American Movie (1999)

Mark Borchardt is a man who dreams of being a horror filmmaker. We follow him during his misadventures while making Coven (bizarrely mispronounced as co-ven). Along the way, he drags his friends and family through the literal mud while trying to realize his dream.

Mark is unshakable. Nothing slows him down, from his complete lack of experience to injuring his costars or desperately trying to squeeze financing and voiceover work from his aging uncle. He is also supremely unlikable. Luckily, we have Mark Schank to balance things out. You can’t help but root for the recovering addict (and perpetually drowsy) Schank as he loyally sticks by his friend and helps him along the way.

This character study manages to be both funny and tragic. Few documentaries reach cult status, but American Movie deservedly joins our ranks.

Directed by Chris Smith.
Starring Mark Borchardt and Mark Schank.
107 Minutes – Rated R

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