Sex and Death 101: Just Rent Heathers Instead

Writer-director Daniel Waters, who scripted Heathers eons ago, inexplicably keeps gigging. Here, the name of the game is dull vulgarity trading as “deliciously dark” comedy—punch-line sex with dwarfs, the dead, the infirm elderly, etc. Douche-nozzle Roderick Blank (Simon Baker), a 30ish company man, is on the brink of matrimony when he receives a mysterious e-mail containing the names of all his sex partners up until then…as well as the names of twice as many more. Once the list’s power of prophecy is confirmed at his bachelor party, he shakes free to go on a rampage down his magical file of sure things. There’s a decidedly throwback air to the whole endeavor, from the presence of Winona Ryder and The Facts of Life‘s Natalie to its distinctly “Take Back the Night” sexual politics, as the city’s licentious fiends are bumped off by a female serial killer (Ryder) dubbed “Death Nell” by the press. Stupid monikers are just one symptom of a stultifying, overwritten cleverness that substitutes quirk for character.