Cult Film Club Episode 9: Zero Effect

The Cult Film Club is proud to cap off the Summer 2013 TAG Network crossover event by inviting our first guests, two awesome Classic Film Jerks, into the clubhouse to discuss the 1998 neo-noir flick Zero Effect!  We were graciously invited onto the CFJ show last week to discuss The Maltese Falcon, and so when we had Andrew and Michael in our place we figured what better way to bookend a look at classic noir than with one of our favorite cult mysteries.  Starring Bill Pullman, Ben Stiller, Kim Dickens and Ryan O’Neal, the film centers on Daryl Zero, who is by his own admission the greatest observer the world has ever known.  One part objective observer, one part detective, one part master of disguise, one part deluded rock star, and a full on emotionally damaged, reclusive hermit, Zero (Pullman) is like a modern day Sherlock Holm-body, solving mysteries from inside his hermetically sealed apartment.  But his assistant, Steve Arlo (Stiller), has had enough, and for him the next case will be his last.  That case, the case of the missing tycoon’s keys, proves to be much more complicated than either of them bargained for as they weave their way through a maze of blackmail, revenge, murder, and even a bit of romance.

In the episode we talk about the idea of ditching “who don-its” for “why they did-its”, Pullman’s magnetic and wacky charisma, being famous for marrying a poster model, and the all too certain comeback of the pager.  We take a closer look at the actors and then we all take turns recasting the flick for a more modern audience (and in one case retroactively for an 80s audience!)

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