The Dark Backward (1991)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Dark Backward Photos

Movie Info

A garbage man (Judd Nelson) dreams of working as a stand-up comedian, but can't seem to get a laugh until he grows a third arm out of his back.
R (Brief scenes of bizarre, comic sensuality)
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Columbia Pictures


Judd Nelson
as Marty
Wayne Newton
as Jackie Chrome
Lara Flynn Boyle
as Rosarita
James Caan
as Dr. Scurvy
Rob Lowe
as Dirk
King Moody
as Twinkee Doodle
Carrie Lynn
as Nicolette
Anna Berger
as Mrs. Malt
Tom Hodges
as Marjorie Zipp
Theodocia Goodrich
as Mrs. Bielfuss
Debra Perkins
as Pickles
Charles Knapp
as Sloppy
Charles Winkler
as Dirk Delta's Assistant
Landon Godfrey
as Unfamiliar Waitress
Robert Gannaway
as Denny Ginkle
Scott Goldman
as Mouseman
Adam Rifkin
as Rufus Bing
Marc Decker
as Barber
Ingrid Rifkin
as Cigarette Girl
Elizabeth Sokol
as Lady Wrapped in Gauze
Steve Bing
as Basketball Player
Tony Markes
as Muscle Man
Jason Logan
as Man Behind Counter
Milicia Kastner
as Dirk's Babe
Libby White-Cooper
as Dirk's Babe
Tony Cox
as Human Xylophone
Tanya Banks
as Human Xylophone
Cindy Sorenson
as Human Xylophone
Arturo Gil
as Human Xylophone
John Hayden
as Human Xylophone
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for The Dark Backward

All Critics (11)

just too off-putting

Full Review… | August 22, 2007

Odd and twisted, The Dark Backward has plenty to thrill admirers of ugliness and enough food for thought to interest the rest of us too.

August 20, 2007
Apollo Guide

A seriously weird, seriously cool surreal black comedy.

Full Review… | April 8, 2007

Strange and hilarious

April 23, 2004
Lawrence Journal-World

One word: crap.

September 1, 2003
Aisle Seat

Really strange. Really bad

August 26, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for The Dark Backward


A spectacularly unfunny comedian finally find success--sort of--when an arm begins growing out of his back. Bizarre, hard-hearted black comedy in the spirit of John Waters. Form follows plot premise: if you can't be funny, you can at least be grotesque enough so people won't be able to look away.

Greg S
Greg S

Super Reviewer


A dark comedy for fans of the bizarre.

Anthony Valletta
Anthony Valletta

Super Reviewer

Judd Nelson is Marty, a garbage collector (or sanitation engineer, whichever you prefer) who moonlights as a stand-up comedian. Bill Paxton is a true sleaze-ball of a friend/agent that decides exploiting a third arm that has grown out of Marty's back is a sure shot way to achieving stardom. The dude has a third arm growing out of his back and that's not even the main part of the plot. This is a truly bizarre movie with Judd Neslon in a role like most have never seen him in. I really hate comparing to other films, but the easiest way to describe it is the dark surrealism of Naked Lunch with the dark humor of The King Of Comedy. If there was ever a film developed solely for a cult audience, it's this one. Sometimes that's a good thing, sometimes it's a bad thing. I hated this movie the first time seeing it. The next evening, I watched it again. Photobucket

El Hombre Invisible
El Hombre Invisible

Super Reviewer

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