Archive for the ‘Mental Disorders’ Category

Split

Sunday, April 23rd, 2006

Don’t let the lack of budget fool you– this movie is sort of deep. It’s a commentary on technology and the nature of humankind. well, sort of. It follows the trials of Starker, a guy on the run from two guys inĀ  darkened office who follow his course around an unnamed city on their 80/88, which has remarkable graphics for it being 1989. I think the guys in the office are controlling humankind, and Starker has figured out a way to evade them. He has a drug, which he is going to put in the water supply, which will make people see what’s really going on. However, the freedom is making him paranoid and unstable, and causes him to do things like snort Sweet & Low in a diner, and change his clothes a lot.
There’s also a subplot about the Head Bad Guy, whose body is falling apart, and he must be kept hanging in this giant mechanical contraption. He needs to transplant his being (i.e, thoughts, personality, memories etc.) into a new body in order so he can go on living and expounding on the nature of live and reality in long speeches.
There are some cool details in the movie–for example, Instead of trenchcoat-clad Men In Black figures, the governing entity’s henchman are robotic guys with pompadours and pastel blazers who drive around in a 1960s convertible. There’s a funny, yet slightly creepy artist whom Starker discusses art with, who gets to have a weird dream sequence on a beach with nekkid chicks.
All in all, this movie has some interesting moments, but definitely ranks high in the cheese category.

Rant on Stuff by the Head Bad Guy

Sleeping With The Enemy

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
Starring: Julia Roberts, Patrick Bergin, Kevin Anderson

This movie made me realize the magic of bad cinema. If it weren’t for this film, I probably would not be the cynical obnoxious person I am today regarding the Silver Screen! There are so many things wrong with this film that it’s completely effortless to sit back and make fun of it. You just sit there with a look of bewilderment, thinking “How could someone be that stupid?”

Laura (Julia Roberts) marries Martin (Bergin), a guy whom she later discovers is an obsessive-compulsive psycho freak. He reprimands her for hanging towels unevenly on the towel rack. He flips out if the canned food isn’t arranged neatly according to height in the cupboards. He holds her prisoner in a Cape Cod beach house that looks like it was donated by the Conran’s Habitat catalogue. And she didn’t notice any of this strangeness when she married him. Apparently, a perfectly nice dashing handsome rogue turned into a psycho upon returning from his honeymoon. Ok. If you can believe that, we’ll go onto the rest of the film.

Laura eventually escapes from Martin. She fakes her own death by drowning.(she supposedly can’t swim, but has been taking swimming lessons in secret), why does her swimming instructor call her husband at work to offer condolences? Wouldn’t any normal stranger just send a card? This tips him off to the fact that she may not be dead… he hunts her down… He finds her blind mother (who is about 80. She’s probably not 30 yet. So she was born when her mom was 50+? I suppose it could happen) whom she is desperately trying to protect…

Meanwhile, Laura has begun a new life in a charming little town in the pacific northwest. Her next door neighbor is a drama professor (Anderson) who has the hots for her, even though she’s mean to him and generally exudes high-maintainence neuroses. I always thought that men didn’t like this sort of whiny needy behavior. I guess I was wrong. Anyway, after a gratuitous hat- trying on scene, Laura and her new beau become more attached. Unfortunately, by this time, Martin has tracked Laura down. Luckily he loads his gun with exactly 4 bullets, so everyone can live happily ever after.

If you’ve ever thought of hiding your wedding ring so your psycho husband can’t find it in the toilet (without bothering to flush), then this is the movie for you! Plus, some video stores have a special free rental about the making of this movie. Such a bargain!

Basic Instinct

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
Starring: Sharon Stone, Michael Douglas

Boobs. Boobs. Boobs. That’s the main point of this movie. Boobs and blood. Somebody is going around killing people. Who is it? It’s pretty obvious, but I won’t ruin the suspense. Sharon Stone stars as the key suspect, who bares her boobs, has sex with people and makes out with women. Michael Douglas stars as the cop who gets suspended even though he’s obsessed with a murder case. He gets to have sex with people a lot as well. This is definitely a movie to pass up if you don’t like the sight of breasts.

