You know that old chestnut they have in Hollywood? The one that goes something like, "Why make one TV movie about Amy Fisher, when you could just as easily make three?" It's definitely out there, I think. Hence, when Fisher's affair with Joey Buttafuoco exploded in the news in 1992, all three major networks saw fit to make their own movie about it, giving Alyssa Milano, Drew Barrymore, and Nöelle Parker each a chance to try their hand at playing America's favorite gun-wielding teenager.
The natural thing to do, then, is splice all this archival footage together into one Amy Fisher 20th anniversary super-movie, which is exactly what director Dan Kapelovitz has done with Triple Fisher: Lethal Lolitas of Long Island, screening tonight at Videology. We caught up with him before the East Coast Premiere of what is being billed by some as "the Rashomon of found footage cinema" to find out why now, why Amy.
"I had the idea about 20 years ago, when the made-for-TV movies first aired," Kapelovitz said via email. "It would have been a nightmare to edit the film back then because I wouldn't have had access to a digital editing system, and would have had to edit the film using VCRs."
"There have been stories that have received more coverage with today’s 24-hour news cycle, basically anything that’s on Nancy Grace’s show," he went on, "but the Amy Fisher saga was the first tabloid story — and I’m pretty sure the last — to have all three major networks air their own made-for-TV movie."
Which leads us to the most obvious, important question here: which Amy is the best? "Noëlle Parker is the most realistic," he says. "She is also the most likeable, but that's partly because she stars in the movie that is based on the real Amy Fisher's version of events. In that one Joey is this evil manipulator who convinces Amy to become a prostitute, and Amy's father is a total creep, so you kind of feel sorry for her." Milano is also serviceable as "stalker" Amy, as is Barrymore as "middle" Amy.
Now that his Fisher opus has finally come to fruition, Kapelovitz may focus his efforts on a similar mashup of Fisher and Buttafuoco's respective "celebrity" sex tapes ("I'd have to show it in a theater that is equipped like the one in A Clockwork Orange," he notes), but isn't grasping too hard for an overarching moral to the saga. "I guess for Joey, I'd say that when a cop says, 'I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure they took the statutory sex laws off the books,' he's probably lying." Solid advice if ever there was.
Triple Fisher screens at 8 p.m. tonight at Videology on 308 Bedford Ave. Purchase tickets here.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.