Join in the shenanigans in “Stealing Chaplin” from your couch, courtesy of Dreamscape Media.

There are movies that manage to slide under the radar, and then there are movies that are so absolutely bonkers and insane that are based on real events that you can’t possibly imagine them to be real or that you have not heard of them. But that is where sometimes the movies shine. Stealing Chaplin, directed by Paul Tanter (The Nights Before Christmas) and written by and starring Doug Phillips (Ash & Dust) and Simon Phillips (Ash & Dust), is exactly that movie though. It truly is bewildering how someone thought, in real life, this was a good idea, but it brings about one of the most unconventionally funny and absurd movies to be seen and it has to be seen to be believed.

The movie focuses on brothers Cal and Terry (Simon and Doug Phillips, respectively). They’re a pair of conmen. Now it is important to distinguish that they aren’t your Danny Ocean types, they’re more of your Moe, Curly, and Larry types of conmen, just absolutely inept and kind of awful at their jobs. Aside from being some of the worst conmen, they also are under the impression that they have some game when it comes to women, when really these are two of the silliest and most uninteresting people on the planet.

However, what they lack in practically everything they make up in absurdity. Their backs are against the wall as they owe some Las Vegas gangsters $30,000, and the person they owe is no longer with the living. Who took over the debt wants their money and they can owe the gangster a few favours for an extension. So what do Cal and Terry decide to do? Steal Charlie Caplin’s corpse to hold ransom to sell to Hollywood. Who in Hollywood? All of Hollywood. It is so absurd and ridiculous and over-the-top that while it shouldn’t work and should be a reality show hosted by Pierce Brosnan (Black Adam) to juxtapose his current show about the world’s greatest heists entitled World’s Stupidest Heists, somehow, through their loveable ineptitude, you’re rooting for them to not be offed, but want to know what the hell they’re going to do with the body of Charlie Chaplin. It truly is a comedy of errors.

I was lucky enough to get a retail copy of Stealing Chaplin on DVD from MVD Entertainment and watched the movie at home. The packaging of the movie is very bare bones — there’s no inserts inside the case, it’s a clear disk with the title printed on it similar to the For Your Consideration disks or even those movies you used to be able to get in cereal boxes. When starting the disk, it jumps right to the menu, if we can call it that. There are no options. It literally just says PLAY. That is it. There’re no options for audio or subtitles or anything, just PLAY. With that being said, there is not a singular special feature, not one, which is slightly disappointing. I am never one to sit here and vote in favour of streaming a movie versus owning said movie, but considering that the movie is just one of those “you’ve got to see to believe” kinds of comedies, and there is a complete lack of features, then maybe the digital rental is the right choice.

Available on DVD March 14th, 2023.

For more information or to purchase, head to the official MVD Entertainment Group Stealing Chaplin webpage.


Categories: Home Release, Home Video, Recommendation, Reviews

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