Sep 21, 2014


Unquestionably, Amos Kollek (Goodbye, New York, Fast Food Fast Women) is one of the worst Israeli filmmakers who has ever lived which certainly says a lot. Indeed, Israeli cinema as a whole pretty much discredits the stereotype that the members of god’s chosen tribe make better filmmakers. It should be noted that Kollek is not just any random Hebrew, as he is the son of Hungarian-born Hebraic politician Theodor “Teddy” Kollek who, on top of being named in tribute to Zionist founder Theodor Herzl and being the longtime mayor of Jerusalem (1965 - 1993), was once described as “the greatest builder of Jerusalem since Herod.”  In fact, the director even made a documentary about his father with the rather lazy title Teddy Kollek (1995).  Indubitably, any talent Teddy might have had as a keen observer of society and culture was lost on his seemingly prodigal son Amos, who has dedicated his life to making innately immoral quasi-pornographic smut disguised as socially redeeming avant-garde cinema. Indeed, a sort of Judaic Abel Ferrara meets a less pretentious Henry Jaglom, Kollek largely makes pseudo-controversial failed cult films that only seem to be released in Europe revolving around a tragic female protagonist in trouble who is more or less a a pathetic product of the society in which she lives. In his rightfully long forgotten would-be-cult-hit Forever, Lulu (1987), Kollek demonstrated just how truly untalented he is by making a film starring Fassbinder’s muse Hanna Schygulla and Deborah ‘Blondie’ Harry that actually manages to be singularly unsexy, reliably banal, and sickeningly soulless. Indeed, despite being from the same tribe as kosher funnymen like the Marx Brothers, Woody Allen, and Harmony Korine, Kollek somehow absurdly thought that titillating Teuton Schygulla would be capable of playing a comedic lead. While I am convinced that Kollek has less artistic talent than his religious brother Michael Bay, he has made a handful of films that are reasonably entertaining, if not for all the wrong reasons. Indeed, Fiona (1998), starring the director’s dud-diva Anna Levine (aka ‘Anna Thomsen’)—a mostly untalented yet artificially busted arthouse pseudo-superstar who has starred in works ranging from Mary Harron’s feminist filmic feces I Shot Andy Warhol (1996) and French fag auteur François Ozon’s decidedly disappointing Fassbinder adaptation Water Drops on Burning Rocks (2000) where she plays a post-op tranny—is a plainly pathetic celluloid turd that pretends to be a “hard drama” about a drug-addled bisexual hooker that reeks of moral retardation and sordid and sleazy sensationalism, as a work of hokey ‘hookersploitation’ in a gritty realist quasi-documentary-like style that is undeniably entertaining but has about as much artistic merit as fossilized dog dung. 

 Fiona (Anna Levine) is a sassy streetwalker with a voracious appetite for drugs and pussy who seems like she has had a lot of plastic surgery done despite the fact she is more or less a down-and-out bum who crashes at her bull dyke lesbian friends’ seedy apartments. Fiona’s sorry lot in life started practically after birth when her hooker mother abandoned her as a baby by leaving her in a NYC alley in her stroller. As she describes the event, “I remember being left out on the street by my mother. Most people don’t think a 6 month old baby can remember anything, but I really do. I remember everything. She left me there to die, I mean…I remember the feeling. Only her face I don’t remember so clearly. It was hidden by glasses.” Probably partially due to the fact that she was eventually adopted by a family of which the father routinely raped her, Fiona would love to put a bullet in the brain of her biological mother. Due to being molested at such a young age, Fiona came to the conclusion that, “sex is the answer to everything” and that she will use her decidedly defiled body to, “get out of this miserable place.” Unfortunately, prostitution has only landed her in a personal pandemonium involving drug addiction, carpet-munching, self-destruction, suicide attempts, and inevitably death. To make a little bit of cash, Fiona is willing to do more than just peddle her overused gash, as she does things like lick the toes of her bull-dyke friend to satisfy more particular patrons. Fiona is also an ungrateful little lady, as she describes a young male that saves her life during a suicide attempt as a “secondary creature.” Indeed, as a victim of regular sexual abuse, Fiona prefers to be around lady-licker junkies and crackheads as opposed to a male that seems genuinely concerned about her safety. 

 During one of the most absurd scenes of Fiona, the heroin-addled eponymous anti-heroine pulls a gun on a poor man’s Mickey Rourke who she seems to fancy in the middle of a busy restaurant. Indeed, despite initially threatening to kill the Rourke-wannabe, she saves him from prison time by killing a couple cops that show up to arrest him, stating of her nonsensical actions, “I shot them because I hate cops…pure and simple…I just acted instinctively; I didn’t think or anything. Some things I’ve done I am sure I shouldn’t have done but I really can’t make any apologies. I’ve always just went with my emotions. I’m not really a coldhearted person or anything.” Indeed, retarded Rourke flatters Fiona in his own sleazy NYC proletarian way by remarking to her, “Why do you talk like that…like your mouth is right out of the sewer? You know what…cuz you’re not like that. I can tell…underneath all of this you’re like a sweet tender person…I know this.” Of course, he eventually blows Fiona off, even though she wastes a couple pigs for him, thus aborting their romance before it even begins. Unquestionably, Fiona’s greatest love affair is with a 30-year-old fellow hooker junky who lost her “life in a couple months” after her husband was imprisoned for drug charges and her little boy was taken away, thus she now lives an unhinged life off the grid. Of course, Fiona’s loser lady-lover friend eventually overdoses on junk, but like most tragedies in her life, the forsaken streetwalker gets over her premature death rather quickly. 

