Digging a little deeper, the boastful claim that the movie is "from the mind, poems, and DNA of Charlie Sheen" is actually slightly less dishonest than it sounds. Although Sheen never appears on screen in the movie, the only scripted part of the film is his mildly awful beat poetry, dropped in haphazardly whenever the on-screen action is boring. Said on-screen action centers around a lunch between Liz (Claudia Christian) and Phil (Valerie Brieman), reminsicing about their childhood, catching up, and almost (but not quite) bickering with each other the entire time.
The idea, I suppose, is that the entire conversation between Liz and Phil has been improvised by the two actors, but as a whole, the film is a random jumble of directorial technique and random ideas that feels more like an exorcism of everything and anything that popped into Rifkin's head. During mundane things like Liz talking about her pregnancy, Rifkin's camera leers over the table, practically diving into a bowl of goldfish crackers. At a funeral, a butler with no pants wanders down the beach, encounters a severed head that washed up in the surf, and sidesteps it. A few minutes are devoted to the hired help eating fruit in the kitchen. Why? Who knows. Meanwhile, Sheen's poetry seems completely disconnected, filled with obscure, baffling lines like "Flavor pie, with a twist of Gandhi."
Rifkin would go on to write and direct films like Detroit Rock City and The Dark Backward, and Tale of Two Sisters is much more the latter than the former. Much of the sisters' conversation centers around their plastic-surgery-happy mom (Dee Coppola), who shows up in creepy flashbacks, slathered in makeup, to hiss and chew the scenery. Ultimately, although the film fails to form any sort of cohesive whole (it's hard to thematically or dramatically assess an unexplained scene where Phil seduces a random stranger wearing a leotard in an alley while a bald man with comically oversized glasses and a clown outfit watches, or when two characters we've never met have have a fistfight that ends with one of them spewing mouthfuls blue acid), the project manages to become an interesting curiosity from Rifkin's filmography instead of Sheen's, hinting at the "Blumps Squeezable"-style dementia that would show up in his future films. Still, it fits quite perfectly within Troma's oddball catalog, and really, can anyone blame Lloyd for trying?
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