Due to numerous childhood viewings, this thing is too ingrained in my DNA, and so jaw-dropping from a technical and visual standpoint, that I can’t give it anything less than 4 stars. It’s one of my go-to “wait, you haven’t seen…” movies that I love to watch with first timers*. There’s really nothing else like it: a live action fantasy film with no human characters. A truly alien world that, due the detailed and varied creature design, feels as real…
“...Marilyn and Rita [Hayworth] and all the other people who were unfortunate in Hollywood, you can’t tell me those girls didn’t have a good time!...I know both of them had a terrific sense of humor.” – Kim Stanely
According to screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky’s biography, every bit comic relief or humor was removed in the editing stage, so the already episodic Tragic Blonde in Hollywood story is disjointed and consistently downbeat. And because it’s Chayefsky, there’s lots of lonely people loudly…
It has something for everyone: pecs, boobs, equal opportunity butts, uncomfortable looking sex, broken bones, bar fights, knife fights, gun fights, throat ripping, horses, dirt bikes, monster trucks, a jeep, blues rock covers, a spacious $100 a month lakeview apartment, explosions, Patrick Swayze as a famous bouncer with a philosophy degree and a minor in whoop ass, evil Ben Gazzara smoking a cigar in a pink bathrobe, mullets, teased hair, too many quotables… It’s Road House’s way, or the highway. You either go with its heightened 80s alternate universe flow, or don’t. But be nice.
Gorgeous London-set Edwardian grotesque, by way of Hollywood. Amazing combination of Bernard Herrmann’s music and Joseph LaShelle’s noirish cinematography. Definitely owes a little to Mamoulian’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, with respectable piano playing Faye Marlowe contrasted with the winking music hall singer Linda Darnell. The most musically-focused of Noirs: dissonance triggering an urge to kill. Sidelining “respectable” music for music hall tunes and quick dollars and kisses. Some of Herrmann’s best stuff is here: the "Concerto Macabre," the shrieking…