 In a rather unlikely scenario of seemingly magical happenstance, Fiona bumps into her mother at a restaurant, though she does not realize until it is too late that she is the woman who give birth to and subsequently abandoned her. Indeed, after paying her super sub-homely crackhead mommy a penny to dance for her, Fiona unwittingly makes incestuous mother-daughter love with her equally perverse progenitor. Rather unfortunately, by the time Fiona wakes up the next day and finds her own baby picture near her bed, mommy dearest has already committed suicide by jumping off a building.  Of course, like all the horrible things that happen in her loser life, Fiona does not seem particularly affected by the rather senseless death of her mother.  After blowing off a young bourgeois boy who tells her that he loves her and asks for her hand in marriage, Fiona decides to steal a vintage red Chevy and head to a near-elderly black cop’s apartment who she previously befriended. Although he is married and plans to start a bed-and-breakfast with his wife when he retires, the colored cock agrees to drop his spouse and head to California with Fiona using cash he stole from drug busts. While the black pig packs stuff and tells his wife that he is leaving her, Fiona heads to a convenience where she regularly steals worthless junk food like Doritos and she is shot by the racially ambiguous brown untermensch storeowner while attempting to make her getaway. While Fiona and her spade sugar daddy begin their journey to California, the hopelessly unlucky hooker assumedly dies from her wounds on the way. In the end, Fiona ends pseudo-poetically with a shot of Fiona as a baby in a stroller, as if to demonstrate that she was not always a Sapphic cum-fueled scumbag.  If one learns anything from the film, it is the rather obvious fact that trash begets trash, with Fiona being no different from the worthless crackhead mother that she hated for abandoning her.

 Somewhat in the aesthetic spirit of the Warhol-produced “Paul Morrissey Trilogy” (Flesh, Trash, Heat), albeit minus Joe Dallesandro’s dong and a sardonically hilarious anti-counter-culture essence, Fiona is the unintentionally entertaining result of what happens when a morally vacant perennial dilettante pretends to make a serious, socially-conscious film about cliche urban plagues ranging from prostitution to drug addiction just so he can get his lead actress naked as many times as possible. Indeed, somewhat resembling a anorexic drag queen with bigger silicone tits than brains, lead Anna Levine is certainly responsible for any charisma or entertainment value the film might have, albeit in a fashion comparable to that of chimp drinking its own piss or one of the countless phony black scientist characters in Hollywood movies. Featuring insanely insipid dialogue like a scene where a braindead crackhead makes the elementary school joke, “Why can a prostitute make more money than a crack dealer? Alls she’s gotta do is wash off her crack and use it again,” Fiona really has to be seen to believed as a rare ostensible arthouse work that is so bad, it's almost good. If you’re looking for a fucked urban hooker-on-heroin flick somewhat in the dispiriting spirit of Abel Ferrara, albeit more needlessly nihilistic and minus the glaring McWop Catholic guilt, Fiona is probably your film. As a work directed by the son of the ex-mayor of the Jewish capital of the world, Kollek’s film also acts as a sort of accidental aberrant allegory from America as a whole. Indeed, acting as a sort of cinematic pimp, Zionist Israeli Kollek coerced a bunch of real goy crackheads and prostitutes to exploit their unglory in America’s unofficial Jewish capital.  Somewhat notably, with his later equally recklessly wanton and witless work Restless (2008)—a film that managed to upset some Israelis due to its sometimes unflattering depictions of Israelites—Kollek would depict the strong Judaic connection between NYC and the unholy holyland.  While Kollek's feelings towards Israel are somewhat ambiguous at best, his love of drug-addled pussy-peddlers is undeniable as demonstrated by the plodding yet sometimes playful softcore poverty-and-prostitution porn piece that is Fiona.

