Originally published in the Cinequest Film Festival 2001 program for Cinequest Film Festival 11,
's annual maverick film festival. San Jose
It was just supposed to be a harmless prank: Steal the Olympic Torch from local sports celebrity Sue Sue Robinson before she is able to make the relay. Then Eddie and Matt, a. k. a. Johnny Murder, can hold it for ransom under the coverage of the entire world's media. A sure shot at instant fame. Only one problem – Mrs. Robinson won't let go, and Eddie and Matt end up with a hostage in one of the worst comical foul-ups ever. First-time director Mikki Allen Willis wrote, produced, and directed this incredibly hip and stylish comedy of errors. Described as "a black comedy by white trash for all colors," Shoe Shine Boys explores the American desire for fame and the lengths to which people will go to finally be recognized. Featuring Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf (of The Howard Stern Show fame) as a registered sex offender, and weaving the story through a series of flashbacks, Willis delightfully directs this dysfunctional film as it builds to a momentous ending. –Ian Caton. "Absolutely brilliant! ... I love it. This is one of the most unique American films I've ever seen!" –Martin Landau. "Hilarious and disturbing!" –Daily Variety.