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Nolan's Pop Culture ReviewIndie Film: Larry and Burt's Gut Rot
POSTED BY NOLAN B. CANOVA, February 4, 2011    Share

Larry and Burt's Gut Rot
Tagline: Their lives are worse than yours.
6-Episode Online Web Series
Substance Productions
Toronto, Canada
Available for viewing here and here.

Larry: Brett Butler
Burt: Jason Butler
Ruth: Melyssa Burke
Theme: David Ward
Add'l music: Ryan Noel
Animations: Dani Alon

Brett and Jason Butler are two talented and ambitious young indie filmmakers from Toronto, Canada that struck up an email correspondence with me some years ago and I've been following their pursuits in that time. They've been working on Larry and Burt's Gut Rot for a while and I could've sworn I'd already reviewed at least one of these episodes in the section formerly known as It Came From The PO Box. After searching, I discovered it was actually another of their earlier films I reviewed, Confusions of an Unmarried Couple. That said, I think I must've confused any Larry & Burt review with our private email exchanges where I included my personal reviews. I'm going to right that oversight right now.

Larry and Burt's Gut Rot consists of six online episodes (or "webisodes" as we say here), roughly ten minutes each, where our boys Larry (Brett Butler) and his brother Burt (Jason Butler) struggle to survive their low-end jobs, ill-forged rackets, and troublesome love lives with often hilarious results. They appear to live in the same apartment building, but in separate apartments on different floors. I can identify with the "Joe 6-Pack" approach to all the videos.

Common to all episodes: A '70s-sounding rock-style opening/closing theme (very cool), lots of profanity and vulgarity, Larry's carping about his pizza-delivery job (he keeps a notebook handy to comment on all his irritating customers), clever animations (including talking turds--more funny than gross, don't worry), and weirdly, a funny pseudo-commercial break for "Upper Crust Pizza" that features a Charlie's Angels bumper motif(!) and also happens to star Larry.

There's a low-budget, existing-light quality to the videos (interior shots are always orangy-yellowish, outdoors shots fare a little better), but the image is sharp. In some scenes, it's more obvious they're native Canadians--there's snow on the ground and they're wearing short-sleeve shirts!

Here are some webisode highlights:

Episode 1: "Pizza Driver, Raging Fool"
Synopsis: Meet Larry as he deals with more than just the pressures of delivering pizza on time and his brother Burt who uses his barely adequate math skills for more than trying to get a job.

Mostly Larry philosiphizing about his dead-end pizza job (and "coming home feeling like the devil's asshole"). Love the use of music and animations. Burt's introduced near the end in a suit being interviewed by several job prospects and we see through quick cuts getting rejected every time (favorite line: "We can tell from your resumé you have a really, really small penis.").

Episode 2: "Pornographic Delusions"
Synopsis: Larry and Burt deal with dirty money and the idea of making babies (not with each other). Do you like porno? Don't answer that.

Larry's first customer (Ryan Noel) invites him in and, on the couch, starts making what looks almost like sexual advances. But what he actually does is starts asking uncomfortable sexual questions (ergo, the "Do you like porno? Don't answer that" reference).

Episode 3: "Dial-A-C*ckblock"
Synopsis: Burt interrupts Larry's coitus with harrassing phone calls.

As Larry is doing his girlfriend (while still wearing his glasses) Burt calls. And calls. And calls. Exasperated, Larry runs downstairs to confront Burt over ruining his "dick tempo". Later (and unrelated), Larry attempts to deliver pizza to a non-existent address and fumes about it.

Episode 4: "Talking Sh*t"
Synopsis: Larry and Burt take a step into the seedy underbelly of the very slightly underground to try and make some money. Ruth is suspicious about Larry's cash.

An old second-hand chair the boys have been trying to sell for at least two episodes (their "used furniture" racket) finally attracts some interested buyers. Larry, acting as a "plant" nearly screws the deal by outbidding the couple, but wins in the end by getting $75 for a $20 chair. The Upper Crust pizza "commercial" in this episode was a stand-out, featuring a hot girl doing hip-hop.

Episode 5: "Street-Fightin' Men"
Synopsis: Larry and Burt continue on their downward spiral. Their used furniture racket just might spark international warfare and the streets they travel on will never be the same.

The boys spot a sofa on roadside they want to pick up for their "business", but two others beat them to it. Fighting ensues. Still later, Burt is on a couch wearing some sort of Egyptian toga talking to nobody in particular about his glorious Egyptian history. Not sure I got this part.

Episode 6: "Happy Endings"
Synopsis: Larry and Burt are caught in the middle of stealing, dealing, wheeling and peeling.

Larry faces the camera and shoots off a litany of what he hates about his pizza job (in fact, I can identify with a lot of his complaints). Later, our heroes spot the Queen Anne sofa they lost two episodes ago on somebody's porch, and stage a heist for their "used furniture business".

Burt appears to be engaged in sex, but a reverse angle reveals it's just his pillow he's talking dirty to. Larry, awakened from a dream by his girlfriend, Ruth, who wants to know where the Queen Anne sofa came from, saying "looks like something the Queen got fingered on". Then announces she's pregnant.


I should note that for this review, I left out some of the more ribald situations and fecal humor so as not to offend the more sensitive among you. But if you're in the mood for beer-chugging vulgar humor, profanity, and how its applied to these everyday guys' situations, by all means give Larry and Burt's Gut Rot a view. My north-of-the-border buds Jason and Brett Butler have been award-winners at film festivals for their past works and I wish them luck with this latest outing.

"Nolan's Pop Culture Review" is ©2011 by Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2011 by Nolan B. Canova.

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