We’ve been here before, kiddos.
Think back to 2019. In March of that year, I ripped off five weeks of pornos from the 70s and 80s and called it Blue March. I knew the only way to follow that up was to feature a movie made by Brad Jones, the Cinema Snob. It was the only fitting tribute I could pay to someone whose content never fails to entertain me. To do that, I had to take a look at his 2012 origin film The Cinema Snob Movie.
Fast forward to nearly 3 years later, I just came off a month full of Tinto Brass movies and I have to figure out how to best follow that up. So it’s to you, Mr. Jones, to step up to the plate once more! Yes, it’s time to take a look at the 2019 sequel Another Cinema Snob Movie.
So, let’s vaguely go back to something I had mentioned in the first movie’s article to help connect the dots between this blog and my enjoyment of the online show The Cinema Snob. I arrived late to the party on the Snob. When I began B-Movie Enema in 2014, I was, and always have been, mostly inspired by the likes of James Rolfe, who is best known as his YouTube character the Angry Video Game Nerd. My secondary inspiration was another YouTube group called RedLetterMedia. I was vaguely aware of the Snob because he’s based out of Illinois, and, being that I’m one state over in Indiana, he’d attend Indiana Comic Con in the first couple years of that show’s existence.
It wasn’t until sometime in 2016, after I had returned to writing this blog, that I watched an episode of the Cinema Snob. I was hooked. I was also very concerned I had, by way of some sort of cosmic osmosis, accidentally ripped off his schtick. But whatever. The point is, he also is someone I watch now religiously and I have seen just about as many of his older stuff dating back however long it was that he started as I could. I’ve also gotten to meet him twice. Once at the 2017 Indy PopCon event and two years later at the 2019 edition of the same event. Both times, he was gracious, very personable, and very pleasant to chat with.
I also, by the complete luck of a friend’s urging that we look at some random movie posters and advertisements found my wife, the Chinese Hercules poster, and a poster for the bizarre, early 80s melodrama Goldengirl. This so happens to be a running joke on the Snob’s show about how it is one of his favorite movies. I purchased the poster for a cool five bucks, and presented it to him at that 2019 show moments later. I think, for that one brief second, I was his hero.
Yeah, if you haven’t noticed by now, I’m a huge fucking nerd, and, of course, I knew this incredibly deep cut joke on his show.
Anyway, in the second half of 2018, he started crowdfunding his sequel film, Another Cinema Snob Movie. When the clarion call went out for the crowd to do the funding, I lucked into being backer #1 on the Indiegogo fundraiser. What does that mean? Absolutely nothing. It only meant that I was dicking around when I should have been working my day job and just so happened to jump onto the campaign right when it went live. (Again, huge fucking nerd here, guys.)
Jones was aiming much bigger this time around. The first movie was smaller, more of an expansion of a couple things – the creation of his character in a dramatized way and playing to some of his most referenced sensibilities (particularly around wanting to make a goofy 70s style action flick, Vincent Dawn/Bruno Mattei, Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, etc.). It feels like the type of movie an internet personality would make for the fans, and that’s what it was. For this sequel, the story would be bigger and encompass much more of a road trip type of feel – especially in the realm of an exploitation thriller type of genre.
As with the passage of time and changes in friends in his life and so forth, some actors from the first film were either not present or recast for the sequel. That’s quite alright. The easiest way to explain why I don’t see any issue with it is because this can be looked at as both a sequel and a standalone movie. Part of that is because I see both the style and the quality of the two movies as being kind of wildly different. There is certainly a much bigger budget feel to the sequel, but the first also has this earnest charm to it as a plucky indie movie.
This movie also has an element where it comments on being an online personality and the slings and arrows that come with it. Considering the year leading up to the making of this movie that swirled around Jones and some of his friends, this movie does pretty much stand in complete alignment with how he has always approached various online controversies and how he navigates that – whether he was directly part of that controversy or not.