-Ty E

Sep 19, 2014

Twice a Man

Although a generalization, it seems to be the common consensus that most homos either have mothers they love a little too dearly or that they love to hate, with the common theme here being that gay boys have unhealthy relationships with their mommies that may have contributed to them developing into gynophobic sexual introverts. Indeed, from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) to more recent works like Tom Kalin’s Savage Grace (2007) and Xavier Dolan’s I Killed My Mother (2009) aka J'ai tué ma mère, hysterical female hormones seem to be  a major source of homo cognitive dissonance and sexual perversion in general in the cinematic realm. Unquestionably, one of the most innately bizarre, pathologically hermetic, unflatteringly vulnerable, and decidedly discombobulating, if not strangely aesthetically delectable, works of anti-Oedipal homo hysteria is the American experimental avant-garde work Twice a Man (1964) directed by rather reclusive Greek-American auteur Gregory J. Markopoulos (Psyche, The Illiac Passion), who, with the help of his disturbingly possessive boy toy Robert Beavers—a filmmaker with a similar, albeit strikingly inferior, 'transcendent' vision—made his entire oeuvre completely unattainable after moving to Greece in the late-1960s. Indeed, one of the most inventive and singular experimental filmmakers associated with the New American Cinema movement who also contributed his original film theories to Film Culture magazine and taught film at Art Institute of Chicago, Markopoulos—a strange and rather introverted fellow who, like many gay men, suffered a terribly debilitating form of paranoia—and his majorly megalomaniacal blowboy Beavers left America in 1967 for permanent relocation in Europa and shortly after that the filmmaker took all of his films out of circulation, refused to talk to the media, and even went so far as insisting that avant-garde film historian P. Adams Sitney remove a chapter on him from the second edition of the classic text Visionary Film. By the early 1970s, Markopoulos fell further and further into a fantasy world of his own making as demonstrated by the increasingly metaphysical nature of his writings and the fact that he would only screen his films in a ritualistic fashion at a special ceremonial theater in Lyssaraia, Greece (the homeland of his parents) in the hope of obtaining his ideal of ‘Temenos.’ Luckily, I managed to find a copy of Twice a Man because it was once screened on German television by the Cologne-based channel WDR (Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln) and some gracious kraut had the keen foresight to tape it. A 49-minute work shot on 16mm color film stock by the director with a borrowed camera and with the help of a mere two assistants in and around New York City, Markopoulos’ singular masterpiece is a darkly romantic, terribly haunting, and malignantly melancholy homoerotic reworking of the Phaedra/Hippolytos/Aesclepius myth that centers around an ‘artist/physician’ (supposedly, a stand-in for the director himself) who reminisces over attempting to save a suicidal young man who become his lover from his incestuous homo-hating mother. 

 If there ever was a film that was ridden with the soul-stirring sting of tragic memory and lovelorn regret, it is Twice a Man, which incorporates an incessantly spastic use of montage involving single-frame images to demonstrate in a quasi-subliminal way how the wounds of the past perennially bleed over into the present, or as the director himself described regarding his dream of creating a new cinematic language, he wanted to assemble: “a new narrative form through the fusion of the classic montage technique with a more abstract system.”  Of course, the director's abstract system is surely not for the uninitiated, as it is an arcane cinematic language that demands study.  After the beauteous title sequence featuring what seems to be pagan architecture, a couple minutes of a completely blank pitch black screen is juxtaposed with the sound of heavy rain drops hitting concrete, thus inducing a feeling of dreary monotone melancholy in the viewer. From there, the film cuts to shots of tragic gay boy Paul (played by Paul Kilb, whose sole other film credit is for Paul Morrissey’s classic 1971 Women’s lib satire Women in Revolt) sitting on a NYC city ferry in a somber fashion and reminiscing over his loneliness while in the company of happy heterosexual couples dancing. After his lonely and less than nostalgic ferry ride, Paul heads to the roof of a building where he contemplates jumping off, but a handsome ‘Artist-Physician’ (Albert Torgesen) that more or less looks like an older version of himself comforts the world weary twink by placing his hand over his shoulder, so he opts out of suicide, at least for now. 

 As demonstrated by a subsequent scene where he goes to his mother’s home in Staten Island and she asks him, “Why do you keep seeing [him]?,” as well as a montage where he is clearly being penetrated from behind while feeling the metaphysical scorn of his unpleasant progenitor, Paul is carrying on an affair with the ‘Artist-Physician’, whose memory the film seems to be recollecting, even though the work is mainly shot from the perspective of the young man. Essentially, Twice a Man is an archaic pre-Stonewall gay ‘coming-out’ film that viscerally depicts the foreboding angst that young man Paul suffers as a result of his pathologically prying mother’s traumatic influence. Indeed, it is not without reason that the mother is depicted as both a young woman (played by mainstream Greek-American Academy Award winning actress Olympia Dukakis of Moonstruck fame in her first film role) and an old woman (played by English actress Violet Roditi in her first and sole film), as her damaging influence on Paul began during his critical years and lingers today.  Likewise, Paul's subversive sexuality has destroyed his mother and she must live with the internal scars of his actions for the rest of her miserable bourgeois life as a lonely woman who will never be a grandmother.  Unquestionably, the mother is the figurative cock-block in poor Paul’s forsaken fag soul. Indeed, even while being buggering in the woods, Paul cannot get his mother out of his mind, thus she has more or less figuratively killed him as he is incapable of living as the person that he is really is.  While Paul does die at sea, it is not clear as to whether or not he committed suicide or merely was a victim of accidental circumstances.  After dying, Paul is reborn in a scene where his naked classically posed body is illuminated in a golden-white cosmic sphere of sorts, hence the title of the film.  Of course, the viewer will not realize this unless they pay particularly close attention, as the film lacks any sort of discernible chronology and portrays the mind as it really is as a collection of sometimes vivid but largely fading memory fragments.

