Wednesday, July 26, 2017

SAVING GRACE (2000)

Grace is a moron. In the opening moments of the film, we learn that Grace's husband committed suicide and not only was he cheating on her, but he had also borrowed money against everything they own and left her over £300,000 in debt!  How exactly does a housewife with no job become so out of touch with reality that she doesn't even realize stuff like that?  Anyway, so I guess we're suppose to feel sympathy for her and then laugh along at her unfunny journey into big time weed dealing.  I didn't laugh once...

...but I did enjoy the film, because SAVING GRACE is the first time we ever see Martin Clunes as "Doc Martin".  I absolutely love the TV show Doc Martin and have watched it from beginning to end multiple times, so this film, while it was completely predictable and not funny, was interesting because we get to see Martin Clunes, Tristan Sturrock and the town of Port Isaac.  All three would go on to star in the television show.  It was very interesting to see just how wildly different the character of Dr. Martin was in this film compared to what he became in the show 4 years later.

Long story short: SAVING GRACE is a mildly entertaining film that is totally predictable, but it's worth a watch for Martin Clunes fans. As for me, I'll never watch it ever again.

Monday, July 24, 2017

THE DIANE LINKLETTER STORY (1970)

Rumored to have been made by John Waters and a few fellow Dreamlanders (to test a new camera) the day after Diane Linkletter's suicide, THE DIANE LINKLETTER STORY was never intended for public consumption, but yet...here we are.

At only 10 minutes long, there's not a lot going on.  Mary Vivian Pearce and David Lochary star as two concerned parents, sitting on their living room sofa, talking about their daughter's wild life style.  After a few minutes, the daughter (Divine) walks in and announces that she's high on LSD.  They send her to her room upstairs.  She goes and almost immediately climbs out the window and jumps to her death.  The parents look at her bloody corpse in horror as the closing lines of Art Linkletter's tacky "We Love You, Call Collect" plays.  The End.

There's not a lot to say.  The dialogue seems to be completely improvised...at one point all three actors are talking at one time.  There's no attempt at professional-looking camera work...it simply pans around and zooms in and out, but not too fast.  The film is very watchable.

Honestly, THE DIANE LINKLETTER STORY isn't much to look at, but it is an interesting look into early Dreamlander stuff.  And I'm always happy to watch Divine, Mary and David!

LOVE LETTER TO EDIE (1975)

Very sweet 14-minute documentary by Robert Maier (who worked on five different John Waters movies) about the wonderful Edith Massey.  For those of you not fortunately to know who Edith Massey is, she (in real life) worked at a place in Baltimore called "Pete's Hotel" bar.  It was there that John Waters first saw her.  He was instantly smitten by her unique look and personality.  She ended up, over the next 10+ years, appearing in five of his films, including his masterpiece PINK FLAMINGOS.

Even at only 14-minutes, LOVE LETTER TO EDIE packs in a lot of interesting stuff.  My favorite being Edie telling her life story (who knows if it's even accurate) while we watch her and other Dreamlanders (Pat Moran, Mink Stole, Mary Vivian Pearce) reenacting those events or just walking around.  I thought that was really cool and very nice of them to help with this short film.

If you don't care about Edith Massey or John Waters, then LLTE will probably be a bore, but if you are a fan then it's mandatory.  Also, strangely enough, there's two different versions of the film out there.  One looked to be the original (with audio commentary by Pat Moran) and an updated version that tweaked some of the credit stuff and had a slightly better picture.  I personally like the original better.  Recommended.

DEVIL SNOW (1991)

In what looks to be Los Angeles (I'm basing this solely on what I've seen in movies), a young woman becomes addicted to crack cocaine.  She runs away from home and starts banging some sleazy dude for crack.  Soon she begins having unexplained side effects to smoking crack.  The most serious side effect being her face turns green and she murders anybody around her!  The story isn't explained that well, but some cops get involved in the case and the rest of the movie is them doing stuff and the young woman stabbing people.

For a feature-length movie that probably only cost a few thousand dollars to make, DEVIL SNOW isn't too bad.  The lighting is atrocious and the acting isn't going to win any awards, but the story is kind of funny.  I ended up watching it twice simply because it was so interesting.  I'd love to know the stories behind the film: how it originated, how the story idea was conceived, who in the hell paid for it, did it make any money, who are these actors, did they have permits to shoot, why was the lighting so horrible, was that real fire coming out of the pistol or animated, what the hell was up with that horrible green face make-up, how come nobody ever got naked, why wasn't the violence more insane, did the girl have memories of the murders, was there an actual script for all of the scenes...cause some of that shit just sounded like people rambling?  I could go on and on.

DEVIL SNOW is most definitely not for everybody, but I'm glad I came across it.