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Cecil B. Demented (2000)

tomatometer

52

Average Rating: 5.6/10
Reviews Counted: 79
Fresh: 41 | Rotten: 38

The idea behind John Waters' latest has much potential, but the movie ends up being too sloppy and underdeveloped in terms of script and direction. Also, by today's standards, it fails to shock.

33

Average Rating: 4.4/10
Critic Reviews: 24
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 16

The idea behind John Waters' latest has much potential, but the movie ends up being too sloppy and underdeveloped in terms of script and direction. Also, by today's standards, it fails to shock.

audience

68

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 9,491

My Rating

Movie Info

Iconoclastic satirist John Waters bites the hand that (periodically) feeds him in this humorous look at the underside of the film industry. Self-styled guerrilla filmmaker Cecil (Stephen Dorff) leads a Baltimore movie-making collective/street gang called the Sprocket Holes, which includes Cecil's girlfriend and frequent leading lady, a low-rent porn actress named Cherish Oh Lordy (Alicia Witt). Desperate for attention, they kidnap famous Hollywood actress Honey Whitlock (Melanie Griffith) during

R,

Comedy

John Waters

Jan 23, 2001

Artisan Entertainment - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (103) | Top Critics (30) | Fresh (41) | Rotten (38) | DVD (16)

Barely coherent mishmash.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie has a radical premise ... but pitches it at the level of a very bad sketch on Saturday Night Live.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Waters satire of the film buff and the film industry is warranted and criminally under-appreciated...

May 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Leave it to Waters to find a proper use for Mrs. Johnson-Banderas, whose natural, annoying shrillness is perfect.

January 8, 2010 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

As always, Waters works with an unmistakable affection for even his grubbiest characters.

September 24, 2007 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Takes a potentially fun concept and basically goes nowhere with it.

January 5, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

If you're under 25 and believe in your cute rebel-'til-I-die heart that indie cinema is inherently True ****ing Art that gives the finger to The Man in Hollywood, then Cecil B. Demented may be your masturbatory fantasy.

April 6, 2006 Full Review Source: DVDJournal.com
DVDJournal.com

Waters' pointless and arguably weakest film is a satire of a Holllywood director that's so hermetic and contrived that it hardly has any reason to exist

July 31, 2005 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Mildly scabrous.

May 3, 2005 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness
Lessons of Darkness

Waters may have a budget ($9 million) and real Hollywood stars now, but he's still giving the finger to everything decent with his new film

April 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Of the John Waters films I've seen (and I'll admit my knowledge of his films is limited), I'd say it's the best premise with the poorest execution.

March 18, 2003 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

rather than escalate to new heights of lunacy, the movie begins repeating itself and, after about an hour, wearing out its welcome.

June 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo Gazette

See it for "Cherish Oh Lordy" Waters' best character in years. She gets the movie's two most offensive and funniest scenes.

May 30, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Experience
Film Experience

[John] Waters skewers every aspect of mainstream Hollywood, using the truly demented Demented... as a proxy howl of rage.

October 24, 2001 Full Review Source: Flipside Movie Emporium
Flipside Movie Emporium

There is so little difference between DeMented's point of view and Waters' that one has to wonder what the point was in creating a fictional character.

February 27, 2001 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

I enjoyed the message, but wanted to shoot the messenger.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: BeatBoxBetty.com
BeatBoxBetty.com

A film that's as ill-conceived as the movies it mocks.

January 1, 2000
Reel.com

The film merely stumbles from one scene to the next with little continuity and little invention.

January 1, 2000
Movie Metropolis

Audience Reviews for Cecil B. Demented

Full Of GRACE!
May 7, 2008
RCCLBC
Robert C

Super Reviewer

De-ment-ed For-ev-er!!! I have no clue why people think this is not as good as Waters' other work. So vastly under-rated, waaaay better than Sunset Boulevard or Day of the Locust when it comes to a movie about movies.
April 18, 2008
Stinger839

Super Reviewer

I'll say it: I'm not a big John Waters fan. But I didn't hate this.
December 12, 2007
nuheart
Steve B.

Super Reviewer

Among the better of the over-the-top films that satisfies pubescent angst in the middle-school years of a teenagers life. Sadly, it doesn't amount to much more than that... Which would be exactly what Cecil would have wanted, anyway. Snuff, porn and action movies are the genres of honor here, and they all have their moments of half-parody, half-homage.
March 20, 2007
dhetteix

Super Reviewer

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