 No doubt, after watching Twice a Man, one can empathize with Norman Bates to a degree when it comes to the metaphysical disease of mommy-mania.  Indeed, while the mother in the film is largely responsible for the character Paul's aversion to women, she also dares to spite him for the gynophobia and androphilia that she, at least partially, induced in what amounts to a vicious circle of anti-Oedipal obsession among the perturbed protagonist. While largely cryptic, the film is riddled with homoerotic imagery and symbolism, which led me to conclude that the director learned to hide his homosexuality at a young age and found esoteric ways to express his homophilia, hence his mastery of the largely visually symbolic and allegorical medium of film. Unquestionably, one of the more revealing examples of the film's semi-hidden homosexual essence is a shot of Paul holding a copy of the book The Prince of Darkness & Co. (1961) by Canadian poet/translator Daryl Hine who, on top of being an arcane poetic poof of sorts, shared director Gregory J. Markopoulos’ affinity for Greek mythology and classic European literature/poetry as demonstrated by the fact that he translated Homeric Hymns and works by ancient Greek poet Hesiod, as well as works by German Jewish poet Heinrich Heine. Markopoulos also incorporated various pieces of art in the film to highlight his homosexuality as demonstrated by a scene where Paul and the ‘Artist-Physician’ stand in front of a nude male statue, with the penis of the statue being in between their faces. In a scene in the se(a)men-fetishizing spirit of the director’s cocksucker contemporary Kenneth Anger (Fireworks, Scorpio Rising), Paul stands next to a painting of a young sailor, with the face of the seaman staring at him if as he wants to defile the young lad after a long hard day of sailing the seas. With Markopoulos’ utilization of ancient pagan imagery, one also gets the feeling that he longs for a bygone ancient utopia where ‘boys could be boys’ and be buggered by older men, hence the director's strong attachment to his Greek roots, self-imposed exile to Greece where he could by influenced by the ancient classical landscape, and his lifelong obsession of realizing his ideal of ‘Temenos.’ 

 While Markopoulos’ work, especially his unconventional use of montage, has been somewhat rightfully compared to everyone from his contemporary Stan Brakhage (Dog Star Man, Mothlight) to French auteur Alain Resnais (Last Year at Marienbad, Muriel), I think that German New Cinema dandy Werner Schroeter (Eika Katappa, Willow Springs) shares the most cinematic and poetic ‘kindredness’ with the equally arcane filmmaker. Indeed, aside from their mutual love of the Southern European Mediterranean, totally idiosyncratic style of ‘queerness,’ utilization of divas, love of classical art and ancient mythology, seeming hatred of chronology and linear plots, unnerving utilization of dissonant noise and obscured dialogue, and propensity for making some of the most esoterically personalized and impenetrable homo hermetic cinematic works ever made, Twice a Man seems like it could have been one of Schroeter’s early films (notably, Schroeter was inspired by Andy Warhol, whose Italian-American Superstar Gerard Malanga briefly appears in Twice a Man). Of course, in creating his own fantasy world and idealized occult utopia as influenced by the ancient Greeks and focusing on beautiful Adonis-like men, Markopoulos also shares much in common with gay German Conservative Revolutionary poet Stefan George. Indeed, while Twice a Man may be an undeniably queer flick, its influences demonstrate that Markopoulos was a born traditionalist who eschewed any sort of deracinated cosmopolitan world inhabited by raceless and cultureless beings and looked to the past for his ideal of beauty, even if he was one of the foremost pioneers of American experimental cinema.  While mere speculation on my part, one has to wonder if Markopoulos saw his self-imposed exile as a sort of rebirth in the spirit of Paul in Twice a Man, as both men ultimately escape from their backgrounds and identities.  Indeed, while the ‘Artist-Physician’ character might be a stand-in for the director, Paul, who somewhat resembles Markopoulos as a young man, seems like a depiction of the filmmaker's younger and more naive self.  Either way, there is no denying that Markopoulos poured out his soul for Twice a Man, as a film that is so distinctly dejecting, dreary, and disconnected from society as a whole that no man would dare to make it unless they felt the undying need to express their inner torment, thus it should be no surprise that the auteur eventually decided to sever contact with most of humanity and enter a fantasy realm of his own making a couple years after the film was released.

