Matt Enos as Slim Duffy. Photos courtesy of SRS Releasing

As a character in legendary rockumentary spoof “This Is Spinal Tap” once put it, “There’s such a fine line between clever and stupid.” For Maine-based evidence, look no further than Searsmont-filmed web series “The Slim Duffy Show.”

Created by and starring Mainer Matt Enos, the years-long adventures of the titular character follow a shed-dwelling, canned meat-scarfing, questionably mustachioed oddball bumbling through invariably rude and violent interactions with a coterie of equally bad taste roughneck tormentors. The series (available in all its scabrous glory on YouTube) is inventive, inappropriate, funny and gross, dealing as it does in every conceivable hick stereotype and lowbrow guy-comedy trope in sight.

Far from being the backyard shenanigans of a gaggle of untutored Maine goofballs, however, “The Slim Duffy Show” is in fact the slyly subversive, sometimes reprehensible and occasionally hilarious project of an esteemed graduate of New York’s School of Visual Arts. And Enos’ undeniably not-for-everybody cavalcade of Maine grotesques are hitting the big time with the recent release of their first feature film, the gloriously titled, “Battle Legends: The Legend of the Battle Master.”

Released Feb. 1 on limited edition Blu-ray by distributor SRS Releasing, “Battle Legends” is Enos’ take on the wacky world of 1970s low-rent kung-fu cinema, all run through the filter of “The Slim Duffy Show.” Said Enos: “Along the way on ‘The Slim Duffy Show,’ we started filming these little genre movies, as if the characters in the show had made them. We did horror, action, martial arts and what became the ‘Battle Master’ story wound up being three of those.”

Enos’ film is an expansion of that concept, an homage to the chop-socky films of yore, where a reluctant hero (or very reluctant, in the timid Slim’s case) must take up his master’s mantle to claim his rightful title as Battle Master. “It’s the classic kung-fu idea of training the next era of warlords. The master is challenged, things go south, and it’s a long and hard-fought journey to once again regain the title.”

For Enos, “Battle Legends” is just the next evolution of a project that grew out of the realization that his group of Maine pals were “some of the funniest people” he’d ever met. “When I came back from film school, I started doing some arthouse-serious films. Meanwhile, I was surrounded by a group of friends, some of whom I’d known since high school, who consistently made me laugh. So we decided to take the sort of stuff that made us laugh when we were hanging out and try to turn it into little funny shorts. After we put five or six up online, we decided to start calling it a web series.”


What to call “The Slim Duffy Show” is, indeed, a puzzler. On its surface, it’s loud, abrasive and consistently offensive yahoo comedy. Enos plays most of the characters (with supporting inappropriateness from friends and costars Mike Urchin, Zac Lucas and Donald Bulley, among others), and his squinting, nasal-voiced performance as the protagonist recalls Adam Sandler at his most mannered, with a little Gilbert Gottfried for flavor. The show’s anything-goes humor is like a far less grounded “Trailer Park Boys,” but with even more bodily fluids and gross-out jokes. Even Enos concedes, “The show is hard to explain to people. We call it ‘surreal comedy,’ but putting it into genre stories like ‘Battle Legends’ makes it easier to market.”

A scene from “Battle Legends: The Legend of the Battle Master.”

And market Enos has done, with SRS adding “Battle Legends” to its growing slate of low-budget horror and comedy fare and the occasional rescued “lost” movie, like its recent, impressively restored release of long-forgotten 1962 Japanese monster movie “The Whale God,” which film aficionado Enos highly recommends. It’s perfect company for Enos’ knockabout martial arts comedy, with SRS even banking on the Blu-ray’s success enough to market a T-shirt sporting the film’s magnificently awesome (if deceptive) cover art. (No offense to Enos, but having seen him in action, the cover’s shirtless Slim, with his ripped abs and – if I’m reading it right – lightning-shooting nipples is a bit of artistic license.

SRS’ marketing strategy is unique. A limited run of 100 Blu-rays (30 autographed by Enos himself) are up for pre-order, with films’ future prospects dependent on how well those copies sell. After that, said Enos, there’s a wider DVD release to the U.S. and European markets, with the films eventually being booked to streaming services. It’s a modest but promising development for a Maine filmmaker, but one many in the Maine moviemaking community should keep an eye on.

“The whole process has been a doozy,” Enos said, chuckling. “A high-octane thrill ride, or whatever it is people say. We’d sent ‘Battle Legends’ off to 10 or 12 different distributors, and SRS was the only one who got back to us. But all we need is one.”

Looking forward, Enos says the “Slim Duffy” crew is already hard at work on a follow-up now that they’ve gotten their foot in the commercial release door. “

We’re shooting another one this summer,” he said. “Now that we actually have a movie released, there’s greater incentive to throw it all together, raise money and get it done.” (While Enos can’t say for sure, he estimates “Battle Legends” wound up costing between $1,000 and $2,000 all told.)


As for the enduring popularity of his creation, both to the show’s (and now movie’s) audience and himself, Enos shrugged. “I just enjoy it,” he said.

That’s as good a motivation as any for the ambitious actor and filmmaker, whose IMDb page cites his growing number of non-“Slim” roles in everything from Canada-shot TV series (“Transplant,” “Alert: Missing Persons Unit,” CBS hit comedy “Ghosts”) to video games (“Assassins Creed Nexus”) to feature films (the Josh Hartnett-starring “Most Wanted”).

“Deep down, I wonder if I’m really Slim – that I just want to live in a shed and eat Vienna sausages all day. Mainly, it’s a great opportunity to get together and be creative and productive with people I really like,” he said.

To order your own limited edition copy of the Maine-made “Battle Legends: The Legend of the Battle Master,” head to SRS Releasing’s website, “The Slim Duffy Show,” along with more of Enos’ singularly strange, decidedly Maine work, lives on YouTube at TheSlimDuffyShow.

Dennis Perkins is a freelance writer who lives in Auburn with his wife and cat.

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