If the U.S. were ever to fully devolve into a totalitarian dictatorship with full governmental media control, one unforeseen benefit could be that we may never again have to see a movie like Bill Huckstabelle: Serial Rapist. I’d like to say that, in this scenario, it would be censored for its gratuitous display of sexual violence, but in truth, Donald Trump would more likely ban it because this tale of an aging male TV star committing sexual crimes against women hits too close to home. Then again, he’d probably think it’s a farcical comedy — and frankly, based on how it plays out, he might be right.
That is, Bill Huckstabelle: Serial Rapist is so poorly made, I can’t even tell if it’s aiming for humor or if its corniness is just a result of the amateurish production. Giving the subject matter, of course, it SHOULDN’T try to be a comedy, but social responsibility doesn’t seem to fall within these filmmakers’ core values.
As the title implies, this film is inspired by the slew of accusations against Bill Cosby that began to snowball in 2014 after Hannibal Buress called him out in a standup set that went viral. It stars prolific micro-budget horror writer-director Sean Weathers — whose only physical similarity to Cosby is that he’s black — as the titular character, a beloved veteran comedian accused by a string of women of committing violent sexual assaults over several years.
Although Weathers doesn’t direct here, he’s got a writing and producing credit, so it should come as no surprise that it falls into his sleazy, sexually charged wheelhouse. If you think there’s any chance this movie, given the heinous nature of the real-life crimes, might attempt to deal with the topic with any sort of sensitivity, allow me to remind you that Weathers’ other works include titles like Mandingo Sex Addict, Virgin Genocide, The Fappening and Scumbag Hustler.
Thus, we’re forced to watch not only overly detailed flashbacks of his past rapes, but because this is exploitation in its lowest form, we find out that while he’s denying all of the accusations, Huckstabelle (pronounced “Huxtable”) is actively committing more sexual assaults. But wait, there’s more: Weathers and writer-director Jerry Landi further up the ante by having the comedy legend kidnap and hold women prisoners as sex slaves, even impregnating one captive before selling her newborn baby (which he kept in a dog cage) on the black market. Is the purpose of this movie to make the real-life Cosby seem not so bad by comparison?
When someone dismisses horror as glamorizing violence against women, I typically defend the genre by citing the high number of films featuring female heroines, but movies like this give the naysayers plenty of ammunition. Bill Huckstabelle: Serial Rapist is like a rape-and-revenge flick without the revenge. It’s ugly, opportunistic, misogynistic trash that’s so poorly made, the non-rape scenes provide little relief, as we’re subjected to interminable “clips” from the titular character’s career (a sitcom, a kids’ show, his standup act, The Huckstabelle Mysteries) whose only purpose seems to be to pad 20 minutes’ worth of plot out to a full hour — which, by feature film standards, is short, but watching it, you’ll feel like you’ve switched over to dog time. One hour of Bill Huckstabelle: Serial Rapist feels like seven hours of any other movie.
It has the plot and production value of low-rent porn, which frankly begs the question of why they didn’t just go ahead and make a straight-up porn movie. At least porn would’ve aimed to provide some sense of satisfaction.