Picks and Pans Review: Cecil B. Demented

updated 08/21/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/21/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Melanie Griffith; Stephen Dorff

A slightly over-the-hill Hollywood actress (Griffith, showing some of the slow-mo comic delivery that made her a star) comes to Baltimore to promote a film. A guerrilla director (Dorff), sworn enemy of the big studios, kidnaps her and puts her in his underground movie. Handheld cameras at the ready, he sends her into a local theater, where she waves a gun and disrupts Robin Williams's Patch Adams. The mayhem escalates until the daily "shoots" become literal exchanges of bullets with the cops.

As a director who has raised crude amateur moviemaking to an art (sort of), John Waters (Hairspray) is entitled to turn self-reverential. But Demented is just self-defeating: loud, ugly and, except for its running mockery of Patch Adams, unfunny. (R)

Bottom Line: De worst

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