Dan Patton's "Wash Dry & Spin Out" is a trite, artificial drama about a trio of drunken jerks who menace the patrons of a laundromat. Theatrical in the extreme, it resembles nothing so much as a filmed acting exercise in which the students have been allowed or even encouraged to go as far over the top as possible. For histrionic wretched excess this movie would be hard to surpass.
Patton makes clear from the start that Carl (Tyler Lindsay) and Gil (Jason Morck) are scum. They rob an elderly man (Ted King), who has just cashed his Social Security check, as they enter the apartment building of a pal, Jeff (Randy Thomas), who has just broken up with his girlfriend (who had understandably forbidden Jeff to have any contact with Carl and Gil). The guys start drinking, then head for the laundromat, where Jeff puts in a load as the psycho Carl starts systematically harassing one and all, backed by the thuggish Gil and by Jeff.
Patton would have us believe Carl is one of those nasty but shrewd characters who intuit other people's vulnerabilities, but he doesn't seem intelligent or perceptive enough. Patton would furthermore like us to accept that as hateful as Carl is, his treatment of his victims is cathartic for them, a dubious premise if ever there was one. While it's true that Carl is armed with a knife and that Gil and Jeff are rangy guys, it's hard to accept that the others held by the three don't attempt some move against their tormentors.
"Wash" builds predictably to a point at which Carl finally goes too far and his pals start backing off, leaving him to crumble into the coward he is. Among a large cast, the only characters who seem like real people are King, as the guys' first victim; Eugene Pidgeon, as a feisty little person; and James Metropole, portraying an unarmed security guard determined to hold on to his dignity.
The one thing that can be said for "Wash Dry & Spin Out" is that a laundromat is an apt setting for a soap opera.
'Wash Dry & Spin Out'
MPAA rating: Unrated.
Times guidelines: Language, violence, sex, drunkenness.
Tyler Lindsay ... Carl
Randy Thomas ... Jeff
Jason Morck ... Gil
Zoska Aleece ... Candy
Nina Tapanin ... Bev
A Running Entertainment presentation. Writer-producer-director Dan Patton. Editors Dan Patton, Allan Piper. Music Mark Zaki. Costumes Neil Tansey. Production designer Lara Blasingame. Running time: 1 hour, 25 minutes.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times