By Chris Nashawaty
January 05, 2011 at 05:00 AM EST
Everett Collection

After following up 1987’s cult hit Withnail and I with the bile-spewing black comedy How to Get Ahead in Advertising, British actor Richard E. Grant should’ve been Hollywood’s next A-list import. Why he wasn’t a big star remains one of the great mysteries of the era. Advertising has been available on DVD before (including a 2001 Criterion edition), but lately it’s been out of print and a beast to track down. While the new disc doesn’t have any extras, it does have Grant’s outrageously wired and wiggy performance as Dennis Bagley — a hotshot London ad exec who’s smug, filthy rich, and married to the gorgeous Rachel Ward (another reason to hate him). He’s also about to snap, thanks to an overdue pimple-cream campaign that has him so stressed a giant boil sprouts on his neck. As the pus-filled intruder grows, it develops a sour little face and an alter ego that berates him in a Cockney Michael Caine accent. Turns out it’s hell-bent on killing off any conscience Bagley has about shilling ”new and improved” products for a living. Advertising is insane fun and not nearly as known as it should be. And even though its anti?Madison Avenue politics aren’t terribly subtle, it doesn’t hurt that they come from the mouth of a talking zit. B+

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