I’ve watched enough bad movies to have be able define what really makes a bad movie into a Holy Grail of bad movies.
It’s very simple: The fabled and ever-elusive Vanity Film. What’s a vanity film? It’s much more in line with Tommy Wiseau and Neil Breen: A film seemingly created for the sole reason of stroking one’s ego and showcasing all one’s abilitites.
A true vanity film will have a singular voice/vision, with one person being the writer, director and star of a bad movie. That is exactly what Geteven aka Road to Revenge is: John De Hart’s vanity film.
Producer, writer, director, actor John De Hart Esq. has many similarities with both Wiseau and Breen. A self-made man in a different industry/business, who’s always dreamt of making a Hollywood movie. Tommy Wiseau thinks he’s Tennessee Williams and James Dean, Neil Breen thinks he’s Orson Welles, and John De Hart thinks he’s better than both of them.
Not only does he write, direct, and act in the film, also sings, and dances, tells jokes, and recites Shakespeare. He actually “invented” a “dance” in Geteven called The Shimmy and the Slide:
The Shimmy and the Slide is actually a LINE dance, hardly a real dance. Which also begs the question: Why is there so much goddamn line dancing in this movie? It takes place in early 1990’s Los Angeles, and there’s a disgusting amount of cowboys, line dancing, and denim. My god… so, so, SO much denim. The movie really shines whenever De Hart punches something, though:
I cannot stress enough just how much De Hart is in every single facet of this film. De Hart sings multiple songs that are part of the film’s score. At some points he’s giving dialogue over his background singing, creating a cacophony of De Hart. GETEVEN is a true vanity project.
That said, GETEVEN is a rough watch. The first 20 minutes are fine, the last 20 are fine, but everything in between is a giant mess.
Other Notable Moments:
- Police officers wear leather blazers and nondescript black ball caps.
- Wings Hauser is literally drunk or coked out (or both) the entire movie.
- Everyone else in the film “does” things while they say their lines, or “act”… John De Hart cannot multitask at all.
- De Hart REALLY likes hitting punching bags.
- He loves punching punching bags so much that 20 years after the film’s “release” De Hart filmed NEW footage to add into the movie. It’s painfully clear that De Hart ages 20 years for one scene, then de-ages.
- GETEVEN genuinely feels like a personal sizzle reel.
- Multiple times, De Hart tells terrible e-mail chain-letter jokes, but everyone in the movie reacts like they’re HI-larious.
- He’s great with animals, and also a ladies man
- NOT so good at bras though.
- Wings Hauser, even shitfaced, is ten times a better actor than De Hart
- De Hart actually quotes Shakespeare. When in doubt, quote a better writer than you.
- Wings Hauser is actually really good in this.
- Smoking cigarettes at the hospital.
- Nice cameo by Sopranos character Mikey Palmice.
- Can’t help but cringe any time De Hart physically touches anybody.
- Also side note: Bubble Bath sex? Very dangerous
- A Poodle with a black belt eating butter was part of the additional “necessary” footage shot over 20 years later.
- I’m convinced Wings Hauser isn’t even acting in this film. He’s just… talking. It feels like he was going through some real shit in his life at the time.
- Wings has a long wild rant, fully clothed, in a swimming pool. Feels like improv, because the end of the scene just De Hart says “Cool story, btw i’m getting married on Sunday and you’re my best man.”
- De Hart wears a track suit to his wedding, like, he was out jogging and forgot he had to film a scene that day. Forgot his tuxedo costume and just said fuck it and ran to the “set.”
- Most of the budget spent on stock footage and champagne flutes
- He’s a badass, smart, AND sexy detective, with literally the same expressionless face. He’s fucking great at EVERYTHING
- The getting even part only comes in the final 16 mins of the film.
- You could probably just watch the final 20 mins: He falls in love, gets marries, she dies, he gets even. The end.
- He just loves his tapered skinny black tank tops
- He’s immediately disarmed in the big fight, but he seems okay about it? I can’t tell, his face is eternally neutral.
- The most unsatisfying climax: went to villain’s house, killed everyone, walked away.
- There’s an ending scene at Cindy’s grave but it was a fakeout death: she’s alive! Turns out there was no real need to GETEVEN.
- Cindy has a single bandage on her head.
- Wings Hauser was great but I really hope he got some professional help.
“Hey, you remember that girl who ruined our baby sacrifice?”
“I’m bored! Next Scene!”
“I DON’T do drugs. OR worship the devil.”
“What, are you posing for animal crackers?”
“Do that tourniquet thing.”