Starz Inside – In The Gutter (01×07)

Starz continues its original series, Starz Inside, by taking a look at the gross out comedy and its origins in Hollywood after the Production Code started to break down and John Waters got hold of some cameras.

As with all of the Starz Inside products, In The Gutter‘s format is that of critics and artists in a talking head setting talking about the films and subjects brought up as we progress from Pink Flamingos to Superbad teenagers. Problem is the biggest star that Starz was able to snag is Jason Biggs (American Pie) who just tells us some semi-funny anecdotes about having sex with pastries on the set of the film.

The timeline presented begins with the Waters films and evolves through National Lampoon and MAD Magazine‘s rises in print, and eventual movie makings of the former with Animal House, slowly making its way through Porky’s, American Pie, Van Wilder, and the like. Strangely a big amount of time is spent on both Porky’s and American Pie, yet South Park gets two lines of dialog saying how they raised the bar. This shows one of the biggest shortcomings of the special in that the producers couldn’t (or wouldn’t) get the rights to show anything more than the film’s poster. This seems inconsistent throughout as clips from There’s Something About Mary make it into the film, but we’re left with only a single screen grab from Superbad.

The hour is packed with enough gross out jokes, jabs, and humor to clear a room, even the 20 second clip of the infamous Van Wilder donuts scene caused both my girlfriend and I to cover our faces, but that’s exactly what the filmmaker’s were going for when they shot that scene.

As with previous specials in the series it is disappointing that more named talent couldn’t be brought on board, including some writers or directors famous for launching this subgenre of comedy beyond the bounds of good-taste. There isn’t a lot of information here that is new, but you do get probably the world’s easiest compilations of scenes from gross out films to make a entire Scene It! game

Written by Erich Becker
Thirty-something with a love of everything we cover here, and a few things we don't. Erich has run Entertainmentopia since the site's inception in 1999, countless redesigns, a few crashes, and a lot of media later, here you have it!