“Chairman of the Board” is a movie starring the infamous prop comedian known as Carrot Top. It is exactly what you expect.
Do I need to keep writing? Yes? OK, fine.
This is a movie that had absolutely no chance of succeeding, because its fatal flaw lies in its premise: it is a movie that (I assume) was designed around Carrot Top. There are lots of reasons that can lead to a movie falling on its face, but typically there is at least the nugget of an interesting movie idea buried at the core of a bad movie. This is not one of those cases.
I would actually be interested to know more about the story of how this movie got made. Who pitched it? Who put their money into it? More importantly, who greenlit this script when the only other credit to the writing team at the time was the atrocious “Leprechaun 2”, the worst of all of the Leprechaun movies (an impressive feat)? From some cursory IMDb digging, I noticed that the director of the film has a screenplay writing credit, which makes me wonder if he may have had a heavy hand in some rewriting. It clearly didn’t help much, but maybe there was an attempt to fix the unfixable.
There is unfortunately not much information out there about this movie that I can find. Most of what is out there is related to a Conan interview in which comedian Norm Macdonald lambasted the film’s premise prior to the release, and correctly labeled it “box office poison”. Apart from conjecture, there isn’t much solid information to be found. The IMDb trivia solely mentions that this was Carrot Top’s only starring role in a movie. Thank goodness.
Let’s get started with the plot autopsy (Plotopsy?).
Carrot Top’s character is introduced to the audience as an irresponsible man-child who spends all of his money on funding moronic personal inventions (props) instead of paying his rent. He refuses to get / hold down a job because…reasons. He likes to use his infinite free time to surf, which he also incorporates his props into. If I recall correctly, he invents an emergency break for his surfboard. I’ll let someone else figure out the physics on that one.
The plot appears when it is made clear that Carrot Top’s character, Edison (ugh), is about to get rightfully evicted by his landlady. He fails to hold down a series of jobs over the course of a montage, during which I assume the audience is expected to laugh. He also has all of his useless inventions rightfully rejected by a representative of an invention firm of some sort. At this point, it seems like Edison is going to hit rock bottom, and may be forced to mature in order to start piecing his life together as an adult.
Instead, he serendipitously befriends the head of a major research and development company, who then promptly dies for the convenience of the plot. For the further convenience of the plot, this well-regarded and now-dead businessman decided to leave his legacy and the future direction of his company to the strange person he met at the beach recently, and decided to change his will to reflect this fact just before his death. And so, Edison gets a job as the head of a major corporation.
Most of the rest of the movie could be summarized as “Carrot Top won’t shut up, and shenanigans ensue.”
Through those various shenanigans, Edison acquires a love interest (one of his employees) and sews the seeds of his destruction through being massively incompetent and trusting someone who clearly despises him. He does have one “brilliant” invention: a frozen dinner that comes with a television screen and a feature program. Yeah, it is a TV dinner. Yeah, it is a bad idea. Yes, they play it off as a good idea that is wildly successful.
The next section of the movie can be summed up as “Sabotage and just desserts.”
In this section of the movie (my favorite), all of Edison’s incompetencies and his ill-placed trust come back to ruin him. He is ultimately betrayed, fired, evicted, and left unconscious on a beach. Unfortunately, the movie does not end here.
The movie ends with the corporate antagonist being exposed for his sabotage of Edison, the board overthrowing him, and Edison turning down the only job ever genuinely offered to him in his life. He recommends his love interest take over his position at the head of the company (the board does so), and instead of ethically deciding to find employment elsewhere or remain an unemployed dreamer indefinitely, takes a job underneath her in the R&D department, maintaining the dodgy nature of their professional/personal relationship. They joke about this in front of the entire board of the company, and everyone laughs and plays along.
In case you were curious, all of the writers of this movie still get work in television as of 2013, and the director is attached to the already much anticipated “Jingle All The Way 2” starring Larry the Cable Guy, which is slated to go straight to
hell DVD next year.
I can’t recommend this movie. It is almost worth seeing just for the spectacle of its strange and unlikely existence, but not quite. This movie is actually out there in a bunch of “family fun” DVD compilations, so it is shockingly still getting circulation after all of this time. Unless you have a high tolerance for both bad movies and the constant, nail-on-chalkboard sound of Carrot Top’s voice spewing nonsense dialogue, when you should really never seek out this movie.