Take a Drink: for every Film Noir trope
Take a Drink: whenever you think of Brock Sampson
Take a Drink: whenever Warburton busts off his shirt
Take a Drink: for “Mom”
Take a Drink: for every tantrum
Do a Shot: for nudity
By: Henry J. Fromage (Three Beers) –
If you’ve watched pretty much any animated series even halfway marketed towards adults in the last couple of decades, you’ve heard the deep masculine rumble of Patrick Warburton’s voice. He’s The Tick, he’s Joe Swanson, Brock Motherfucking Sampson.
That’s his actual middle name
Unlike a lot of animation voice actors, though, Warburton actually looks like the type of person his voice would come out of.
Hide your mothers, is what I’m saying.
Strangely, he hasn’t landed many live-action lead roles in his career, but as The Woman Chaser proves, he’s just as adept at portraying real-life alpha males. In it he’s a 1950s used car salesman/small-time con man who decides he’s going to make a movie, and gets his milquetoast father-in-law to help bankroll it and pitch it to studios. It gets made, but things start going south soon afterwards.
Director Robinson Devor wasn’t working with much of a budget, but he has a vision, and delivers on it. The Woman Chaser looks and feels like a classic Noir film, and has great fun both mimicking and satirizing its tropes and rhythms, from the ever-present hardboiled voiceover to the shadowy cinematography and straight-shooting characters. Warburton’s film within a film takes it even further. A Wages of Fear-style “important movie” addressing “the human condition”, it’s about a truck driver who runs over a little girl and is chased and finally murdered by an angry mob, and full of Dutch angles and similar pretentious touches.
Just because Citizen Kane did doesn’t mean you should.
It’s a bad parody of an existential arthouse drama nestled inside a good parody of an existential arthouse drama, reinforcing the latter’s themes and driving a lot of its comedy. The Woman Chaser is quite funny, full of bizarre non sequiturs and that effective satire, which lampoons not only film noir and “issues films”, bu the entire moviemaking mythos itself. Here studio interference and directorial hubris are presented as equally idiotic, and Warburton through his cocksure, delusional character work also comments on the idiocy of the hypermasculine Type-A male personality as a whole.
Some of the comic bits are Adult Swim-level strange, and do make for an odd tonal mix with the more uniform satire surrounding them.
I don’t remember elder mammaries in the last Noir flick I saw…
The pacing of the beginning is a bit slow, too, but worth the wait until Warburton gets moving on his film. Also, the production values are sometimes wonky. I know that’s kind of the point, but it’s also sometimes an excuse.
The Woman Chaser is a very unique send-up of filmmaking and the creative process with a bravura central performance by national treasure Patrick Warburton.