As much as I personally hate the term “cancel culture” (mostly because it is often misattributed to things that doesn’t fit what people think that term means), there is a corner of the internet that does seem to lay in wait to find where people slip up or stand with the wrong people or say something awkwardly, or taken into incorrect context, etc. That corner will attack. Sometimes it’s a fellow creator. Sometimes it’s a legion of fans of another creator. Soon, controversy is ginned up. Sometimes some of the controversy is worth discussing. Some other things are a mountain made from a mole hill. I could go on for a long time about parasocial relationships as they relate to online people and how they are often idealized by their viewers.
But! That’s not what we want to do this week. We should probably get a reminder of what happened in that first movie because, well, this movie starts with something that is kind of based on that. How did the previous one end?
Oh yeah! So Craig Golightly, as played by Jones, was trying to get a movie made in Springfield, Illinois. He ran afoul of an uppity group of movie snobs. He created the Cinema Snob, and his alias Vincent Dawn, to infiltrate the group and win over their good graces to make his movie Black Angus which was a blaxploitation movie featuring a hero who was part Truck Turner, part Tony Manaro, part Fred Williamson, and everything I want to see in movie form. However, after finding love and the admiration of the group, soon, members of that movie group started getting killed one by one. It was later discovered that the killer was the son of a director whose movie was panned so badly that the guy killed himself. Now the son took on a revenge plot to kill every uppity movie critic. Craig killed him to end his rampage.
Our sequel begins with the Snob taking a piss on the side of the road. Apparently, there’s been some trouble. He and Neil (in this sequel, played by Rob Walker) are part of a carpool on the road, but they are lost and he’s a bit aggravated by Neil wanting to continue to play a game about clichés in movies. Eventually, he decides to play along to keep the peace. They are currently with two other “new” “friends”, Shelley (Tamara Chambers) and Brycycle (Korey Goodwin). Craig says he hates the cliché of opening credits coming way late after the start of the movie. Neil asks if that’s as bad as no opening credits at all. Brycycle tops them both – an opening scene that happens way later than the actual start of the narrative forcing the audience to wait a long time for the movie to catch up to that moment.
Anyway, one month earlier…
Craig is promoting his movie, The Cinema Snob Movie. The interviewer questions how someone like him could get so popular so fast when he spent 20 years in broadcasting and still works at a small town radio station. The radio host keeps pounding on the fact that Craig makes his living shitting on other people’s movies. So, now that he has his own movie, and his previously made Black Angus (god I wish I could see that movie), what happens if he sucks as a filmmaker?
Craig begins to spiral into a bit of an existential crisis. He meets with his agent who 1) didn’t bother to listen to Craig’s interview on the radio that morning and 2) is in a costume warehouse sniffing the costumes. Craig says he begins to think that maybe being a YouTuber is not exactly a very well-liked profession. After all, the radio host confused him with another YouTuber called the “Everything Is Shitty” guy. Craig really just wants to be a filmmaker but is kind of trapped by his own success as the Snob.
However, there’s no more time to worry about this right now. Craig needs to go wake up perma-slacker Neil so they can get ready to attend the premiere of The Cinema Snob Movie. On the way to the theater, naturally, Neil wants to watch and loudly chuckle at the latest video from the “Everything Is Shitty” guy – much to Craig’s chagrin. Neil hopes one day “Everything Is Shitty” guy will cover their movie. Again, Craig is not happy with the people around him.
Neil asks Craig why he decided to get into being a YouTube creator when he is clearly so unhappy and frustrated. Craig reminds him it was because he needed to raise the funds for Black Angus. Then, when he created the character, infiltrated the film group, and they started dying, he felt it was kind of a waste to stop being the character once he killed the killer. In other words, check out the quick summary a few paragraphs up, but this does work as a funny in-joke that both catches up people who never saw the first one and reminds us that Rob Walker was not the original Neil.
Before the movie premieres, he gets grilled about whether or not he will quit reviewing movies if his movie sucks. He is then asked about allegations made against Neil for how he treated the actors and crew on his previous movie. Craig tries to get the hell off the stage as fast as possible to roll the film and, hopefully, let that speak for itself. The movie recreates some of the scenes of the previous movie… sort of.
We see grungy Craig try to sell his movie to the head of the Springfield Film Society, played by these films’ real world director, Ryan Mitchelle, but… Well, in this movie, he’s treated like a prophesized director that will come and turn into the greatest writer the world has ever seen. He’s treated like a hero by his friends and peers. He decides to join the film group as the Cinema Snob and that they need to take their love of film to outer space. There, they are attacked by a blue-skinned alien version of the killer from the origin story.
