Friday, May 1
Directed by Frank Henenlotter
85 Minutes / Revolver Entertainment DVD (U.K./R2/PAL) / Anamorphic 1.78:1 Widescreen
A slightly off-kilter erotic photographer with seven clits (perhaps more) and a normal guy with "organ" dysfunction struggle with their insatiable desires--until their worlds cross.
Frank Henenlotter returns with a Frank Henenlotter film and I haven't laughed so much in a long time. Sex and child birth is under the director's quirky focus and both are frankly skewed to hilarious effect. Wailing "freak babies" are tossed in the trash, wire coils are used as masturbatory devices, and free roaming monstrous penises burst through drywall in search of satisfaction.
Charlee Danielson as the woman with the mutant vagina carries the role on a tightrope, injecting a realistic tone with spot-on narration, but also willing to get wild for the sake of comedy. Anthony Sneed also shines as a reclusive guy with tremendous power below his belt. By their lived-in, believable performances it's surprising that they're both newcomers. The rest of the cast are mostly odd looking faces playing odd characters with zeal. Or hot porn stars with copious amounts of boobs. Henenlotter certainly hasn't lost his touch with unique casting and witty dialogue after all these years.
It's hard to define what makes this film so funny. The comedy here is both sporadic and spontaneous, hitting when you least expect it. Goofy, perfectly-timed sound effects and sharp editing also deliver laughs. As mentioned, the lurid topics are so openly poked fun of that even relatively "normal" conversation spurs the giggles.
Unfortunately, it's not all a grand slam. The most obvious issue is the steam the film builds kinda fizzles out in the last twenty minutes and the conclusion feels rushed. We also lose Danielson towards the middle for too long and her psycho tendencies aren't quite fleshed out. Besides these problems, it feels like Henenlotter never left. Let's hope to see more and this little slice of absurdity is recommended, especially if you're a fan of his prior work. No U.S. DVD (or even film distribution) is planned at the time of this review.
DVD Picture: 5.5/10 (phoned-in work, interlaced, muddy at times, no extra features at all)
DVD Sound: 6/10 (Dolby 2.0)