|Paul Schrader in 1982|
It seems it is her choice to be captured and sacrifice her freedom and he goes along with it, but will she turn back into human form again? There are gruesome scenes along the way, as well as Annette O’Toole’s topless swim in the pool, and some terrific special effects. Kinski (TESS), McDowell, Heard and Ruby Dee all do as their director requires and the
It all looks great of course, the buildings and the costumes. Anne Heywood is the Mother Superior who against her will has to give shelter to handsome Antonio Sabato who soon has those nuns all aflutter. Hardy Kruger is the priest who wants him protected. Soon though Sabato and Anne have a passionate affair resulting in a baby. Then they have to go on the run due to various plot twists and turns. It all ends with her being walled up alive for 10 years …. A fate worse than death, probably. Not as lurid as THE DEVILS it still packs a punch and looks great. Good score too by Ennio Morricone.
RED RIDING HOOD, 2011. The classic fairly tale re-imagined for the TWILIGHT generation, as its director Catherine Hardwicke fashions a marvellous village and forest setting for more werewolf mischief … This time, Amanda Seyfried is Valerie (and she seems as vapid as she was in MAMMA MIA!) the girl torn between two men, the man she loves and the one her parents want her to marry. Gary Oldman on autopilot is Solomon, the werewolf hunter brought in to aid the villagers as it seems the wolf who prowls the forest is actually one of them in daylight hours … Julie Christie (right) is the grandma with her cottage in the woods who gives Valerie her scarlet cloak. I would not really bother with this, apart from Christie, who has some good moments. The ending though is rather a mystery as Riding Hood kills the werewolf (her own father!) but does not mind that the man she loves will also become one, as she takes grandma's place and waits for him. It has moments of campy fun but left a lot to be desired, some of it looks so murky one can hardly see what is going on – I was wishing I was back at Neil Jordan’s THE COMPANY OF WOLVES in 1984.
I KILLED RASPUTIN. A rather tatty entry in the Rasputin stakes, this 1967 farrago is directed by actor Robert Hossein, who also appears. Hossein did some neat French thrillers I like a lot, but this one is not in those league. Peter McEnery is young Prince Yusupof , with Geraldine Chaplin as one of Rasputin’s devotees. Rasputin though is Gert Froebe – perfect as GOLDFINGER but all wrong here (Christopher Lee was a much more compelling Mad Monk for Hammer Films). Hossein’s father Andre did the music score. The real aged Prince Yusopov appears in person at the start, a few months before he died, which is the only fascinating thing here. We like Peter McEnery too, the first HAMLET I saw on stage about that time, in 1968, but wasted here.
BEVERLY HILLS MADAM. I recorded this 1986 telemovie from a cable channel and foolished wiped it, I wish I had kept it now Its a kitschfest with all the requisite '80s glossy trappings and with those big hair and big shoulders, and Faye Dunaway cheerfully chomping the scenery as the Madam - hadn't she learned anything from MOMMIE DEAREST? - we are a long way from CHINATOWN here!A bordello catering to rich and wealthy clients, run by Lil Hutton (Faye) experiences a series of crises as one girl ends up pregnant, and another dead. As a subplot, a young woman, Julie Taylor, makes a trip to LA to surprise a friend, but never finds her. Julie is mugged, and seeks help from Lil. She sees how much the callgirls are making, and is tempted into the lifestyle. On her first "job" is hired by a rich father for his 18-year old virgin son as a birthday gift, and they fall in love. But the relationship comes to a quick end as soon as the son learns she is a "whore"; Julie breaks down and runs off after realizing prostitution is a cold and loveless occupation that cannot fulfill her emotional emptiness.This treat also features Louis Jourdan, Melody Anderson (those 80s names!), Donna Dixon, Terry Farrell and Robin Givens who sashay through this farrago, directed by Harvey Hart.
Shane Briant makes Chatterley a nasty bore, whereas Nicholas Clay is a perfect Mellors, totally at ease washing himself au natural. I suppose Kristel is adequate as Lady C, as directed by Just Jaeckin, and Ann Mitchell scores again as that devious nurse with it seems her own plans for the estate and Lord Chatterley. It’s a Golan/Globus production with better than usual production values. I wonder how it compares to the ’93 Ken Russell version? Can I be bothered to find out?