Charly

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006

Haven’t you always wanted to see Boston from a retard’s point of view? Charly is a “retardate” who gets an operation that makes him smarter. Upon becoming smarter, he joins a biker gang and smokes pot and has a psychedelic experience with bad special effects. Then he comes to his senses, and becomes a genius, and falls in love with his teacher, which results in a happy love sequence involving more bad special effects.

Based upon the novel “Flowers for Algernon,” which I loved as an 8th grader, this film doesn’t live up to its depressing potential. The ending is a bit different, much happier. The thing that made the book so great was its depressing ending! Anyway, this film is good if you like cheesy special effects, and a dark vision of the future.

Con Air

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
Starring: Nicholas Cage, John Malkovich, Colm Meaney, John Cusack

What happens when a bunch of convicted criminals hijack the plane they’re being transferred on? Lots of people get shot, and a lot of stuff blows up. People are forced to use catchy one-line threats such as “put… the… bunny… in… the… box!” before shooting other people.

Nicholas Cage plays the guy who saves the day (but not after crashing the plane into downtown Las Vegas, causing half of the known universe to explode). This movie should simply have been called “Stuff Blowing Up.” John Malkovich co-stars as- guess what? A psycho killer! No way! Did I mention that there are lots of explosions? A truly great one for those who love action/adventure cheese involving bad plot devices and Chief O’Brien. John Cusack plays a good guy who wears Birkenstocks. Don’t miss the gratuitous scene where the psycho cross dresser rocks out to Lynard Skynard. It’s a bonding moment for all the convicted criminals.

The Other Sister

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
Starring: Juliette Lewis, Giovanni Ribisi, Diane Keaton, Tom Skerrit

OK, I’ll admit that Juliette Lewis is one of my least favorite actresses on the planet, so this review is a little bit biased. In fact, one of the only things worse then seeing Juliette Lewis in a movie is seeing Juliette Lewis play a retard in a movie. Sigh. This movie was painful for me to watch (it was a family bonding moment with my aunt, who had rented this video).

Juliette, in all of her hesitant, twitchy glory plays a mentally challenged girl whose mother treats her, well, like a retard. That is, her mother is not ready for her to grow up and assume the responsibility of an adult. I can’t figure out why, because, aside from Ms. Lewis’s abnormally slow hesitant monotone that slowly caused me to want to rip my eardrums out of my head, lest I go on hearing it, she didn’t act any different from say, my sister (note: my sister is not mentally challenged, she just acts like it most of the time).

Anyway, we get to see Juliette drawl on a lot and assert herself as she goes to college and gets decent grades, falls in love with another retard (Giovanni Ribisi,) and generally makes a lot of heart warming speeches about how she can do anything. It’s all very sweet. It’s also scientifically formulated to make you (that is people in general, not me) cry a lot. If you’re at all considering becoming a Scientologist, picture yourself locked on this miserable planet for eternity with Juliette Lewis. Maybe then you’ll change your mind.

The Man in the Iron Mask

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jeremy Irons, Gerard Depardieu, Gabriel Byrne, John Malkovich

The best part of this movie was seeing Athos’s (Malkovich) son doing his John Malkovich impression. I mean, he was really good at it! Other than that, this movie was fairly boring. It details the lives of the now washed-up Three Musketeers, as they discover that their mean king has an identical twin brother who is kept locked up in the eponymous Iron Mask in a dungeon somewhere. There are some political subplots involving past events and stuff like that. Ho hum. There are lots of great actors in this film…why? Were the filmmakers trying to make up for the lack of drama? It’s another example of John Malkovich playing regular person. He’s just not very believable if he’s not portraying a psycho or a retard. His sarcastic, clipped way of speaking is just, well, annoying if it’s not indicating the outer trappings of a confused, insane, or otherwise mentally deficient mind. As a pretty average 16th century guy (have I got the time frame right? I can’t remember,) he just comes across as being a little high strung.

Anyway, the rest of the actors seemed pretty bored with the whole idea of getting through this film. I was overcome with ennui just looking at them wearily going through the motions. And Leonardo DiCaprio, the ever-prepubescent waif just isn’t good at being evil. As the bad king, he’s just too wimpy for us to think that he harbored so much hatred for his own brother that he’d imprison him in an iron mask. As the good brother, he’s just boring. What can I say? This film was filled with lots of cheesy dialogue, and a totally predictable corny plot twist. Oy. I sigh with weariness.

