Dwarf (1984)

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Richard Monteverde wrote and directed this bizarre independent crime-drama starring dwarf artist and marijuana advocate Bobby Faust as a delivery boy for a SoHo deli who is hiding from the Mafia after they murder his boss. Faust plays the role with delightful eccentricity, pretending to be a rock star in his apartment with suitably bedecked mannequins as backup and falling for Kate (Ann Magnuson in an early role), a fashion designer with peculiar notions of fashion. The film doesn't always work, and falls apart completely at the end, primarily because Monteverde -- obviously hoping for a cult hit along the lines of Liquid Sky -- isn't satisfied with being amusingly quirky. He strives for art, and achieves only the sort of downtown pretentiousness which it took the mainstream until Slaves of New York to popularize. Indeed, Magnuson's character often suggests Slaves author Tama Janowitz, and appeared in the canonical "downtown hip" films Desperately Seeking Susan and Mondo New York. In Dwarf, it all seems a little forced, and if it had gotten any more of a release than it did, might have curtailed the cinematic mini-trend before it began.