Clarence "Blowfly" Reid is seen performing in the documentary… (Tim Trotman / Special Theory…)
The curious, vulgar tale of Clarence "Blowfly" Reid and his music can be best understood through an interaction between him and Miami electronic producer Otto Von Schirach near the end of "The Weird World of Blowfly," a documentary celebrating the life of the bawdy performer.
"You were pretty disgusting," Von Schirach tells Reid after a Blowfly gig. "Why, thank you," responds the 72-year-old singer, who since 1969 has performed — in a sequined blue mask and faux superhero's outfit — dirty parody songs that would make Hugh Hefner blush.
Over the course of his 50-year career, Reid has written straight pop music but is best known for Blowfly titles such as "Porno Freak" and "Electric Banana." This documentary, directed by first-timer Jonathan Furmanski, follows Reid on 2008 tours of Europe and America as he and his increasingly desperate and unlikable manager attempt to revive what's left of the Blowfly brand.
But unlike the characters in the similarly structured "Anvil! The Story of Anvil," about a middling but charismatic heavy metal band, neither Reid nor his manager can carry this documentary for its duration. In fact, extended scenes of Reid eating pancakes in a hotel room, of the singer and his manager arguing about where to stash a pizza, of Blowfly and band getting booed and pelted with ice during a German festival performance, suggest a dearth of material.
What ends up on screen is less a story than a string of depressing, offensive or depressingly offensive scenes.