Arlington Road

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Tim Robbins, Joan Cusack

Militias are so ’96! I remember after the Oklahoma City bombing thing everyone was paranoid about militias. It seems like everyone who has ever experienced a bomb threat suddenly was convinced the militias were gathering in the hills, ready to blow up their workplace, shoot their dog, and steal their mail. Militias were even the subject of a couple of New Yorker cartoons! I think militia fever has died down since then. Militias are out. Even Y2K problems are old hat these days. The times they are a-changin’ But did the makers of Arlington Road catch up on these trends? Apparently not.

It all begins when Michael Faraday (Bridges) encounters a bleeding boy stumbling down the street. He rushes the boy to the hospital and ends up meeting the boy’s parents, Cheryl and Oliver Lang (Cusack & Robbins.) It turns out they are neighbors, and everyone becomes good friends. However, when Michael accidentally gets some of Oliver’s mail that had been forwarded from St. Louis, he begins to get suspicious. Oliver had said that he just moved from someplace else. Hmmm. The wheels are turning in Michael’s paranoid head. You see, Michael’s profession is that of a College Professor. He teaches a class on terrorism. Convenient that terrorists should pick *his* house to move next door to… Anyway, I’m spoiling the point.

Michael goes to Oliver’s one day, and sees some blueprints on a table. From seeing about 2 inches by 5 inches of the blueprint for 5 seconds, Michael is able to ascertain that they are not to the mall that Oliver, an engineer, says he is working on. They’re of a building! Can this be connected to the St. Louis IRS building bombing that happened the year before? Could the nice couple Oliver and Cheryl be *gasp* terrorists? No way!

Oh yeah, there are some sub-plots involving Michael’s deceased FBI-agent wife, his new flaky girlfriend, his son’s adjusting to the motherless situation, and stuff like that. All this just sort of gets in the way of the plot. And the real reason you’re seeing this movie: Tim Robbins and Joan Cusack are really awesome as suburban psychos. They come off as being the perfect barbecuing couple, with just a glimmer of insanity shining through every now and then. However, the main point of the film is the plot twist at the end. I saw it coming from a mile away, but a lot of people were shocked from what I read on the Internet. Of course, you can’t believe everything you read… and this movie will try to hit that point home even more.

I Know What You Did Last Summer

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
Starring: that chick from TV

So you thought the slasher horror film era was dead? You were right! I mean, No, here’s a another one.

Basically every single thing about this movie is 100% predictable, except where the film takes place. The anonymous letter to the main character seems to be addressed to Connecticut, but the license plates say North Carolina. The town is called Southport, but the main marching band is from Port Brunswick…I was confused. But this was about the only confusing thing- the rest of the movie was completely laid out for you- Don’t try to analyze the motives for the killings, it’ll only leave you more dissatisfied.

This was based on a book by Lois Duncan, who was my absolute favorite author when I was 12. I can’t believe she’d ever write a book like this!

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
You’d think they’d at least install a chair lift
Starring: Bette Davis, Joan Crawford

I may have been mean to my sister when we were kids, but I never tried to feed her a dead budgie. This is the story of two show-business sisters, “Baby” Jane Hudson (Davis,) a washed-up vaudeville child star, and her sister Blanche, (Crawford) a glamorous 30’s film star. One night Blanche is crippled from the waist down in a car “accident.” No one’s quite sure what happened, but it’s pretty clear that Baby Jane ran her sister over in a fit of pique. Now Jane must wait on her sister hand and foot, attending to her every need. Blanche is totally dependant on her sister, yet it’s her money that pays all the bills and rent.

Of course, Jane doesn’t exactly enjoy being Blanche’s nurse. When she discovers Blanche’s plans to sell the house, move out with her paid nurse and ditch Jane, Jane goes apeshit. How easy would it be to forge Blanche’s signature and keep cashing her checks? And if Blanche were conveniently out of the way, who would know?

