Directed by: Jonathan Blank
Starring: Albert Hall, Jonathan Penner, Alan Thicke, Jessica Hecht, Matt Winston
This frequently on-target and often very funny film would have been better if it was half as hip as it thinks it is. As it stands, Anarchy TV is still a pretty good indie film -- especially if judged on a sliding scale, which is almost essential when dealing with low-budget efforts of this kind.
Actually, this film is a surprisingly slick-looking throwback to the kind of scattergun satire popularized in the 1970s with movies like The Groove Tube and Kentucky Fried Movie. That also means Anarchy TV moves fast enough that you're apt not to mind its missteps -- something better will be just around the corner.
The story line involves a fundamentalist minister played by Alan Thicke (does Kirk Cameron know about this?), who takes over public-access TV station Channel 69 in order to silence its radical viewpoint. The upshot has the radicals -- including the reverend's own daughter -- barricading themselves in the studio and striking back with increasingly radical programming.
The cast itself makes this movie worth a look: George Wendt, John Waters, Mink Stole, Dr. Timothy Leary and every Zappa child on the face of the Earth show up. When it works, it really works. When it doesn't, the attempt is still worthy.
-- reviewed by Ken Hanke