-Ty E

Sep 18, 2014

The Dance of Reality

Despite the fact that most of his films are in some way autobiographical, Chilean-born auteur/movie metaphysician, comics writer/artist, and spiritual guru Alejandro Jodorowsky (Fando y Lis, El Topo) has rarely made reference to his Ukrainian-Jewish origins in his cinematic works aside from fleeting esoteric references to the cabbala in The Holy Mountain (1973), at least until recently. Indeed, for his first feature in well over two decades, The Dance of Reality (2013) aka La danza de la realidad—a film based on the director’s 400+ page ‘psychomagical autobiography’ of the same name— Jodorowsky depicted his uniquely unhappy, if not equally magical and fantastic, ‘coming-of-age’ as a Ukrainian Jew who had the rare experience of growing up in a small and destitute Chilean town and suffering the emotionally and physical brutality of his sadistic and highly hypocritical Stalinist storeowner father. Quite obviously the director’s most overtly personal, intimate, and even ‘sentimental’ work to date as a film where the filmmaker and self-proclaimed “atheist mystic” makes random abrupt appearances throughout the film where he attempts to console his younger self in what some might describe as a bittersweet mix of nostalgia and self-pity, The Dance of Reality is somewhat predictably the product of a much tamer and less hysterically hermetic Jodorowsky, even if it features a middle-aged Amazonian-like woman with meaty bosoms urinating on her husband and a talking burnt corpse that is covered with maggots and snails. Sort of like a deranged Disney coming-of-age flick that turns into a spiritual quest halfway through as directed by a Chilean Fellini who had the grand misfortune of being the sole Jewish boy in a remote area inhabited by savage Indian boys who were not too sympathetic to his ‘mushroom-shaped’ circumcised cock, Jodorowsky’s latest film may not be the great long-awaited masterpiece that his fans have been eagerly expecting since his last excellent effort 1989 Santa Sangre (Jodorowsky directed The Rainbow Thief in 1990, but he ultimately disowned the film because his artistic freedom was taken away by executive producer Alexander Salkind, whose wife penned the screenplay), but it certainly offers a potent glimpse of the artist’s extremely vulnerable naked soul, so it is only fitting that the 84-year-old posted a video of himself naked to promote the film. Easily the most idiosyncratic and pleasantly unhinged autobiographical film by an auteur filmmaker since belated German dandy Werner Schroeter’s totally impenetrable penultimate work Deux (2002) aka Two, Jodorowsky’s cinematic journey may have been shot on kitschy digital video and features absolutely aesthetically repugnant CGI special effects, but there is no mistaking the artistic integrity of the mensch that created it. Starring the director’s own son Brontis Jodorowsky (who is best known for playing Jodorowsky’s naked son in El Topo) in the role of the director’s father, the film may feature cliché Freudian overtones, but it is unquestionable that it is an innately anti-Hollywood work, as a celluloid spiritual quest in the spirit of what Aldous Huxley described as the, “Perennial Philosophy.”  Indeed, on top of being autobiographical, the film pays tribute to the fact that all religions share a single universal truth, thus demonstrating the director's lifelong obsession with arcane knowledge and all things relating to the spiritual and metaphysical.  Shot on location in the director’s hometown of Tocopilla and set in 1930s depression era Chile, The Dance of Reality is part political-thriller, part Fellini-esque fantasy, part absurdist comedy, part culturally confused allegory for Jewish assimilation, and part grotesque freak show, but it is also 100% Jodorowsky and that is certainly what matters most. 

 Young Alejandro Jodorowsky (Jeremías Herskovits) is a strange and severely sensitive little boy who lives a nightmarish yet fantastic and magical life with his unhappily married Jewish-Ukrainian parents Jaime (Brontis Jodorowsky) and Sara (Pamela Flores) in Tocopilla, Chile, which is a third world hellhole that is mostly populated by half-crazed mestizos, Indians, and cripples.  Jaime is a diehard Stalinist who, despite his ostensible hatred of capitalism and affinity for dressing like a commie dictator, owns a successful bourgeois shoe and clothing store called “House of Ukraine” where a portrait of Joseph Stalin absurdly hangs on the wall as if it where a religious icon like a cross or a portrait of Christ. An unrepentant atheist true believer whose life philosophy is “you die and you rot” and who berates his son anytime he demonstrates an interest in religious matters, Jaime is ultimately a spiritual cripple and aggressively nihilistic materialist who uses communism as a sort of pseudo-religion.  Indeed, while he never outright says it, Jaime seems to think that a communist overthrow of the Chilean government will lead to him becoming a bolshevik god.  A former boxer and rope-climber for the local circus, Jaime hates the fact that the locals think of him as a weak foreign Jew who has no real love for the poor (indeed, during one especially scene, Jaime hatefully attacks a homeless cripple whose hands were blown off in a mining explosion), so he wants his seemingly effeminate son Alejandro to toughen up and forces the boy to cut off his big viking-like blond mane, which he inherited from his maternal grandfather, hence why his mother Sara—a spiritually-inclined woman who literally talks to god and sings in an operatic fashion every time she opens her mouth—strangely refers to her son as her “father,” at least until he gets a haircut.  To the chagrin of Jaime, Sara thinks that her father has been reincarnated via her son.  Indeed, after his marvelous mane is murdered via non-haircut (the barber simply pulls a wig off the boy's head!), mother Sara calls poor Alejandro a “traitor.”  Indeed, after tragically losing his glistening golden locks, Alejandro is forced to be a tough son as opposed to a whiny momma's boy.  After teaching his son to overcome pain by various methods ranging from being tickled with a feather to being smacked in the face to the point where he cracks a tooth, Alejandro is given the honor of becoming the “mascot” of the local fire department, which his father belongs to, but when the little lad witnesses the burnt corpse of a firefighter at the sight of a burned down home and later hallucinates seeing the corpse talking to him during a funeral ceremony for said burnt corpse, he disgraces his padre by fainting and not awaking for two entire days. Indeed, after Alejandro's pathetic display at the funeral ceremony, two of Jaime’s firefighter comrades mock him by remarking that, “Even dressed up as a fireman, a Jew is a Jew,” thus inspiring the Judaic Stalinist to go on a journey to deliver water to countless crippled refugees to prove his supposed dedication to the proletariat, but when he arrives, the poor people kill and eat his donkey and give him the plague, which is only cured when his wife Sara urinates on his face and bare toso. Ultimately, Jaime decides that killing Chilean president Carlos Ibáñez del Campo (Bastian Bodenhofer) will be the best way to prove his manhood and demonstrate his dedication to Chile and the commie cause.  Of course, as a bourgeois-bred kosher capitalist, Jaime will ultimately fail in his dubious mission to liberate the masses via senseless assassination.

