Stag

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Stag

It's Lord Of The Flies by way of Bachelor Party as a vaguely surreal group of Hollywood journeymen (Andrew McCarthy, Mario Van Peebles, Ben Gazzara, William McNamara, Kevin Dillon) and a pair of cinematic newcomers/pop-culture oddities (Talk Soup host John Henson and '80s minor-league diva Taylor Dayne) congregate at John Stockwell's bachelor party for an evening of innocent debauchery. Things go predictably awry, however, when a game of stripper-tossing ends up having tragic consequences. Soon, the group is in turmoil as the men are faced with a dead stripper, her accidentally killed employer, and a series of difficult choices. Stagey, badly written, and mind-numbingly predictable, Stag resembles a clumsy cinematic version of a godforsaken off-Broadway play in which a group of men, each playing an unimaginative archetype recognizable from a host of other direct-to-video features—expect acting-class staples like the blackmailer, the troubled vet, the sleazy politician, the closeted gay man, and the amoral yuppie—screams obscenities at each other for an hour and a half. While the acting is mostly competent if uninspired, Stag boasts a pair of performances that are fascinating in a morbid, campy sort of way. As the tormented gay man, Henson gives a hilariously awful performance that reaches a thrilling nadir when he nobly, tearfully pleads with the other men to understand that closeted gays are, you know, people too, and that you should kinda, you know, let them be. Almost matching Henson in the atrocious-film-debut department is songstress Dayne, who, although wisely bound and gagged throughout most of the film, is given a memorably insane wig-out scene toward the end.

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