Synopsis by Mark Deming
Eddie Guerriero and Mitch Deprey were a pair of bohemian punk rock fans who moved from the Midwest to San Francisco in 1987, renting a decaying apartment in the lower Haight. Eddie and Mitch soon became fascinated with their neighbors, two elderly men who were also sharing an apartment and whose drunken, foul-mouthed tirades went on day and night. While they rarely met them face to face, Eddie and Mitch got to know snippy Peter and growling Raymond very well as their verbal battles bled through the walls. In time, Eddie and Mitch began recording Peter and Raymond's rants and passed cassettes of edited highlights to their friends. The hilarious and harrowing recordings developed a cult following among collectors of off-the-wall humor, and with the rise of the Internet, the recordings began circulating around the world, far beyond Eddie and Mitch's ability to control their path. When the tapes became the inspiration for comic books, short films, and theater pieces, Eddie and Mitch found themselves at odds over how to capitalize on the viral phenomenon, while Peter and Raymond were largely oblivious to their strange notoriety. Filmmaker Matthew Bate examines the story of four men and their curious brush with semi-fame in Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure. The film was an official selection at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.