The Life and Hard Times of Guy Terrifico

on September 09, 2005 by Kevin Courrier
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"The Life and Hard Times of Guy Terrifico," which won the CITY Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film at the Toronto International Film Festival, gets swallowed up by its own conceits. Michael Mabbott, kneeling at the shrine of "This is Spinal Tap," has created a mockumentary about a Canadian folk hero. Unlike "Spinal Tap," though, Mabbott is so busy mocking Terrifico that you have no clue as to what makes him such a legend.

Conceived as equal mixture Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison and Gram Parsons, Guy Terrifico (Matt Murphy) begins his career as a small-town prairie kid devoted to music, until he wins a bundle of cash. From that point onward, Terrifico becomes an unruly, intoxicated disaster more noted for his escapades than his music. Throughout the picture, Mabbott features interviews with country stars like Kris Kristofferson and Merle Haggard, plus Canadian musicologist Rob Bowman (who does a nifty parody of himself). Unfortunately, they don't add much more than anecdotal observations. The music is also pretty colorless (except when Mabbott sneaks in Terrifico covers of Grateful Dead and Bruce Cockburn songs). "The Life and Hard Times of Guy Terrifico" is basically a one-note wonder. Starring Matt Murphy, Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard, Natalie Redford and Rob Bowman. Directed and written by Michael Mabbott. Produced by Nicholas D. Tabarrok. No distributor set. Mockumentary. Not yet rated. Running time: 86 min

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