Mar 25, 2019

The Ten commands attention

The Ten is a movie that portrays people breaking the Ten Commandments. Meant to be a tongue-in-cheek, humorous take, co-writers/ producers Ken Marino and David Wain set out to write a “Midnight movie” that dared to make a spoof out of a usually serious topic.

Ken Marino took time to talk about everything from how he met David Wain (who directed The Ten) back in his MTV days, to writing Actress Wynonna Rider’s scene featuring “thou shalt not steal.”

Reilly (R) How did you meet co-writer/ director David Wain? Have you worked on other projects together?

Marino (M) “David and I [first] worked together on The State on MTV.”

[The State was a half-hour sketch-comedy that aired on MTV from 1993 to 1995.]

(R) Since The State went off the air, I’m sure both of you have written for several other projects. What brought you and Wain together to write The Ten? How did you come up with the idea?

(M) “David and I locked ourselves in a room and [and said that we had to] write something.”

(R) So when you emerged, you had The Ten? What brought that topic to your minds?

(M) “We kind of made that up [the Ten Commandments.] We were surprised to find they existed.”

(R) But I heard a rumor that Google may have inspired you as well. When you two searched “the Ten Commandments” and were surprised to see that they came in a logical order, what do you say to that?

(M) “We kind of made that [whole story] up.”

(R) I see, with the joke aside, how did you decide on the mood of the movie?

(M) “[The Ten was made] in the vein of… midnight movies.”

[“Midnight movie” refers to movies that are cult classics. It can also refer to a “B” and therefore cheaper-made movie, which would be a stab at his own types of movies he is making –– something right up Marino’s alley and part of his sense of humor.]

(R) It sounds like both you and Wain had a lot of fun coming up with the premise of the movie. What are you hoping that this movie does for the audience. Was your goal to make a political statement or more for entertainment?

(M) “We specifically wrote this movie to make jokes. The idea was to get in as many jokes as possible.”

(R) It sounds like it’s going to be a funny movie, and I’m sure that writing on the topic of the Ten Commandments and making it humorous can’t be easy. When did ideas hit you for each scene? Where is the strangest place that an idea hit you, such as the Wynonna piece?

(M) “[At a hotel], on the toilet paper… The Wynonna piece was written on a room service tray.”

The Wynonna piece was ironically intended for those who remember Rider’s ‘shoplifting’ scandal from a few years ago.

(R) You did invest a lot of time in the movie, even taking on the role of Dr. Richie, who killed his characters by leaving a surgical tool inside of them as a practical joke.

(M) “[My character] did it as a “goof”, but people didn’t [find it funny like he did].”

(R) I read that people found it so “unfunny,” in fact, that Dr. Richie’s character becomes an inmate. What was it like to play one?

(M) “[I would think] it’s much better to play one in a movie.”

(R) I would hope so. It definitely sounds like you enjoyed making the movie. Do you have any other works coming up? Is Wain involved too?

(M) “’Diggers,’ co-starring Paul Rudd. David is directing this movie [too.]”

[Marino is a writer, actor and Producer for ‘Diggers’.]

The good:

Not so much blasphemous as it is very silly, and it lives up to the one unbendable commandment of comedy: It’s funny.
Pam Grady,
San Francisco Chronicle

Not exactly the stone-etched last word on biblical moviemaking, The Ten at least has a rare flair for the non sequitur, and a sassy, spasmodic charm.
Jonathan Kiefer
Sacramento News & Review

The Ten is devious and inspired enough to juice you past any weak spots. Thou shalt be amused.
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly

“The Ten” is anything but a morally corrective night out. Second feature from duo David Wain and Ken Marino of comedy group the State is, like their “Wet Hot American Summer,” uneven but often hilarious.
Dennis Harvey

The bad:

Many of the segments go on too long, so that the gags tend to wear out their welcome.
Edward Douglas

A lame and irritating comedy that is an endurance test to sit through.
Tom Keogh
Seattle Times

The film is far from a perfect 10, with hit-and-miss writing, an over-reliance on cheap shocks and solid laughs in maybe five of the sketches. Given their brief running time, the weaker efforts are off the screen in short order.
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune

The humor in The Ten is hit-or-miss, with some of the comedy and performances feeling kind of forced. Still, if you’re in the mood for an unconventional Sunday school lesson, go see The Ten, “as a goof”!
Neil Cohen
Echo Magazine

The Ten

The movie is screening exclusively at Sierra Vista Cinemas 16 through Thursday of this week. The show times are as follows: 12:00, 2:25, 4:50, 7:25 and 9:50.

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