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  • Gravytrain
  • Directed by April Mullen
  • Written by Tim Doiron
  • Starring: Tim Doiron and April Mullen

Silly, without being funny, Gravytrain is a small Canadian film that somehow made its way to the big screen. Made by the same team who created the 2007 mockumentary, Rock, Paper, Scissors: The Way of the Tosser, the new film feels like, at best, a distended TV sketch and at worst like something improvised by middle-school kids with cameras.

The rubber-faced Doiron, who also wrote the juvenile script, stars as a hapless small town cop Chuck Gravytrain, who is trying to catch a serial killer who murdered his policeman dad (Peter Keleghan). Mullen, who directs, plays the pretty, emotionally unstable city-slicker partner, assigned to be Chuck's partner by his dad's old partner (Alan C. Peterson).

What starts as a parody of seventies crime shows with funky guitar and jump-cut editing changes direction in the second half. The story gets eaten by a subplot about an independent filmmaker with an Elvis accent (Ryan Tilley) who casts the cops as actors in his static black-and-white movies.

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The fraction of comic inspiration is employed in bestowing juvenile names on the characters including Uma Booma (Mullin), local brothel-keeper Madame Handelscock (Jennifer Dale) and the filmmaker named Hansel Suppledick.

The cast also includes Saturday Night Live alumnus Tim Meadows as a bartender with a speech impediment named Full Serve and Canadian comic veteran Colin Mochrie, as the town's prostitute-addicted mayor, Chester Chubbins. The only pressing mystery here is how many people failed to say "Stop!" before Gravytrain, in the rough form that it's in, ended up on a movie screen?

Gravytrain runs until April 29 in Toronto, in Montreal May 7 to 13 and in Ottawa on May 8, 11 and 12.

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