24 August 2002 | lbcsrw
The Blackest of Black Comedies
It is hard to place any kind of meaningful description to this film because it takes cultural, social, and moral ideals and stomps on them. Additionally, the casting of the film goes against type, with Jonathan Winters, for example, as a dark, imposing religious force. The acting is superb, intense and, at times, intentionally campy and over-the-top. Each scene seems outrageous and, at times, ridiculous but inexorably moves the characters, and the audience, to a lip-biting conclusion.
Terry Southern, one of the credited screen writers, was also responsible for Kubrick's Dr Strangelove, Barbarella, Candy, Easy Rider, The Magic Christian, and many other wacky films. Knowing this may help to place it in some familiar context. Of all his films, though, this is the darkest.
If you are disturbed or offended by the funeral business, death in general, dead pets, or slightly veiled hints at necrophilia then you might want to give this one a miss. If you're brave and open-minded, however, I highly recommend this truly strange and wonderful film.