In The Mix - Video/DVD

Adam Rifkin is the damned soul who directed Detroit Rock City and scripted the equally wretched Small Soldiers and Zoom. But before Rifkin was the progenitor of worse-than-average studio trash, he was a 24-year-old wunderkind who made the grimy and unusual B-picture The Dark Backward in 1991. The film stars Judd Nelson as Marty Malt, an uncommonly depressing, sub-Pupkin comedian clad in an ill-fitting suit and layers of flop sweat. His best friend is Gus (Bill Paxton), an accordionist who supports Marty’s career while indulging in outrageous acts of perversion. Eventually, Marty grows an arm out of his back and becomes “Desi, the Three-Armed Wonder Comic.” The Dark Backward racks up points for weirdness, but Rifkin can barely shape a scene, and the movie is never as funny as you’d hope.