Chubby Rain (1999)
THE DIRECTOR Robert Bowfinger
THE ACTORS Kit Ramsey (Keith Kincaid), Carol Spinelli (Deliah), Daisy Stamford (Candace Kincaid), Tim Slater (Todd Del Monoco)
THE CAUSE Alien Invasion
THE STORY "CIA operative Todd Del Monaco drove his '53 Buick to meet Keith Kincaid. It had rained that day. But was it normal rain? Or was it chubby rain?" - Opening narration
THE RUNDOWN I know what you're thinking. "Ryan, you Adonis-like genius, what could even your razor sharp wit and superior intellect find to say about something as influential and iconic as Robert Bowfinger's Chubby Rain?" It's true, Chubby Rain is such an undisputed and objectively spectacular film that every single person in the world has already seen it and loved it.
No dorm room is complete without that iconic raindrop poster. No minor victory can pass without an utterance of the film's final line, "Gotcha suckers!" Forrest MacNeill gave it an unprecedented 5 and a half stars, Derek Zoolander did an entire clothing line inspired by the film called "Creations from the Planet Neon", Jiminy Glick sang its praises for months, rappers Alpa Chino and MC Gusto put out an entire album of songs dedicated to the film, and Les Grossman has been trying to get a sequel off the ground for years (with TGS star Tracy Jordan in the role of Keith Kincaid due to Kit Ramsey's disappearance following his very public denouncing of Mindhead on Alan Partridge.)
But I just wanted to share my love and admiration for this film, this masterpiece of modern cinema. Robert Bowfinger is one of the great low-budget directors of our time. Oh sure there's greats like Harry Zimm, Harry Penderecki, or Lawrence Woolsey but Bowfinger is the real deal. What do you do if you're a director past his prime with a dynamite script and no budget? You walk right up to an LA producer and inform him that Kit Ramsey, action mega star, is going to star in your movie. You go to Kit Ramsey's house and you get him to sign on right there outside by his limousine and then you go about staging one of the best guerilla film shoots this side of Cecil B. Demented.
I know that even before his disappearance, Kit Ramsey was a bit of a polarizing star. Yes he had that ridiculous outburst on Krysta Kapowski's show where he jumped around like an idiot and proclaimed his love for Sophie Meas, and I know that Expendables sequel with Tugg Speedman and Lucas Lee was just awful. That was no-one's proudest moment. But I ask you to really look at Ramsey's work on this movie. His actions and emotions feel genuine and real. He looks surprised, he looks scared, he doesn't just play a man at the end of his rope trapped in a major conspiracy, he legitimately seems to be one. Kirk Lazaus and Martin Weir combined couldn't deliver a performance with this much genuine emotion.
Ramsey's co-star Daisy Stamford-Grossman also really brings the goods as Keith's wife. She acts her little heart out and this was only her first role! An explanation of her meteoric rise from Ohio yokel fresh-off-the-bus to Hollywood megastar is the stuff of urban legends and nasty rumors but Daisy is a national treasure and there is nowhere that that is more apparent than here.
The action, the terror, the acting, those dynamite special effects, there's very little about this movie that isn't worth seeing. It's amazing how Bowfinger pulled this off with an operating budget of less than $2000, getting Kit to work on spec and using his brother Jif as a stand-in for much of the film to cut down on costs. Bowfinger's career went downhill pretty quickly with the underrated Fake Purse Ninjas and then that weird Sci-Fi thing with Jason Nesmith that tanked. I like to believe that Bowfinger's got a few more hits in him but probably nothing as good as Chubby Rain. He really caught lightning in a bottle with this one.
Chubby Rain is the finest film to ever hit the silver screen. Never before was a movie made that is this good and never again will there be. Of course, you already know that because you've see in. Hell, you're probably watching it right now and if you aren't then you should be. Gotcha suckers!
THE SHILL As if you don't already own a copy of Chubby Rain on DVD, Blu-ray, VHS, Betamax, Laserdisc, HD-DVD, and UMD! Absurd! There is, however, a lesser-known documentary on the making of the film that's worth a watch on DVD or Amazon Instant.
NEXT TIME ON DOOMSDAY REELS "Stoke up the magic in the mountain, and the lady will smile... then watch the swirls that spin so well. "
Discuss this and other Doomsday Reels columns in the forum.