So Jane sets about making Blanche’s life a living hell. Watch the sparks fly as Jane kills Blanche’s parakeet and serves it to her sister on a lovely bed of sliced tomatoes. Watch Blanche get upset and ring her buzzer. Watch Blanche starve and steal chocolates out of her sister’s bureau. Watch Jane try to revive her signing career with a con-man as her piano player. Watch Jane hit people with a hammer.

I can’t really describe this movie. If you’ve seen many Bette Davis films, you’ll know how good she is a playing creepy old ladies. This really takes the cake, however. Joan is cast against type as a whiny, perpetually naive and sweet older sister. She wheels herself around looking scared and upset and ringing her buzzer a lot. Now, if you were confined to a wheelchair, wouldn’t you insist on living on the first floor? The Hudson Sisters are ultra-rich, yet they can’t afford one of those electric chairs that climbs stairs for you. You’d think that Blanche would at least make certain she’d get out of the house once in a while.

But Blanche has a deep, dark secret that’s causing her to be such a whiney nincompoop. Don’t miss the ironic surprise ending.

I think this movie was technically supposed to be a horror movie, but you can’t help but chuckle the whole way through. This is one of those films that everyone quotes, yet we had to visit three different video stores in two different cities to find it. Watch Joan Crawford torture her children in Mommie Dearest and then chase it with Baby Jane.

Eye of the Beholder

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
Match made in Heaven, or Freudian nightmare?
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Ashley Judd, Patrick Bergin, k.d. lang

I didn’t hate this movie as much as everyone in the audience when I saw it. As I was walking out, I heard many comments along the lines of, “a waste of film” and “a real waste of 2 hours of my time. I could have been shopping.” I liked it. It did have cheesy moments, I’ll admit…For example, The fact that Joanna (Ashley Judd), the main character’s last name is Eris is a bit cheesy– at least I thought it was corny and obvious (Eris being the goddess of discord that follows Ares, the Greek god of war around, causing fights and mayhem and Joanna goes around killing people). However, I was just informed that most people wouldn’t pick up on this. Oh well. I’m a nerd. We’ve already established that fact.

Joanna’s main function is to go around alluring men into her clutches and then killing them. Every so often she has flashbacks of her daddy and Christmas. As she’s killing someone, she sobs “Merry Christmas, Daddy!” Supposedly it’s because her father walked out on her on Christmas when she was little that turned her into a psycho killer. My dad forgot to call me on my birthday once, does this give me license to lure my boss to his death? Please?

Ewan McGregor plays a nameless reclusive techno-geek private eye known as “the Eye.” He follows Joanna around and elaborately spies on her with all sorts of nifty gadgets. He’s like what would happen if James Bond were in Christopher Reeve’s Rear Window. He becomes obsessed with Joanna, and follows her around the country, charting his progress by buying a new souvenir snow dome for every new city. I like snow domes.

So anyway, “The Eye” gets more and more obsessed with Joanna, and then we discover that his wife disappeared with his daughter a few years back. His daughter is haunting him now– she actually appears in weird places, and they have conversations. He’s a “daddy without a little girl.” Joanna is a “little girl without a daddy…” match made in heaven…or Freudian nightmare? You decide! Don’t miss the spectacular, um, ending. This movie doesn’t actually end. Nor does it fizzle out. It just sort of stops, and the credits roll. But whatever– at least the ending isn’t totally formulaic and predictable. It just doesn’t happen.

By the way, why does k.d. lang gets to have her name not capitalized? I think I’m going to change my name to sCOOTEr bUrCH.

The Bell Jar

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
Aw, go stick yer head in an oven already!
Starring: Marilyn Hassett, Julie Harris, Jameson Parker

Based upon the timeless, teen-angst classic, Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, this film adaptation was a terrifying depiction of one young woman’s descent into annoyance. Scooter and I stared at the screen dumbfounded (well, maybe not completely dumbfounded) for two hours while Esther Greenwood (Hassett) pranced around throwing temper tantrums and screaming and generally, just freaking out over little stupid things. What, you say? You say that that’s the way depressed people act? Well, let me just say… no. I read The Bell Jar, and it’s a pretty good book. However, I’m sure that if this movie had been made as soon as the book came out, Ms. Plath wouldn’t have wasted so much time in offing herself.