The movie ends with movie Craig killing the blue alien version of Detective Adams, him winning the girl, and him saying his new catchphrase, “Cinema Snob for live, muthafucka!”
While I would say this is a resounding success, the audience at the premiere disagrees. Neil tries to win the audience over and asks Craig to go outside. Neil comes out saying he could not win them over. Craig laments that their lives and careers are over. They argue over who should take the credit, the shoddy direction or the bonkers writing. Neil asks why Craig set the movie in outers space. Craig says one of the most true things ever – “Because it’s an internet movie, they ALL go into outer space!”
After a visit with Craig’s agent to try to figure out what to do next…
Craig’s agent tells him the only way to save his career is to reconnect with his father, Stanley. Stanley Golightly was a huge game show producer. In the 90s, Stanley created a decade-long phenomenon of talking dog cop shows. Basically, Stanley Golightly is hot shit and, this whole time, Craig could have asked him for his help to become a filmmaker.
Craig refuses to do this, so the agent opts to send them to a comic con instead to sell the movie and get back into the good graces of the fans. Some people are excited to see the Snob, but Neil just keeps telling everyone to fuck off instead of sign copies of the DVD. Eventually, one super fan of Craig’s shows up, actually buys a copy of the movie, but hangs around awkwardly just staring at the duo.
Craig is then bombarded with a fan he inspired to make her own content on YouTube, Shelley Songs. Craig harumphs and cracks an in-character joke about how she should really be inspired by a real troll critic like Armond White. She laughs, but doesn’t get the joke, admitting that she didn’t understand the reference but the way he said it makes her laugh anyway. Shelly is terminally chipper and happy. She sings songs about, well, anything, as we see a clip of one of her streams of her singing to her cup of coffee.
A second fan shows up – Brycycle. Neil knows Brycycle is also a Twitter controversy survivor. He was a Twitch game streamer. However, Brycycle got brought down a notch after he said that circus freaks don’t deserve rights.
That night, Neil, Craig, and Brycycle go for drinks to commiserate over their current situations. In addition, Shelley is there and has taken the unfortunate advice from Neil to go onto Twitter and proclaim her love of The Last Jedi. She’s utterly destroyed by the online controversy over her comment in a matter of moments. Seeing that the overly happy Shelley is completely deflated by being called an SJW and a snowflake, two terms she has no idea what they mean in the greater online world, Craig decides to have her drink with them and try to cheer her up. He even proposes the idea of their next movie being The Shelley Songs Story in which Shelley needs to go to outer space and save the world.
Neil is not feeling the idea.
Instead, considering Brycycle is a formerly successful streamer and Shelley’s channel is tanking hard, Neil and Craig pitch a series called Life Streaming where two people from opposite worlds come together to find success… and love. However, Shelley’s not into that idea because her mother was the Amazing Armless Woman in the circus, so she hates Brycycle. But the ideas are good and Neil thinks they need to go out to California right now and talk to Stanley Golightly while the iron is hot.
However, Craig isn’t so sure. He’s had more meaningful conversations with his father’s secretary than him. But, Neil needs to get payback for the $30,000 he dumped into post-production for The Cinema Snob Movie. Plus, why not take these two plods they just met to try to help them?
So they are off! Like an internet based Muppet Movie, this newly formed foursome of content creators head west for California.
After running afoul of a random douchebag who wants to race Brycycle to California and being forced off the main highway, the quartet are soon stopped outside cell phone coverage. They get lost in the middle of nowhere. They happen upon a town diner that has a bunch of local hilljack weirdos. They get forced out of the place when Brycycle asks how to get back to the highway so they can get to California.
To try to get directions, they stop at a ranch house outside of town. Here, they meet Earl, the farmer, and his daughter, Virginia (played by Jones’ real life wife, Laura). Upon seeing and hearing the sultry southern drawl of Virginia’s, Craig immediately requests that Neil not fuck her. She will gladly give these out of towners directions to the highway, but, first, she needs help getting her bananas off the refrigerator.
