YIKES!!! Here are some things I learned from this mess!
I really wanted to like this movie but it was such a huge mess of over-the-top destruction sequences that it just isn't engaging. In retrospect, some of the plot is so nonsensical its absurd and humorous! The final act reminded me of a gag from the Powder-Puff girls where they destroy the entire city in process of trying to save it. Some things I learned from MAN OF STEEL: 1. ZOD is a Space Jockey. 2. SUPERMAN is a savior. He's, you know, like Jesus. 3. If you need to banish some people to the 'Phantom Zone' the most unreliable prison/transport going is the giant jet-powered dildo. 4. No, no...You don't understand! SUPERMAN is a lot like Jesus, sacrificing himself for us. ... 5. Violent acclimation to new climates transports Kryptonians to a magical hallucinatory farm land where you can have real conversations with phantoms of people - especially those who reveal that they are basically Hitler, which inevitably transforms the ground into a sea of skulls that superheros drown in. Also said acclimation causes blood to be vomited and everything explained during said hallucination is expository fact that drives the plot. 6. When trying to save someone's life, the most secure place to fly them to, is a barn that houses exactly what the threat to their lives is after. Just say "You'll be safe here." 7. People often worry about what would happen if the world were confronted with Martians. But as it turns out, its not social mayhem at all. Other Martians come looking for those Martians and then basically destroy civilization fighting - but so long as some of those martians are nice to us, we'll forgive them! 8. NYC is the hot spot for Terraformers! 9. NYC and KANSAS are practically neighbors! 10. The neckline of SUPERMAN'S suit was crafted with sexy in mind. 11. Pam is seriously two-timing Jim and he should be worried. 12. Bless me Father, but if I sacrifice myself to save the world, will I be like Jesus? ANSWER: Yes. 13. If you have a 'World Creator' (or whatever) terraform-machine, and can basically terraform ANY planet, the logical next step for anyone, is to choose to use the planet that's already inhabited. 14. Advanced Alien technology can easily terraform ecosystems, build intergalactic spaceships, create artificial childbirth, store unborn babies in the cells of newborn babies to later be harvested anytime throughout eternity, but they can't figure out how to get a satellite to broadcast to a television.
15. Breaking someone's neck is at least 10x more tragic for a superhero than say killing thousands of innocent people in NYC in an alien bar brawl.
Wooosh! That's the sound of the point going right over your head.
I'm not gonna spend my time talking KABOOM up and up. There is no need. It is, in a way, a return to form from Gregg Araki, and also somewhat exploratory, with genre. It's not his best film, but it's not his worst either. What constantly strikes me about his work is the way so many people who negatively review it, cite all the wrong things as why it's bad. It's as if every negative review of his films, and every negative reviewer is determined to showcase precisely the things which are intentional, to the film, as mistakes or reasons for it's overarching badness. Does POST-MODERNISM really get lost on so many? Case and point: The first review on this page (at the time of my writing THIS review) is titled, "Pointless photoshopped farce perpetrated on your wallet. Take your kids" I mean, yeah. Duh. That WAS the point. It's pointless, photoshopped, vapid, and....YOU MISSED THE RELEVANCE. You weren't IN on the joke and that's your fault. It's social commentary. Surely, you can understand social commentary's place in art? That statement may as well be a blurb on the cover of the DVD, trying to gather attention for it's purchase. It's not really doing it any injustice. Now, like I said, this film certainly isn't perfect, but boy do some people need to better train their eyes.
There's something brilliant about this SLEAZE FEST.
I'm giving this movie 3 STARS. It may not deserve it. It is, EVEN IN MY OPINION, truly ghastly. The violence is often misogynist, and not lightly, not innocently. Beautiful naked women don't swim in red paint to amuse us in THE NEW YORK RIPPER. There is nothing to give us the impression that the violence is ever less than mean spirited. Well, except for the killer's voice bearing a resounding likeness to a certain iconic cartoon character, but this too, is most likely the exception proving the rule. There is also something quite sad behind all this cruelty. Trouble is, the violence is so unusually bitter, that it may simultaneously be hurting the films ability to get it's deeper, negative connotations across. One cannot imagine that an artist, of Fulci's caliber, would simply produce something this horrible, for the sake of being horrible. Instead, I propose, there is something more here, something that stays with you. Subversion, perversion, deep hatred, a mirror image of the Director's earlier film, intimations of a diseased city, snapshots of 42nd St, at it's worst...Then, of course, there's the killer, stabbing along as he furiously quacks like Donald Duck. Yes, Donald Duck. At times, you can't help but find it's morbidity, haunting, even poetic. Funny? Only in the blackest way imaginable. I realize that it sounds crazy, to assign depth to such a sleaze fest, but I get the impression there is something important going on here. I can't figure AND digest it. Maybe if it could be seen where and when it was made, at the infamous Times Square Splatterhouses of it's NYC namesake? There is of course the reference to Fulci's earlier DON'T TORTURE A DUCKLING to consider, and there are subplots about disabled children and prostitution. I don't think I want to spread it out much more than that. Technically the dub isn't the best, but that was the Italian model at this time. The acting isn't the greatest and I'm not always sure the casting decisions were well made either. The cinematography is understated. It is one of Fulci's stronger stylistic pieces, I think. I agree with another reviewer who took the time to describe it's Noirish tone and feel. Indeed, you'll be hard pressed to like a single character. It's just overall, very, very dark. Which is really saying something, coming from me. I can't think of many other films I would say this about, or feel that way about. This is a cruel film. It may be too much for some, but it seems that, maybe that lump I get, in the back of my throat, from watching this; I feel like, maybe that lump is indicative of something brilliant going on.
This movie is completely over the top! Why and how it escaped getting played around the world, on the midnight circuit, is beyond me. It's like someone made a soup out of a Spanish Soap Opera, a Giallo, Gothic Thriller, and a Film Noir... It's loaded with ridiculous double crosses, kinky incest (is it incest?), countless decapitations, pet vultures, plot twists that make little to no sense, random Freudian Psychology, and extraneous WWII Concentration Camp flashbacks! The score is over-dramatic, as is the acting, and just about everything else. It certainly can't be taken seriously, but that's what's so appealing. Don't be fooled though, if it's the Classic Bava, Martino or Argento-esque formula you're looking for, that's not what you'll get. Despite that it is often listed and cited as a Giallo. This movie came out in 1970, when the genre was just beginning to take root, so while it's certainly got all of the necessary elements to be classified as 'Gialli', the elements are scattered, appearing in different places in the plot than is common to the traditional Giallo formula. That said, it could be of interest to hardcore fans in that respect. That's how I came upon it, and I'm not upset. Think something along the lines of Luciano Ercoli's "Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion" or even Lucio Fulci's "Perversion Story," only much more ridiculous! Wonderfully ridiculous, psychedelic and melodramatic. Wow.
Brilliant, but what else is new from this guy.....
If this film were made in English, I have no doubt it would be a cult classic. Fassbinder ups the comedic ante more-so than I've ever seen him do before. Granted it's still black humour, but its his own blend of slapstick and dark comedy. Picture a. theater of the absurd, almost put forth as a farce, but with Fassbinder's usual biting sarcasm and cynicism, and ultimately leading to an eruption of statements about the psychological limitations of admiration and desire. A familiar theme in Fassbinder's work. In fact, the whole movie plays like a joy ride through professional and relative oblivion, only the characters and the actors seem to be enjoying themselves throughout countless identity crisis, dead flies posing as relatives, simulated sexual murder and what-not. Heh.