Here’s the plot in a nutshell: Ester is a bright young college student with a lot of talent. She writes a villanelle and gets invited to work for a summer at a ritzy fashion mag in New York City. She has many adventures in the Big Apple, including getting into a screaming match with her editor, getting sexually assaulted by a blind date, and throwing all of her clothes out of the window. She also has many poignant flashbacks of her boyfriend Buddy (Parker,) a big dork who just wants to do the nasty with her. You really can’t blame Esther for not wanting to get hot ‘n heavy with Buddy, because even his mere presence onscreen in a constant source of irritation. However, Esther looses her sympathy chip pretty quickly.

After Esther’s job in NYC is up, she has to go back home to the suburbs and live with her mom, a creepy widow. Esther starts to loose her cookies. She’s a total over-achiever, and when people question her natural intellectual superiority, she flips out. She also gets turned down for a summer writing program, so she’s bored and doesn’t know what to do with herself. I don’t know about you, but whenever I’m bored, I spend a lot of time eating raw hamburger and visiting cemetaries. (Actually, I did visit the cemetary a lot during my painful teenage years… which I guess is the point of this film.) Aanyway, Esther’s dad dies when she was really little, and her creepy mom forbids all mention of his name. Could this be part of Esther’s problem? Gee.

Why is it that whenever an insane woman in a movie has to leave a message, it’s always written on the mirror in lipstick? Is this some kind of feminist statement about the nature of cosmetics? Are Hollywood producers ironically implying that women express themselves through make-up? Or do filmmakers simply assume that women don’t know how to use any other writing instrument? I don’t know, but Esther gets a lot of practice.

Eventually Esther downs a bunch of sleeping pills and wakes up in a sanitarium. Her mom won’t admit that she has a problem, which causes Esther to flip out and scream at her at random intervals. Esther also gets electro-convulsive shock treatment and stares at the wall blankly and other fun things. I won’t go into details. Eventually Esther is cured and her best friend hangs herself. The End.

It’s fun, though, watching Esther flip out and scream at people. For one thing, she’s supposed to be nineteen, yet the woman playing her is obviously in her thirties. Dust off your old high school journals, light a clove cigarette, and watch this movie with your depressed teenage poet friends.

Psycho

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
Starring: Anne Heche, Vince Vaughan

“Why?,” you ask yourself. “Because it’s never been done before” is the response. Well, OK. I’m all for experimentation… but please don’t do it again!

Gus VanSandt has re-created the Hitchcock thriller in this 1998 re-make. He’s done more than re-create it, however, he’s remade it almost exactly like the original. Every camera angle, piece of dialogue, actor’s expression, are exactly the same. He even used the same score. I don’t know if this was the intention, but the similarity forces you to compare it to the original in every moment. I found myself saying to myself “I don’t remember those pineapples being on top of the bannisters,” or other such trivial details. One of the major differences was when we find Norman (Vaughan) spying on Marion (Heche) through a hole in the wall- I don’t remember him flogging the log in the Hitchcock version! But then, I suppose everyone is due his own artistic license.

The result is an oddly surreal film with dialogue that sounds laughably weird and stilted for the 90s. The music was eerie and tense in the 60s, but at the dawn of the new millennium, it’s kind of annoying. Watching this film was just… weird.

Apt Pupil

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
Starring: Ian McKellen, Brad Renfrow

Todd (Brad Renfrow), an average high school student, discovers that Karl, his neighbor (Ian McKellen) is a former Nazi war criminal. Todd becomes fascinated with him, to the point where he’d rather talk about death than get a blowjob from the girl he likes.

At first this film seemed kind of like the anti Schindler’s List: you see the Holocaust from the Mean Nazi’s point of view. Then the cheese really kicks in. Todd buys an old Nazi uniform and makes Karl put it on and march around. At first Karl is embarrassed, but then he gets into it, goosestepping around the room, ending in a nice Hitler salute. But his former Nazi days catch up to him further- a cute little stray cat joins him for dinner one night, and Karl gets the insatiable urge to put it in the oven.

Meanwhile, Nazi tendencies are rubbing off on our impressionable protagonist- he bribes his sensitive guidance counselor (David Schwimmer with a dopey Ned Flanders moustache) into helping Karl murder a homeless guy- it gets very silly. It’s great fun for those of us who enjoy making fun of Nazi stereotypes- at one point the homeless guy asks Karl if he can come into his house and take a shower- moments like this are exceptionally cheesily amusing for the sick mind. This is based on the novella by Cheesemeister Stephen King.