 Jaime belongs to an underground Stalinist terrorist group—a curiously eclectic collection of cripples, beatniks, homos, lardos, trannies, and other social defective untermenschen that rather symbolically meet in whorehouses and masonic lodges (indeed, aside from the fact that brothels reflect some of the worst elements of capitalist exploitation, some believe that Freemasons were responsible for funding various communist revolutions)—and with his pinko cronies he attempts to figure out the best way to assassinate Ibáñez. After learning that the President loves his horse more than anything else, Jaime figures out his enemy’s ‘Achilles heel’ and leaves his family to carry the assassination out, but a problem arises when one of the member of his commie clique, ‘The Anarchist’ (the director’s rocker son Adan Jodorowsky, who played young Fenix in Santa Sangre), pulls a gun on him and says a foreign Jew should not have the right to kill the Chilean leader. After learning that the Anarchist wants to avenge his journalist father, who was executed by Ibáñez’s men for writing unflattering things about the dictator’s regime, Jaime agree to help his comrade carry out the assassination. Somewhat absurdly, the Anarchist attempts to assassinate Ibáñez at a dog show where canines are judged by how they look in goofy clothing, but Jaime stops him right before he shoots the dictator at close-range. After stating, “I don’t want to live in a world with dressed up dogs,” the Anarchist commits suicide by shooting himself with the same gun that he planned to assassinate the dictator with. For ostensibly risking his life to save him, President Ibáñez honors Jaime’s request to be his personal horse trainer. Indeed, since the original horse trainer Don Aquiles (Andres Cox) plans to retire, Jaime is sent to train with him before he dies (Aquiles later has Jaime bury him alive). While Jaime loves the beautiful white stallion ‘Bucephalus,’ he decides to poison the horse by encouraging it to eat poisonous yellow flowers as a way to get Ibáñez to come by the farm in the middle of the night so that he can shoot him, but when the Stalinist gets the opportunity to kill his supposed oppressor, his hands become paralyzed and he literally loses his mind. From there, Jaime will go on a Christ-like spiritual odyssey that will teach him how to be a humble man and loving father. 

 After Sara covers Alejandro's body with black paint in what is easily one of the strangest and most perverse blackface scenes in film history, the boy is able to get over his fear of the dark.  Indeed, Sarah is a born healer with a spiritual touch and like with her son, she will ultimately save her husband Jaime from his seemingly malignant spiritual sickness. Sara also helps her son get over his fear of mestizos after being beaten up for being a Jew by stating to him, “Out with Pinocchio. Out with the Jew. Out with the nose and white skin!” and subsequently telling Alejandro that he is invisible. Indeed, after Sarah goes to the bar where Alejandro was beaten up, strips off all her clothes, and walks around the place like she owns it, no one touches the scrawny Jewish boy again. With the help of an eccentric and heavily tattooed shaman that resembles a Hindu sadhu named the ‘Theosophist’ (played by the director’s son Axel Jodorowsky, who played the adult Fenix in Santa Sangre), Sara and Alejandro are able to send Jaime a message telling him to come back home. When Jaime receives the message, he snaps out of his amnesia and finds himself in a dilapidated shack in a third world ghetto lying next to a crippled midget who later explains to him that she found him half-starved wandering the streets. Flattered by the fact that Jaime seemed unaware of her glaring deformities and short stature, the crippled midget made him her live-in lover. Upset that Jaime’s memory has come back and that he will no longer want to have sex with her, the midget commits suicide via hanging and the Stalinist is blamed for the death by the locals, thus he is forced to immediately flee from the shantytown. 

