In her bombastic daydreams, Mel Vitale plays “the hardest-working cunt in show-business,” a scrappy broad stacked with brass balls and blue jokes. Back on our planet, Mel resembles less Joan Rivers and more the demon child of Wednesday Adams and Al Pacino. And her act, which often unravels into the fuck-the-world stylings of an off-his-meds George Carlin, is too dark even for the comic’s comic’s comics that populate the audience at her local open mic. Also not helping are her dad (long gone) and her mom, a hoarder who makes rent by hawking beanie babies on craigslist.
In short, things are looking bad. So bad that Mel even does the unthinkable and hooks up with a hack who actually refers to himself a professional comedian and does a bit about groupies. Before the night is over, she’s cruising at an altitude somewhere south of rock bottom.
True to its title, MUCK evokes the kind of self-loathing that bubbles up of its own accord; it’s hard to contain, impossible to expunge, fated to stain and foul everything around it. Whichever way her story ends, Mel is like a diver jumping ship and cutting her lifeline, taking off on a deep, snorkel-less dive into the smut and grease of the self. -Jonathan Kieran. Starring Tallie Medel. Director/Co-Writer/Producer, Bruce Smolanoff. Co-Writer/Producer, Emilie McDonald. Producer, Caitlin Mae Burke. Director of Photography, Sean Price Williams.