himself:
The film also faced many lawsuits. On September 23, 1998, Vince Offer filed a suit against 20th Century Fox and the co-directors of There’s Something About Mary, Bobby and Peter Farrelly. Offer claimed that 14 scenes in Mary were lifted from his film. The Farrellys released this statement: “We’ve never heard of him, we’ve never heard of his movie, and it’s all a bunch of baloney.”
The case was dismissed with prejudice on a motion for summary judgment by order of the court in 2000, and Twentieth Century Fox was awarded $66,336.92 in attorneys’ fees.
In 2000, Offer successfully sued Anna Nicole Smith for $4 million, claiming that Smith had agreed to be in his movie, but backed out in 1996 over fears that appearing in the movie would be detrimental to her career. Offer won the lawsuit, but the case was settled anyway.
In 2004, Offer sent out a press release through prnewsonline.com announcing his intention to sue the Church of Scientology. In 1997, while production was ongoing, the Church of Scientology had allegedly begun a large-scale smear campaign against Offer and his film (Offer was a Scientologist at the time). The director claimed the Scientologists’ “Celebrity Center” in Hollywood labeled him a “criminal” (based on the rules of Scientology) and threatened his Scientology friends in the movie business with “condemnation” punishment that could be lethal to their careers if they did not write malicious reports against Offer.
Long story short, he sounds like a sane, stable individual. There still isn’t much info out there about InAPPpropriate Comedy, but it seems pretty clear they’re using the same “too-hot-for-TV” marketing strategy that they did with The Underground Comedy:
If they really wanted to use that reverse-psychology advertising method, they’d just play up Offer Schlomi’s association with the Happy Madison crew. “Here’s Vince Offer with Adam Sandler! And Happy Madison is still not producing his movie! Do you know how bad a movie has to be for Happy Madison to disassociate from it?? Seriously, it’s terrible!”