Saturday, April 24, 2010

Midgets vs. Mascots (2009) - Rotten and Possibly Vomit-Inducing

On the Menu: MIDGETS VS. MASCOTS (2009)
Ingredients: Gary Coleman, Brittney Powell, Mark Hapka, Jordan Prentice, Richard Howland, Jason Mewes, Ron Jeremy and Scottie Pippen. Directed by Ron Carlson. Run time: 88 minutes. Rated: R.

At First Bite: Two reasons why I wanted to see this: 1) the title and 2) the back cover of the DVD case mentioned Gary Coleman fighting Scottie Pippen. Seriously, how could I pass it up?

Little man/mascot/porn mogul Big Red Bush (Howland) has passed away. His son, Little Richard, (Hapka) and most-recent wife, Bonnie (Powell), eagerly await the wealth headed their way, but Big Red throws them a curveball by including a challenge in his final wishes.

Little Richard will coach five little people against Bonnie's five mascots. The two teams most complete 30 competitions in 30 days. The competitions include gator wresting, milk chugging and fewest insults to get punched in the face. The winning team takes away $5 million.

Second Helping: The milk-chugging scene still makes me dry heave a little bit.

Tough to Swallow: During an early interview with Jimmy O'Doul, the on-screen title for him reads "Seargent in Arms." It should read "Sergeant-at-Arms."

Gary Coleman is the only "headliner" on the DVD cover to get a lot of screen time. The others listed on the cover are Mewes, Pippen and Jeremy.

I'm disappointed there isn't a commentary or making-of featurette on the DVD.

Something to Chew On: Russell is credited as playing Russell. The actual actor is Jordan Prentice. Prentice was one of the 7 little people who played Howard in HOWARD THE DUCK.

Lemone is credited as playing Lemone, but it's really Nic Novicki.

The song "Champion," which is played over the DVD menu and during the closing credits, is sung by RuPaul. It's the title song on his fourth studio album (released February 24, 2009).

There were a couple of interesting news bits about this movie before the DVD was released. Gary Coleman is upset with producers over a frontal nudity scene he says was unauthorized. He has also said he believes a body double was used for the scene, and the double "is unattractive, and does not make [him] look good." Coleman wants the scene taken out of the movie. If, in fact, it is a body double, I wouldn't be complaining, personally.

Scottie Pippen is also not too happy with the movie. On January 8, 2009, Pippen issued a statement regarding his participation:
“Given the recent controversy surrounding Gary Coleman, the fact that I’ve been repeatedly asked questions about my small part in the movie ‘Midgets vs. Mascots,’ and a related video posted online which shows me being assaulted by a group of Little People, I want to clear up any misunderstandings.

“In 2008, I agreed to play a cameo role in a movie titled ‘A Tribute to Big Red’ (now titled ‘Midgets vs. Mascots’). My role was scripted, and the first two scenes went off without any problems. During the third scene, I was told that four Little People, along with actor Gary Coleman, were going to become angry with something I said and storm off as the scene ends. Instead, they basically attacked me, with Gary Coleman apparently climbing on a chair behind me to hit me over the head with a phone (twice).

“A short fight ensued before I heard the film’s director yell ‘cut.’ As I recall, some of the Little People were laughing as the director explained that the scene was ’sort of like an episode of the TV show Punk’d.’ At that point, I left quickly without a clear understanding of what was going on.

“As for the Little Person who claims he was injured in the attack, I really don’t think I caused the injury or can be held to blame. To the best of my knowledge, there is no action being taken against me, nor am I pursuing any action. For the record, I have never seen the movie and, in hindsight, wish I’d not been involved with it. I simply wanted to make clear my role and position as I understand the movie is coming out soon. I will not be answering any further questions regarding the film.”
The film currently has a 5.6 user rating on (301 votes).

Sides: This DVD has 9 deleted scenes, a "Character Featurettes" featurette (18 minutes), the movie's trailer (poor quality) and 5 other previews.

Aftertaste: The movie is described as a "BORAT-meets-JACKASS shockumentary." It fits the bill. It's rude, crude and politically incorrect. However, it's not as laugh-out-loud as BORAT or JACKASS. Still, it's rather entertaining despite feeling scripted at times. I mean, there's something really funny about Gary Coleman picking fights with normal-sized guys.

I am still confused as to how much of the movie is real. For example, the milk-chugging scene has elements that seem fake. The movie's trivia section on states restaurant goers in that scene were sprayed with vomit and fecal matter, but the producers paid the dry cleaning bills. Were they aware of the movie beforehand? Apparently, the alligator in the gator wrestling challenge is real.

Also, are the statements by Coleman and Pippen just for publicity? It's hard to say. I wouldn't expect Pippen, a Hall of Famer, to fabricate a story, but who knows

I'd also like to know if Mewes was in scenes other than the two in which we actually see him.

A filmmakers' commentary would have been helpful in explaining some of these moments.

I actually enjoyed it more the second time around. The mascot group has the best lines of dialogue, but I'd say the funnier moments include Coleman or the other little people.


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