5.5/10
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45 user 17 critic

The Dark Backward (1991)

R | | Comedy | 9 March 1991 (USA)
A man pursues stand-up comedy encouraged by his fellow garbage man. Though his friend, who accompanies him on accordion, continues to tell him how great he is, he actually stinks. When the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Gus
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Jackie Chrome
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Doctor Scurvy
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Dirk Delta
King Moody ...
...
Kitty
Danny Dayton ...
Syd
Carrie Lynn ...
Nicolette
Anna Berger ...
Mrs. Malt
Lydell M. Cheshier ...
Dexter
Tom Hodges ...
Marjorie Zipp
Theodocia Goodrich ...
Mrs. Bielfuss
Laurianne Jameson ...
Shirley
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Storyline

A man pursues stand-up comedy encouraged by his fellow garbage man. Though his friend, who accompanies him on accordion, continues to tell him how great he is, he actually stinks. When the "comedian" grows a third arm out of his back, the friend uses this twist to get him signed up with a sleazy talent agent, and it begins to look like his career is on the move, even though his girlfriend has left him. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's the world inside out.

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief scenes of bizarre, comic sensuality | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

9 March 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ciemna strona  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Adam Rifkin wrote the screenplay when he was 19 years old. See more »

Quotes

Gus: I will laugh SO hard, my stomach will burst open and spray bile all over the stage!
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Connections

Referenced in Habeas Corpus: The Making of 'Psycho Cop Returns' (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Like a train wreck, I couldn't take my eyes off it!
21 July 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is without a doubt the dirtiest and grimiest looking film that I have ever seen. Its also maybe the strangest thing I have ever laid eyes on. Story is about a truly pathetic excuse for a man named Marty Malt (Judd Nelson) who works as a garbage man during the day but at night he's the worst stand-up comedian and occasionally works in some despicable dives. His co-worker and friend is Gus (Bill Paxton) who eggs him on to keep trying to be a successful comedian. Marty has the hots for a waitress named Rosarita (Lara Flynn Boyle) but is to shy and weird to go for it. One day Gus notices a lump on Marty's back and he goes to see Doctor Scurvy (James Caan) who just puts bandages on it. Soon the lump grows into a third arm and Gus has an idea of Marty putting it into his act while he plays the accordion. Gus introduces Marty to a scummy talent agent named Jackie Chrome (Wayne Newton) and he books them on a local TV show starring Dirk Delta (Rob Lowe). The whole look of this film is dark and filthy. Not dirty, filthy! Its downright gross in some scenes and they usually involve the character Gus. In one scene they find the corpse of a woman at the city dump and Gus decides to lick her breasts! In another scene Gus is having a party with a bunch of incredibly obese women and French kissing them. They're is so much garbage used in this film that its the main focus in the movie. Not the third arm. Is this a good film? God no. Is it interesting? I wouldn't exactly say that. But I would be lying if I said I wasn't morbidly fascinated by it. Directed by Adam Rifkin who did create the atmosphere that he wanted. Its a disgusting one, but he succeeded in how he wanted his film to look. This has "Cult Film" written all over it. If you have a strong stomach and you enjoy cult films than you might want to check this out. For everyone else, your warned!


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