The farmer comes in and asks if they have come in so they can fuck his daughter’s bananas. Just when Craig thinks that Neil is gonna fuck it all up by saying that he’s sort of correct, the farmer recognizes someone… Shelley. Yeah, as it turns out, she does have a fan. Kind of taken by the idea that her online videos aren’t for nothing, she gladly accepts his invite to come out to his pig barn.
There, he teaches Shelley how to slaughter a pig for that night’s dinner.
The farmer and his daughter serve what appear to be pork ribs for dinner. The farmer decides to do the blessing. He prays to President Trump, his lord and savior. Left very disturbed by their day and this situation at the farmer’s house, Craig and Shelley excuse themselves. While outside, they say nice things to each other to cheer themselves up. They hear noises from the pig barn. They realize the ribs being eaten for dinner are from three young girls being held hostage.
The farmer takes the four of them out to the barn to kill them for their next meal. However, Neil, to no one’s knowledge, has brought a gun. He shoots the farmer and they go back to the town diner, but Virginia comes in and says they killed her paw, and they get run out of town. They lose the hilljacks and sleep on the side of the road.
However, when they wake up the next morning, the van won’t start, so the gang is in for yet another shitty fucking day. They walk along and find a food stand. Craig is hungry after all, but the food stand is run by Bally Joe and he sells goat balls. Shelley thinks that it might be a good idea to start a new streaming schtick where she reviews food. However, she remembers she’s a vegetarian so it’s up to Craig to take a ball for the team.
Thankfully, Bally Joe has a pair of jumper cables up at the museum he runs down the road from them. He can help get their van restarted so they can get back on the road. What kind of museum does he run? Oh, it’s for clowns. I’m sure that’s going to go over well.
They go to the museum, where only Craig and Shelley enter with Bally Joe. Neil hates clowns. Brycycle hates circus freaks. When they go inside, they get a real taste for what goes on in this small town clown museum that definitely doesn’t feature real people forced to be clowns at all.
Bally Joe explains that his museum sustains the town’s economy. Bally Joe explains that one clown, Bobo, used to be a clown who did children’s parties. He went crazy after so many kids heckled him that he used a stapler to staple their mouths shut and then eat their voice boxes. Another clown, Chuckles, hates film critics. Craig says he knows these clowns on stage that Bally Joe talks about are real serial killers because of all the movies he’s seen over the years even though Shelley refuses to believe it.
Sure enough, the clowns attack, and Bally Joe uses silly string to knock Shelley out. Craig escapes the clowns because their shock collars don’t let them get too far from the stage before stopping them. Craig runs outside to get Brycycle and Neil so they can go in, deal with the clowns and Bally Joe, and save Shelley.
The plan, as devised by Craig, is to back into the museum and talk a bunch of shit to clowns.
They realize that it would be too redundant for this town to have another group of cannibals so it’s not likely they are going to eat Shelley. That leaves only one possible result. They are going to turn Shelley into a clown and make her part of the attraction.
As it turns out, the town uses the human meat from the farmer to help keep the clowns under Bally Joe’s control, or so they think. It is important that the human meat keeps the clowns mean and willing to kill outsiders, but it’s the collars that turn them into clowns. As much as it seems that Shelley wants to be freed and returned to her old life as a singing YouTuber, she’s actually being controlled by the collar and attacks before running off.
Craig distracts the clowns while Brycycle and Neil try to hack the collars to free the clowns from Bally Joe’s control. Craig is cornered by some clowns, Shelley, Bally Joe, the town sheriff, and Virginia. Bally Joe explains an important lesson to Craig – when he steps outside the comfort zone of his fans, the world will eat him alive. Apparently, that’s what they plan to do to Craig. Neil and Brycycle free the clowns and escape as the clowns attack Bally Joe and the sheriff. Virginia runs outside and wants to kill the four of them with her chainsaw. However, that random road race guy from earlier shows up and guns her down with a machine gun.
Time for the third act break up cliché of the movie. Craig’s agent gets drunk and calls Neil to say Craig is planning to hire a different director for his next movie. Shelley learns that her and Craig’s ball eating video has been removed because it ripped off someone else’s video and it got reported. Craig’s agent then calls Brycycle to say that Shelley reported his Twitch stream and got him into the trouble he’s been in lately.
