Slaughter Nick for President

(Canada, 2012, 72 mins)
FEATURING Rob Stewart
Introduced by CTV film critic and "travel guy" Jim Gordon.

Showtimes

When a little-known Canadian actor accidentally discovers through Facebook that he’s been wildly famous in Serbia for almost two decades, he sets out to discover the reasons why.

Rob Stewart is a 47-year-old journeyman Canadian actor. The ups and downs of his career have been extreme. After 20 years in the biz, the one-time CBS TV star finds himself living with his parents after being forced to move from Los Angeles back to Brampton, Ontario.

It’s late 2008 and Stewart’s son introduces his father to Facebook where a quick vanity search yields an astonishing discovery: Rob Stewart is wildly famous… in Serbia. With little else on his agenda, Rob decides to travel to the Balkan state to find out more.

Wonder of wonders. Rob’s long-forgotten starring role as Nick Slaughter — a pony-tailed beach-bum detective on the 1990s American TV series Tropical Heat (aka Sweating Bullets) — is by far the most popular show in the history of Serbian television. But it gets even more bizarre — Stewart learns of the student protests against former Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic and how the character of Nick Slaughter became a symbol of freedom and democracy for the movement that eventually led to his downfall. A whole generation of Serbians grew up watching the show and a punk rock band called Atheist Rap had even written a song about Rob’s character: “Nick Slaughter, Serbia Hails You.”

Slaughter Nick for President chronicles Stewart’s journey to Serbia, dubbed “Slaughtermania” by the national press. With TV appearances, a punk rock concert, interviews with heroes of the resistance movement and even the making of a commercial, in the midst of a frenzied media circus, Rob uncovers the surprising meaning behind the show’s popularity and gains redemption in the process.

"A winner!" National Post

"Heart and heft." Globe & Mail

"A real find… truly bizarre." The Star