The film reminds of Freaked (1993) not necessarily in any thematic focus, but that in both films seem infused by the same sarcastic and out-to-offend bite. Joe's Apartment contains some amusingly derisive exaggerations of life in the Big Apple the hero laughed at for trying to find a rent-controlled apartment; being robbed three times within as many minutes upon first arriving in the city; an artist who lies pretending to be dead as a test to see how long people ignore him; kids building toy crackhouses on empty lots. The singing/dancing roach effects are often amusing and are conducted with a considerable degree of energy that manages to pack as much into the films slight 70 minutes as most other films get into 90.
Yet for all that, Joe's Apartment comes across as being slight. Any genuinely off-the-wall sense of humour is weighed down by a muck-scouringly scatological emphasis long-protracted jokes about working for urinal cleansing firms and sequences involving collecting manure and so on and a loud boisterousness during the roach scenes that tends to substitute for any actual creativity or visual invention.
Director John Payson subsequently went to work on shows like The PJs (1999-2001) but has made no other films.
Original short film avalable here:-