The Ripper

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
Starring: Patrick Bergin, Samuel West, Gabrielle Anwar

They probably called this film “The Ripper” because the title “Jack” was already taken by Robin Williams. It’s the tale of, you guessed it, Jack the Ripper, one of the world’s first highly publicized serial killers. I don’t know how historically accurate this film is, but despite its cheese, it’s interesting. If it is true, then it claims that Jack the Ripper was a member of the Royal Family who’s out to get revenge on prostitutes for giving him syphilis. His motive is to cleanse the disease from the lower classes and stop it from spreading. Too bad psycho killers in today’s era of penicillin don’t have such a noble cause! Patrick Bergin stars as a detective who’s on the case. Unfortunately, he’s from the wrong side of the tracks, so he’s not given the respect he deserves. It becomes a voyage of discovery when he decides to stop playacting, and embrace his lower class heritage. Here the film gets a bit preachy about the class system, but in a obvious non-threatening way. All in all, Even though Patrick Bergin is one of my favorite actors, I must say this movie was extremely average. The cheese factor isn’t that great either. But, it was a made-for-tv movie, so what do you expect?

Mary Reilly

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
Starring: Julia Roberts, John Malkovich

What happens when Dr. Jekyll falls for his servant girl? not much. Julia Roberts stars as Mary Reilly, yet another Julia Roberts character who spends a lot of time crying and being scared. Set in a 19th Century London studio set, Mary Reilly gets bitten by rats as a child and then grows up to see John Malkovitch portray what? a crazy person? no way!

Nightwatch

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Josh Brolin, Patricia Arquette

I admit I saw this movie just because it has Ewan McGregor in it. So he’s not quite as cute when he’s trying to cover up his Scottish accent, so what? He plays Martin, a law student who gets a job as the night watchman for the city morgue. Weird things happen involving someone who likes to do corpses, and Martin gets framed for murder.

Who is the real killer? Martin’s best friend James (Josh “The Goonies” Brolin) who is bored with conventional life and seeks thrills with a 17 year old hooker named Joyce? The old night watchman? The best part of this film is when James cuts his own thumb off. Watch Patricia Arquette pull a fire alarm with her teeth too.

Postmortem

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
Starring: Charles Sheen

This film wasn’t actually as bad as it came across. In fact, I think it could have been really suspenseful and intriguing had the filmmakers had enough of a budget to hire a decent screenwriter, use good lighting and good quality film, and hired actors with real Scottish accents. The low budget, I think, caused the makers to say to themselves, “hmm. We can’t make a Hollywood blockbuster… let’s make it artsy.” However, this was probably an afterthought. Fully nude female corpses and dizzily shaky camera work does not an art film make.

The plot was sort of interesting– it’s a murder-mystery. James McGregor, a prematurely retired cop (Sheen,) must track down a serial killer who keeps implicating the cop in murders. Before he kills someone, the murderer faxes James the future-deceased’s obituary. This all takes place in Glasgow, although due to the cast’s really bad approximations of Scottish accents, it’s difficult to tell this for the first few scenes.

There were other plot details that were fun to pick on. For example, the killer’s calling card is that he leaves his bodies naked in public places. How does one get a nude corpse into a public place without being noticed? Why does the bum who got fired from the funeral home hang out in front of it all day? Why doesn’t he just get another job? And if the funeral home owner sold it to real estate developers years ago, why is it still a big, neo-Gothic abandoned building?

Anyway, for those of you who like low-budget flicks with cheesy dialogue and swiss cheese plots, this one is for you!

Office Killer

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
Starring: Carol Kane, Molly Ringwald, Jeanne Tripplehorn

I debated reviewing this move, because it’s not really “bad.” It is however, extremely cheesy, and should prove extremely entertaining for the sick mind! Plus, when I discovered that Carol Kane had an uncredited appearance in Disney’s The Gnome Mobile (as, “Married Gnome,”) I knew that this movie belonged on the MGotD. Directed by that wacky photographer, Cindy Sherman, Office Killer is a vicious, gory fable about dehumanization in the modern business world.

