Addicted to Fame Movie Review: Overdosing on Anna Nicole Smith
Making a full length feature movie about a movie that's already been made - and long ago relegated to the straight to DVD graveyard - may not sound like the most enticing hook to lure the potato-prone public off their couches and into theaters. But David Giancola and his Anna Nicole Smith vanity production Addicted To Fame is bent on doing just that. As if the last word has not yet been spoken about his magnificent flop - and if he has his way, may never be.
Fanatically into making a sci-fi spoof that would grab attention in a B movie crop already fairly crowded with them, Giancola coaxed Anna Nicole Smith to sign up for his wacky production Illegal Aliens,' in his search for 'a goofy blonde character.' And what would be her last movie just before her death. But in a possible case of inmates taking over the asylum, Smith ended up turning the tables and essentially buying control of the film, impetuous script revisions and all, by investing in it.
Teaming up chaotically with some other selectively assembled bimbos on board, including porn actress Chyna, Smith orders around the filmmakers like demeaned house servants, forgets her own lines that she inserted into the script herself, and at one point ecstatically sticks a giant humming lavender vibrator in her ear. Which is not at all as funny as it may sound, repeatedly crossing that fine line between comedy and cruelty. Think that notorious courtroom video of the dissipated woman child self-destructing on camera in real time just before her death, turned into a full length feature.
Aptly characterized as compulsion cinema as much as a movie within a movie disaster documentary, Addicted To Fame never quite pinpoints who that addict may be. Whether referring to that strictly famous for being famous deceased former Playboy bunny Smith. or maybe the tabloid gorging audience who can never get enough - witness the latest pretty sad headline news about Smith's surviving six year old daughter and apparent potential goldmine Dannielynn, being essentially pimped out by her father Larry Birkhead as a child model.
On the other hand, there's the director of Addicted To Fame himself, who stuck with Smith as the celebrity star of his movie, even as her mental and physical deterioration from drugs on the set accelerated. Kind of like photojournalists notorious for eagerly taking graphic photos of victims gravely wounded or being murdered, and never thinking to drop the camera to help.
So how much are attention addict Giancola and Anna Nicole Smith alike as they weirdly bond away in his movie? Probably enough for a sequel concept. Though Giancola as the last man standing (everybody else either died or left the business) was shrewd enough to fool-proof his production with deliberate self-parody.
And thereby supposedly immunizing his own sense of worth, or not, from any onslaught of public ridicule. A consciously fortified state of mind achieved which Smith, despite appearing to giddily go along with the flow of her own dehumanization as a woman, could not.
To see the trailer of Addicted to Fame:
Prairie Miller is a NY multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio, and on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network's Arts Express. Read more reviews by Prairie Miller. Contact Prairie through NewsBlaze. Read more stories by Prairie Miller.
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