News tips and press releases may be sent to editor at All submissions become property of the Hollywood Investigator and deemed for publication without compensation unless otherwise requested. Name and contact information only withheld upon request. Prospective reporters should research our Bookstore.


About Us







Fine Arts


Media & Copyright


Public Square



War & Peace


Horror Film Aesthetics

Horror Film Festivals

Horror Film Reviews

Tabloid Witch Awards

Weekly Universe




by Thomas M. Sipos, managing editor [March 2, 2019]






[]  Slingshot Cops is a gentle comedy set in idyllic small town Americana. How idyllic is life in this small New England town? The cops don't carry guns. They carry slingshots, much like adult Tom Sawyers.

That's typical of the Roxburgh & Farley aesthetic. Slingshot Cops is their fourth film. As always, Charles Roxburgh directs, Matt Farley stars, and they co-write the script.

In all their films, the adult characters appear to have varying degrees of arrested development, retaining their innocence, content with life's simple pleasures. Smart phones are nearly invisible. Young adults communicate via walkie talkies and tin cans connected with wire. Bands peddle their CDs on little red wagons. Everyone hangs out at the local cupcake shop. (Much like folks in Twin Peaks are obsessed with donuts and cherry pie, in Roxburgh & Farley films, it's cupcakes.)

Which is not to say the characters are retarded. In fact, they're quite literate. Even children speak in the formal, literate clichés of a David Letterman skit. Like David Letterman, Roxburgh & Farley find ironic humor in modern marketing and managerial clichés, which their characters speak in stilted fashion.

In Slingshot Cops -- in all Roxburgh & Farley films -- characters speak in the stiff, stilted fashion of bad actors. But this is so consistent, it become an aesthetic style rather than a drawback. (Much like the cast's deadpan delivery in Hal Hartley's films.) In an interview for the Hollywood Investigator, Farley said that his (mostly nonprofessional) cast are instructed to try their best, because that's how you get truly bad acting. Their performances wouldn't be nearly so bad if they tried to act badly on purpose.

So the bad acting contributes to the comedy.

Slingshot Cops is a horror comedy, with (like all of Roxburgh & Farley's films) a ridiculously non-scary monster. In Slingshot Cops it's Sensafoot, a monster who steals your senses by placing his foot on your nose, ear, eyes, etc. Helping the Slingshot Cops track and destroy the Sensafoot is Eastern European Man (played with a phony accent that doesn't resemble anything out of Eastern Europe). I suppose his character is inspired by Bela Lugosi.

Farley has said that he and Roxburgh try to recapture the charm of old monster movies. The ones sans realistic gore or expensive special effects. Slingshot Cops, like all their work, does have a certain charm. The film is sans violence, sans nudity, sans swearing. Think of a David Lynch film -- quirky small town charm -- but sans darkness.

Get used to the word sans. It's a French word that means without. It helps to know that, because it's used often enough in Slingshot Cops. That's the sort of charmingly incongruent literacy you'll find in a Roxburgh & Farley script. Tough-talking cops, placing an order for cupcakes sans sprinkles.

Roxburgh & Farley's works include Freaky Farley, Monsters, Marriage and Murder in Manchvegas, and Don't Let the Riverbeast Get You! They are true auteurs in that all their films are aesthetically alike, while resembling no other films out there. Their films are always, clearly, by Roxburgh & Farley and nobody else. Nor will anyone else's film be mistaken for a Roxburgh & Farley film.

I suppose some hipsters will enjoy their films for the "irony," but don't mistake Roxburgh & Farley's humor as an attack on small town Americana. As with Lynch's work, a sincere nostalgia runs through Roxburgh & Farley's films (as Farley has explicitly stated in interviews).

Not everyone will enjoy their works. Some might find their films too tame. Others might not enjoy the innocence that arises from bad acting (one of their stated goals). However, I've seen all their work, and I think there's real artistry here, real entertainment value, and a unique aesthetic perspective.

"Hollywood Investigator" and "" and "Tabloid Witch" and "Tabloid Witch Award" trademarks are currently unregistered, but pending registration upon need for protection against improper use. The idea of marketing these terms as a commodity is a protected idea under the Lanham Act. 15 U.S.C. s 1114(1) (1994) (defining a trademark infringement claim when the plaintiff has a registered mark); 15 U.S.C. s 1125(a) (1994) (defining an action for unfair competition in the context of trademark infringement when the plaintiff holds an unregistered mark). All content is copyright by unless otherwise noted.