Dorine Douglas (Kane) is a pathetic, mousey woman who lives with her crippled mother and works as a copyeditor at “Constant Consumer” magazine. She’s not particularly computer literate, but she’s worked for the magazine for sixteen years, and she knows when to use “which” instead of “that.” Norah Reed (Tripplehorn) is a sad, driven Yuppie who wants to bring the magazine “into the future.” The company is “downsizing,” and hardworking employees like Dorine are being cut down to part-time. Unfortunately, Norah is stuck being the harbinger of bad news.

Dorine must work late a night editing the next issue’s lead story on her new (actually totally outdated, but new to the company) computer terminal, when an unexplained error causes the machine to crash and make an annoying buzzing noise. The only other person in the building is Gary Michaels, a sleezy computer technician who yells at Dorine and generally throws a shitfit. Dorine escapes to the bathroom to have a good cry, and when she returns, she finds Mr. Michaels on his hands and knees, trying to fix the circuit that the computer is plugged into. He startles her, she jumps back, bumps into the circuit breaker, and Mr. Michaels is fried to a crisp.

Something inside Dorine snaps. Her father helped found this magazine, and now she’s being laid off. She’s seen Mr. Michaels, a married man, kissing Kim (Ringwald) the secretary, and she’s disgusted. Plus the new computer system has turned her from a competent copyeditor into a complete idiot. In a fit of pique, she stuffs Mr. Michaels’ body into the back of her Ford Duster and dumps him in her basement.

Now Dorine is out to get revenge! Norah’s on her bad list, because she helped engineer the downsizing, and she’s embezzling $58,000 from the magazine. Virginia, the chain-smoking, asthmatic business manager is in for it, too. Even Kim’s life is in grave danger. With each new kill, Dorine’s basement becomes a little cozier. “It’s all because of you, Norah,” says Dorine sweetly, near the movie’s end. “We’re home now. We’re all going to work at home.”

The cinematography in this movie is really beautiful, and reminds me of Delicatessen in its attention to detail. Some of the acting is a little lame, but Kane and Ringwald make up for it. Molly Ringwald is a really good actress! She’s great at playing self-absorbed, sarcastic valley girls. Plus the movie is just completely disgusting! Don’t miss Dorine murder someone with a tape dispenser, or clean a festering corpse with packing tape and Windex! This movie is a must for anyone who’s ever fantasized about replacing their boss’s asthma inhaler with aerosol glue!

Murder by Phone

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2006
Reach Out, Reach Out and Snuff Someone!
Starring: Richard Chamberlain, Robin Gammell, Sara Botsford

Modern technology is truly wonderful. Not only can one now order videos, buy groceries, and commit adultery over the telephone, we can now commit murder! Richard Chamberlain stars as Nat Bridger, an adventurous college professor who just wants to get to the bottom of the Case Of The Mysterious Dead Girl found near a smoking telephone on the Toronto subway.

Robin Gammell stars as the “postal” phone company employee who has invented a way of sending instant sparking high-energy death down a telephone wire. (The high energy sounds a lot like a car alarm going off.) What is the point of all this senseless destruction?! Is there a reason to the killer’s madness, or is he simply acting out the pain of a tortured childhood? I can’t remember! There probably was a point to this movie, but I’ve forgotten it already. Maybe he’s really enamored of the telegraph, and feels the need to rid the world of its telephonic menace. Or maybe he just wishes people would write more.

Sara Botsford stars as Ridley, the saucy artist who’s been hired to create a really, really, really ugly mural at the phone company’s downtown headquarters. She and Bridger hit it off, and soon they’re going at it like a couple of Canadian bunnies. But before long, she’s too involved for her own good! Could she be the killer’s next victim?! There’s not much she can do about it, save wait around staring at her dildo-shaped phone in a constant state of panic. The next ring-a-ding could be her last!

If you enjoy watching people with blood pouring out of their nostrils shake uncontrollably as someone makes “booooop… boop boop boop boopboop!” noises in their ear, this is definitely the film for you. This film is also known as “The Calling” overseas, except in England, where’s it’s called “Hell’s Bells” –that really cracks me up!