Adam Rifkin’s (maybe I should say Herbert Blount’s) Director’s Cut is a twisted horror-comedy.

Written and narrated by comedian and magician Penn Jillette (of Penn & Teller), the film has a biting wit that is reminiscent of Jillette poking holes in popular topics and movements on his Showtime series Bullshit!

Jillette plays movie buff Herbert Blount, who is obsessed with actress Missi Pyle (playing herself). To get close to Pyle, Blount donates to a crowd funding campaign and earns a spot on the set of her film Knocked Off, a cop drama directed by Rifkin (also playing himself). After filming Pyle on and off set, Blount kidnaps her and steals Knocked Off footage to splice it all together and make his own amateur director’s cut, including scenes he forces Pyle to act in.

Blount also includes his own director’s commentary, which exposes the lazy writing, product placement, cliché plot points and insults to a viewer’s intelligence we’ve all seen in similar suspense shows.

Of course, he also obsesses over Pyle in the commentary, even fast forwarding through scenes she’s not in.

Rifkin’s movie in the movie, Knocked Off, stars Pyle as a hard-hitting FBI agent teaming up with local two cops to stop a serial killer, who is taking cues from famous killers of the past like Albert Fish and Charles Whitman. But it’s only Blount’s version we see in Director’s Cut. Who knows? Maybe there will be a special edition Blu-ray with both films.

Director’s Cut was a great way to kick off the 2016 Slamdance Film Festival.

It’s funny, innovative and pretty disturbing. Oh, and Teller’s in it, too.

Three Stars