Whenever I see the trailer for “The Goods,” I get pissed off because all I see is a fictional remake of a documentary: “Slasher.”
“Slasher” follows a used car salesman who is called in to a dealership in emergency situations—he can move cars. He comes into town with an assistant salesman and a DJ, and, in a week, choreographs a sale by tantalizing the entire city to come out and search for “the $88 car.” The Slasher is charismatic, of course, but is also addicted to nicotine, alcohol, and his family. His sales buddies provide some great comic relief from The Slasher’s tirades (also funny) and despair (not funny, but very interesting).
From the trailer’s appearance, “The Goods” follows the same scenario. But why should I object to another filmmaker’s attempt to spin a story into something funny? I’m angry because people don’t know this character actually exists—he does. A non-fiction film is inherently more engaging (and humorous) because it’s a real guy you might see in your home town one day, hawking Cutlass Ciera’s with a megaphone. A real guy who isn’t just some writer’s idealization of sleaze, but has sleaze at his core. A real guy who loves his family.
At the very least, I hope the producers of “The Goods” had to pay someone for using this story.
While not an apples-to-apples comparison, here’s some footage from both movies for you to judge for yourself. (“The Goods” isn’t released yet, and “Slasher” doesn’t have a trailer, so I just uploaded the “making of” extra on the DVD, because Docurama can’t get their shit together on their website.)