Piggish Hollywood on Trial in Exhibit A Prince of Swine

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Prince of Swine
Directed by Mark Toma
Guerrilla War Productions
Opens September 16, Village East

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Mark Toma adapts his own Off Broadway play, the events of which are set in motion when a rampantly misogynistic producer, foamingly played by John Klemantaski, sues a ditz actress for defamation after she rejects his advances at one of his house-party orgies and spouts off to the media. An idealistic attorney (Nell Ruttledge) represents the aggrieved actress, teaming on the case—and in bed—with a disgruntled ex-employee of the producer's legal representation, played by Toma himself. Toma's peevish voice and considerable lack of screen charisma could only be excused as an attempt to make the rest of his cast look better, though even then it'd be a vain effort. A parade of toxic Tinseltown cartoons—lisping agent, hyperactive gum-cracking nymphet, Brit gossip journalists—and much profoundly unerotic coupling (including curiously lingering scenes of Klemantaski's producer abusing prostitutes and models) fills most of the runtime, in a production noteworthy for its addiction to unmotivated cutaways and the worst sound design you'll ever hear in a theatrical release. A pretend poison pen letter to Hollywood sleaze and excess, Prince of Swine is in fact Toma's application to join the club—hopefully denied.

 
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