Archives for posts with tag: masochism

Piercing

Don’t watch this movie. It opens with Christopher Abbott hesitatingly holding an icepick inches above an infant’s face – and then, as if that sight isn’t already off-putting enough – offers a possible justification for this contemplation of infanticide by revealing that the baby is a super-intelligent psycho directing the father to go out and murder prostitutes. Everything about Piercing is stupid and pointless – from the Tarantino-derivative and thematically irrelevant 70s-style opening credits to the would-be shock of seeing people in full-body S&M suits screwing in a bathroom. Nonchalantly rehearsing a murder to the tune of “The Girl from Ipanema”? Whoa, bro – that’s a pretty edgy soundtrack flex! I won’t bother recounting any more of the plot because frankly none of this idiocy matters. I’m sorry to break the news to writer-director Nicolas Pesce, but your movie is as boring and hollow as you. Get your garbage off my planet.

One star. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that Piercing is:

4. Anti-family. Don’t ask.

3. Feminist. Piercing reverses audience expectations by having hooker Mia Wasikowska turn the tables on reluctant predator Abbott. (Yawn.) The argument could be made that the movie is anti-whoredom for depicting the risks incurred by both prostitutes and johns who meet as strangers, knowing nothing about the other person’s mental state – but somehow I doubt that this much thought even went into planning Piercing.

2. Pro-pedophilia, featuring an eroticized shot of blood oozing onto a little girl’s lap.

1.Antinatalist. Hopefully no one connected with this movie ever procreates.

Rainer Chlodwig von K.

Rainer is the author of the books Drugs, Jungles, and Jingoism and Protocols of the Elders of Zanuck: Psychological Warfare and Filth at the Movies – the DEFINITIVE Alt-Right statement on Hollywood!

Dr. Caligari (1989) ****1/2

A non-pornographic film from Stephen Sayadian, the man behind the fan favorite Cafe Flesh (1982), Dr. Caligari casts a formidable bid for the most colorfully flamboyant and lurid movie ever made. Recalling the premise of Sayadian’s script for the episodic adult feature Nightdreams (1981), Dr. Caligari concerns the titular harridan’s perverted experiments in sexuality at her insane asylum. Her latest guinea pigs include Mrs. Van Houten (Laura Albert), who suffers from psychotic “nympholepsy”, and redneck serial killer and cannibal Mr. Pratt (John Durbin in a thoroughly grotesque and charismatic performance). Meanwhile, subordinate Dr. Avol (Fox Harris of immortal Repo Man infamy) discovers that Dr. Caligari has finally gone too far and resolves to bring her reign of erotic terror to an end.

Shoulder pads were invented for Madeleine Reynal, evilly graceful and domineering in the role of the mad scientist, while Fox Harris gets the most outrageous showcase of his career for his special brand of over-the-top camp craziness, and sultry, unforgettable Laura Albert furnishes eye confection of the most delectable order as the hallucinating nymphomaniac patient. Dr. Caligari‘s true star, however, is writer-director-designer-cinematographer Stephen Sayadian, whose sight gags, wacky color schemes, sick sense of menacing humor, and flair for the tastefully tacky permeate and elevate this 80s oddity, updating the original’s expressionism for the decade of eye-popping neon. Shot almost entirely in chiaroscuro, Dr. Caligari occasionally evinces the feel of a real horror movie and packs some genuinely disturbing content with its hat-tips to incest, sadomasochism, and Cronenbergian body angst. The only thing Sayadian’s opus is missing – other than emotional depth, obviously – is the narrative momentum that might have prevented the film from overstaying its welcome slightly even at 80 minutes.

4.5 out of 5 stars. Be sure to check Dr. Caligari out in its entirety on YouTube.

 

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