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John Landis
USA 2004, 86 min.

John Landis, who’s made some of the great American comedies of the last 30 years (Animal House, Trading Places and The Blues Brothers to name a few) makes his first documentary, a peek into the even-sleazier-than-you-imagined world of the car salesman. And there’s no car salesman like Slasher’s “star,” beer-swilling, gravel-voiced Michael Bennett. Shot in Memphis, the film captures the man whose innate talent for creating “slasher sales” and unloading crappy cars is a horrific/hilarious sight you won’t soon forget. He’s a manic-depressive alcoholic car-wreck of a guy, and yet he has a devoted, loving wife and family at home, and a staff of hard-working (and equally hard-drinking) partners who follow him anywhere. Slasher is a true story about a bunch of born liars, with a cast of salesmen—and startlingly naive car-buyers (yes, there’s still a sucker born every minute)—that no one could have made up. Driven by a spectacular soundtrack of soul-stirring Stax hits, it’s an uproarious slice of American life.

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