Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Troy Duffy is a cunt. Just watch Overnight. In it he bullies film executives, record producers, band members and friends. He’s a colossal prick. But even worse than this, he thinks he’s some sort of genius. He thinks he’s a great musician and filmmaker.

Validating Duffy’s delusion is the fact that Miramax buys his script for The Boondock Saints. Thinking he’s the next Tarantino, they give him $300,000 for the script, they hand him the reigns to direct the movie (with a $15m budget), they allow him to produce the soundtrack with his band, he gets to approve casting and is allowed final cut, and the final part of the deal is that Miramax will buy his bar (prior to getting into film, he’s a bartender and bouncer), which he and Harvey Weinstein will co-own. It’s a great deal. It’s an amazing deal. It’s a deal that’s out of this world. Only a moron could fuck it up.

Well, Troy Duffy is that moron. Given this great deal, he proceeds to abuse and alienate everyone around him. So much so that a film that initially starts out as a loving document to his talents ends up being a character assassination.

One of the first things we hear from Duffy’s lips is that friendship is the most important thing in the world to him. Therefore one could assume that, despite the rough edges, he’s an honourable guy. Nothing could be further from the truth. In one ball-shriving scene he refuses to pay his friends who had operated for a long time as the managers of his band. He says they don’t deserve any money. His friends then point out all the time they spent managing the band – all the effort they put into it. Duffy then changes his mind and says that they do deserve the money. But at the same time he says he’s still not going to give it to them. This he says to people who are in financial problems because of him. People who have broken their back for him. And then he has this to say to one of them: ‘I don’t care how you feel. Fuck you!’ What a cunt.

But this actually isn’t the first record deal that The Brood receive (yes, that’s the ridiculous name of Duffy’s band). Earlier on Maverick Records sign them up sight unseen. But just when you’re slapping your head at the stupidity of Madonna’s label, Duffy fucks up and pisses them off. He then rants and raves and says the label is scared. He says they’re scared of how good the The Brood are. What the fuck? If Duffy is right then he’s saying that the label are scared of making shitloads of money? Yeah, makes perfect sense.

But eventually the band get signed to Atlantic Records, which leads to the argument over money with the former band managers (who, incidentally, are the makers of this documentary). The moment when the band is signing their contract and receiving their money in cash is pathetic. They’re like dogs begging for scraps.

But thankfully the album has a happy ending. Despite proclaiming that, ‘This group, I believe, has more potential to put more creativity on the table than probably any other seven men in the history of this fucking town’, Duffy’s band only sells 690 copies…after being in stores for six months!

And yet earlier in the film, when they’re recording, Duffy wonders why his fellow band members haven’t been coming up to him and shaking his hand for securing the deal. He even says that the album isn’t a group effort. He says it’s all down to him – without him, there’s nothing. So surely that means that the album’s failure is his and his alone? Maybe his fellow band members should line up and take turns punching him in the face.

But Duffy’s film fares just as well as his album. It’s dumped in five theatres for one week and makes $25,000. It’s pathetic even for Duffy.

However, I’m sure Duffy would have lots of explanations for this. You see, after getting a great deal with Miramax, he proceeds to piss them off to such an extent with his bitching and moaning and ridiculous demands that they pull out. Therefore the film is financed independently. Of course this doesn’t concern Duffy, who says that when the film is made and Miramax want back in, they can pay their way back in. But when it comes to selling the film, nobody wants a part of it. Most of the time I’d be appalled that a filmmaker could be blacklisted and that the industry would conspire against him, but here it makes me happy. Duffy is man who was given a great chance to prove himself. All he had to do was shut his fucking mouth and get on with things. Instead he acted like an arsehole and tried to throw his weight around. Hell, at one point, before he’s even shot a foot of film or recorded one note of his album, he says that he’s gone straight from a bartender and surpassed everyone – he’s already right at the top. Only an idiot could think that way – don’t you have to have produced something first to be at the top? Therefore the film’s awful distribution deal had me grinning like a loon.

I’m also kind of amused by the way the makers of the documentary try and fuck Duffy over. In one scene we see Duffy bemoan his ability to find a decent girl – he just wants to find a nice girl he can settle down with. We then cut to some sleazy footage of a drunk Duffy getting girls to show him their tits. The film never tries to be objective and is all the more entertaining for it.

Unfortunately, though, there is a black cloud that hangs over me. The Boondock Saints became a cult hit. There are many people who love it (fuck knows why – it’s awful). But just when I feel low I remember that Duffy isn’t a profit participant in the cable and DVD sales – he just got a lump sum of money. Therefore Duffy doesn’t make a cent out of the film’s success in the home market. How brilliant is that? Other people are making money out of this guy’s shitty film. And even better than that, we find out that Duffy spent all his money – the final image is of a bald Duffy lying on the sidewalk outside his bar. It’s true, Hollywood stories do always have a happy ending.

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