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WHATEVER HAPPENED TO MASON REESE? (1990).

Direct from the Beg, Borrow or Steal School of Filmmaking, we have an N.Y.U. student project that slipped into the public eye due to its universally remembered subject matter. Director Brett Ratner's 12-minute production is both extremely slick and silly -- a mostly fictional/partly factual look at the life and times of Mason Reese, that annoying li'l rugrat who sold Underwood Deviled Ham back in the '70s. Utilizing the largest limo in the East Coast (complete with a jacuzzi), we get shots of the real life Mason (who's looking pretty awful, due to health problems) tooling around New York City with a trio of models frolicking with him in the back seat. Michael Anderson (the dancing dwarf from TWIN PEAKS) appears as a lifelong fan of Reese's, who gets to meet his idol when the ego-maniacal Mason visits the sushi restaurant he's employed at, with that chance encounter leading up to a dramatic finale. Besides the jokey little storyline, Ratner incorporates Mason's old commercials, plus a truly pathetic poem Reese read on the old Mike Douglas Show. And for some insane reason Mason's voice has been dubbed by Anthony Michael Hall on helium... The whole endeavor is well crafted, with good use of locations and that immense fuckin' limo. And even the soundtrack is packed with past gems, such as "Boogie Nights", "Shaft" and (how could you forget?) "Short People". Sure, the movie may be short, but it's also quite twisted and winning (not unlike Mason himself).

© 1992 by Steven Puchalski.