Brycycle leaves with one of the recently freed clowns. Shelley wants only to keep driving toward California and to not stop anymore. However, in order for them to get over their problems, they decide to find a place to talk out their problems and everything they’ve been through. This gets them committed in a loony bin. Brycycle ends up there too because he defended himself by beating the shit out of the clown when he tried to eat him. When he dropped the others’ names, they tossed him in the loony bin too.
Luckily, Craig’s father sent someone to pick them up and get them to California.
Stanley Golightly tells Craig that he works in television, of course he knew about the town with the cannibal clowns. He tells him they should have talked to each other more. He could have helped his son, but Craig constantly compromised and it landed him on the internet as a content creator when he could have been more. Craig swallows his pride and says that his debt, Neil’s checkered past as a director, and Shelley’s desire to do something with her voice (not to mention that Brycycle might have killed a clown) has made it so they all really need Stanley’s help.
Stanley says Craig made a movie. That’s something that most people will never be able to do. So what he made a bad movie? He’s gotta keep working at it. Sure, he’ll make some bad movies. It happens. Guess what? Who cares. While Stanley doesn’t know a goddamn thing about the internet, Craig has a whole bunch of talent with what he does and he’ll figure it out.
Craig goes back to his friends and says he doesn’t really know what to do. Brycycle and Shelley apologize to each other for their issues throughout the movie. Stanley’s assistant comes out to offer them a spot on a weekly sitcom. Craig declines and thinks he and Neil need to go back to what they do. Brycycle and Shelley get their own television show.
Before heading back to Illinois, Craig gets a phone call from his agent saying a rich Wall Street guy with terrible taste in movies has $100,000 to give Craig and Neil for whatever movie they want to make. On top of that, that cross country race thing that keeps showing up throughout the movie? They won, and the racing douchebag pays up on the terms of the bet – another $50,000. Everything is coming up Snob.
This is a movie that is made, first and foremost, for the fans of the Cinema Snob. It is very funny if you know the jokes and the insider stuff about the weekly series. How far beyond that it will go is hard to say, but this has a definite cult kitsch potential. Like I mentioned earlier, it is quite different than the first film. In that, it was the Snob of the early years where he was still mostly doing harder edge exploitation and porno reviews. Some of that has lasted in the years since, but Jones has refined the character into something slightly different and a little more far reaching than where he started. Like anything that’s been around for, like, 600+ episodes, it will evolve.
I’m sure a lot of his own frustration with his career as a YouTube content creator that he’s had to deal with over the years was poured into this script. Wondering if the films he made were any good or wondering if he could have done more than just do the weekly show on YouTube, etc., these are probably things that someone who does have a vast knowledge of film of various genres, a sense of humor, and legitimate skill in writing and acting would likely have come up at some point. I’ve been a fan long enough, and have read posts made here or there, or heard things discussed in AMAs or whatever to know that he’s had some cycles of rough patches in his career. Dealing with revolving sets of friends and contributors, dealing with divorce, getting married again, and dealing with online outrage isn’t easy for anyone to deal with.
While he’s always been a gracious person in the interactions I’ve had with him, Jones is maybe letting this movie pull back the cover a little bit on some of the doubts he’s had, as well as the frustration he has had when some of that outrage has lashed out at him, and showing us a slightly darker side to his persona. At the same time, it can still be funny and handled with that giant shit-eating grin of his.
So yeah… This feels like a bit more of a personal project for him, and it’s cool that we got to go along for the literal ride that is Another Cinema Snob Movie. It does not get better from here. Nope. Next week, it’s Billy Ray Cyrus in Radical Jack. Is it a fun bad movie? Is it just a bad movie? Or is it plain fucking dumb? Place your bets, ladies and gents! In the meantime, follow B-Movie Enema on Facebook and Twitter and make sure to subscribe to the B-Movie Enema channel on YouTube to check out the various vids that get posted there.
Until next time, watch out for sexy farmers’ daughters, cannibal clowns, and, if you have to get on the road, maybe don’t ride with the Snob…