 After being tormented by seemingly rabid Catholic schoolgirls and being treated like a lowly beggar, Jaime happens upon a building called “Sacred Wood Carpenters” where he meets a humble old Christian carpenter named Don Jose who helps him to rehabilitate his paralyzed hands by teaching him to make wooden chairs that will be given to a local Catholic Church. When Jaime and Don Jose give 26 wooden chairs that they created to the Catholic Church, they are warmly honored by the priest and congregation. During the festivities, Don Jose unexpectedly drops dead and Jaime becomes so touched by the experience that he cries and gives away all his money to the church to help pay for Don Jose’s funeral. With nowhere to go, Jaime hits the streets and sees Nazi brownshirts parading down the block yet despite being a Judeo-Bolshevik, he decides to warmly salute the Chilean fascists. When a SS officer beats Jaime for supposedly disgracing the fascist salute by doing it with a crippled hand, the lapsed Stalinist becomes a true ‘man of steel’ and beats up an entire brigade of brownshirts and forces the SS officer to hail Don Jose. After beating the Latino Nazis, Jaime is arrested by Ibáñez’s secret service men and undergoes grueling torture, including receiving electrical charges to his genitals, but luckily he is saved by a group of commie resistance fighters just before one of his tormentors puts a bullet in his brain. As it turns out, due to public uprisings, Ibáñez decided to relinquish his power and flee to Argentina. With the help of the communist resistance fighters, Jaime manages to get back home to his family, but Alejandro and Sara are saddened to see that their once proud and stoic Stalinist is now a weak, broken, and crippled untermensch that looks like a poor man’s Jesus and cries like an autistic little girl. With Sara’s spiritual guidance, Jaime begins to learn the error of his ways. After Sarah says, “you found all you admired in Ibáñez in Stalin. And here you are…You are the same as they are!,” a guilt-ridden Jaime cries out in terror and shoots a portrait of himself where he looks like a commie dictator, which causes a fire that burns his portrait, as well as portraits of Ibáñez and Stalin, thus ritualistically ridding himself of his old commie dictator self. In the end, Alejandro and his family leave Tocopilla, though the memories that the filmmaker received there never left him as he describes at the conclusion of the film. 

In the book Anarchy and Alchemy: The Films of Alejandro Jodorowsky (2007) by Ben Cobb, Alejandro Jodorowsky is quoted regarding his rather complicated origins: “My parents were Russian…I was born in Chile…the [Chilean] children didn’t accept me because I was ‘Russian’…the young men didn’t accept me because I was a ‘Jew’…the French didn’t accept me because I was a ‘Chilean’…the Mexicans didn’t accept me because I was ‘French’…the Americans think I am ‘Mexican’…after ten years, I will move to another planet. They won’t accept me because they will think I am an ‘American’.” Indeed, it is quite apparent while watching The Dance of Reality that Jodorowsky is a born eccentric and perennial loner and that he did not fit in anywhere, including Chile and especially his own family home (interestingly, the director decided not to include his much resented elder sister as a character in the film). Jodorowsky even went so far as more or less rejecting his Jewishness and opting out of following in family tradition, remarking in Cobb’s book in broken English regarding his decision to quite college: “I realized the scientific way or the logic way, rationalism…was not my way. My way was imagination. My father…was a businessman [who] want to have a child who can be in the university. Like all the Yiddish…they start to sell shoes and the second-generation [become] psychoanalysts. I didn’t want to do that.” Additionally, Jodorowsky would also later criticize the ‘Jewishness’ of Hollywood and Spielberg by remarking in an interview with Bright Lights Film Journal: “I like pictures that are honest. Like some Hong Kong pictures — those filmmakers are honest thieves, they are making business, and they are so honest about it, it's fantastic. But, say, Spielberg is not honest. I hate Spielberg, because none of his movies are honest. His violence is ill, it's not honest. He shows an ill violence, as though he was the father of history. He hates Jews, because he is Jewish. He is making business with that, with Europe. He is fascist, because America is the centre of his world. If I can kill Spielberg, I will kill Spielberg.” Indeed, love it or hate it, there is no denying that The Dance of Reality is honest filmmaking from one of the most idiosyncratic auteur filmmakers that the artistic medium has ever produced. 

