THE CORNDOG MAN

THE CORNDOG MAN
3 Stars
Year Released: 1999
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 83 minutes
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Ace (Noble C. Willingham) is a consummate redneck boat salesman in Bougherville, SC. A boisterous, back-slappin’ good ol’ boy fond of such folksy nuggets as, “You ain’t got enough sense to pour piss out of a boot!” Ace is the top salesman at Triple K Marine. (Think about it.) Or at least he was until an anonymous prank phone caller mercilessly subjects the feisty but hopelessly overmatched huckster to a series of antagonistic phone calls. Playful at first, then growing increasingly obnoxious and finally darkly threatening, the caller (excellently voiced by Jim Holmes) slowly forces Ace to own up to a brutal, long-repressed episode from his past. Director Andrew Shea must be familiar with the infamous “Red” audio tapes, (or Chris Gore’s short film of the same name,) as “The Corndog Man” is essentially the Red tapes with a moral. Noble Willingham occasionally even resembles Lawrence Tierney’s portrayal of the cantankerous Boston bartender driven to sputtering bouts of profanity by his unknown telephone tormentor in those tapes. The difference here is that whereas we never know who Red’s tormentor is, “The Corndog Man” eventually reveals the chilling identity of Ace’s nemesis, providing a logical downward spiral for Willingham’s character. Working as a boat salesman all day and coming home to a houseboat on a swamp for an evening drinking beer and watching fishing shows on TV with your pet guinea pig may not sound like much of a life, but it’s paradise compared to what Ace has in store for him. Though it’s at times as heavy-handed as a corndog’s batter, “The Corndog Man” nonetheless manages to be both amusing and deadly serious at the same time.



Posted on October 18, 1999 in Reviews by
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