 If you're tired of seeing countless hokey holocaust films and period pieces where Jews are depicted as morally righteous god-like beings who were persecuted by Europeans simply because they are Jewish, checkout Jodorowsky's film and learns that many Jews of the 1930s were not commies simply because they cared for the poor stupid goyim, but because they resent strong gentile leaders and opulent Aryans and want to rule over white gentile cattle.  Ironically, it is only when antihero Jaime lives like Christ that he is able to get over his Hebraic megalomania, thus make The Dance of Reality pure heresy to Zionist supremacist types.  Speaking of megalomania, Jodorowsky recently met with revolting negro rapper Kanye West, who apparently considers the filmmaker one of his greatest influences and even modeled the aesthetic of his ‘Yeezus Tour’ after the filmmaker's counter-culture classic The Holy Mountain.  If Jodorowsky receives the gracious respect of a uniquely untalented yet stinking rich neo-minstrel entertainer like West, one would hope that someone will give him the money to make his long-awaited El Topo sequel, Abel Cain aka Sons of El Topo, as The Dance of Reality may be a worthwhile effort for an old artist reminiscing over his life, but he still has yet to create his last great masterpiece. Aside from being one of the greatest, if not the greatest, films of 2013, Jodorowsky's coming-of-age is a visceral attack against Hollywood and its soulless and materialistic weltanschauung of deracinating globalist anti-cultural and philo-Semtic hegemony.  Notably, the director publicly stated that he hoped the film would lose money and intentionally made the film through donations without the backing of studios. While it might seem like some sort of sick joke that the Jewish director is featured at the beginning of the film taking about money while gold shekels falling from the sky and into his hands, Jodorowsky makes it quite clear what he thinks of monetary matters when he remarks: “Money is like blood, it gives life if it flows. Money is like Christ, it blesses you if you share it. Money is like Buddha, if you don’t work, you don’t get it. Money enlightens those who use it to open the flower of the world, and damns those who glorify it, confounding riches with the soul...There is no difference between money and conscience. There is no difference between conscience and death...There is no difference between death and wealth.” Indeed, like Christ, Jodorowsky understands the moneychangers all too well, which, as depicted in the film, is something he learned at an early age via his abusive father, thus making the film a sort of metaphysical cinematic expression of what transformed the auteur into the uncompromising artist that he is today. 

 While it would be easy to describe Jodorowsky as a ‘self-loathing Jew’ after watching a film like The Dance of Reality where the boy protagonist is literally exorcised of his Jewishness by his mother, I like to think that the cinematic shaman transcended his Judaic roots as an anti-materialistic/anti-Marxist Hebrew that seems to have recognized that his ‘Ātman’ (one's ‘inner-self’ or ‘true self’) is identical with his ‘Brahman’ (‘transcendent self’).  Of course, the director's father failed to obtain this level of spirituality maturity, hence the great misery he suffered as depicted in the film. Indeed, The Dance of Reality makes the perfect comparison piece to French-Polish Jew Jean-Pierre Mocky's similarly surreal and darkly humorous ‘folk horror’ flick Litan (1982), which depicts religion, especially Catholicism, as the most malignant and deadly of diseases.  As the films demonstrate, while Jodorowsky got over his spiritual sickness as a mere child and grew to become a deeply devout practitioner of the perennial philosophy, Mocky seems plagued with spiritual retardation for eternity.  Indeed, while it may sound absurd, it seems that Jodorowsky's rather unconventional childhood as a Jewish boy who suffered regular cruelty from mestizos who mocked his circumcised cock was, in the long run, one of the best things that ever happened to him.

-Ty E

Sep 17, 2014

Squalor Motel

Forget Gregory Dark’s (in)famous hardcore crossover hit New Wave Hookers (1985), Squalor Motel (1985) directed by Kim Christy (Dream Lovers, She-Male Sanitarium), which was released the same year, is the ultimate punk/new wave/new romanticist fuck flick. Indeed, like Slava Tsukerman’s dystopian cult classic Liquid Sky (1982) minus the sci-fi meets Mark L. Lester’s Class of 1984 (1982) minus the crime elements meets the old school video game Maniac Mansion (1987) on Viagra as directed by the tranny and Yazoo obsessed grandnephew of Norman Bates, Christy’s preternaturally lecherous celluloid labyrinth is unquestionably one of the most idiosyncratic, bizarre, and memorable hardcore flicks of the late porn chic era. Featuring an eclectic freak show of perverted motel dwellers with a new wave/new romanticist fashion sense, a multicultural transvestite punk band, an original synthesizer-driven musical score, and a sensual surrealist mise-en-scène that seems like that result of kraut cult auteur Eckhart Schmidt attempting to mimic everything from Jean Cocteau to Robert Wiene’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), Squalor Motel is celluloid sleaze with style that as just as fetishistic in its set design, wardrobe, and music as it is sexually. Set in a patently politically incorrect pervert pandemonium of pleasure that is inhabited by a lady-licking bald bastard with a rather repellant French art fag mustache, a deranged blowjob-demanding doorman as portrayed by Jamie Gillis (Through the Looking Glass, Water Power), a Hitler-like physician of the Nazi mad scientist sort portrayed by Hebraic porn star Herschel Savage (Debbie Does Dallas, Blonde Ambition) that attempts to cure a Jewess of her frigidness by giving her an extensive gynecological exam with his tongue and member, and an impotent redneck with a seemingly supernatural collection of blowup dolls, Christy's extra curious post-punk porno will certainly appeal to fans of both the oeuvre of avant-garde pornographer ‘Rinse Dream’ aka Stephen Sayadian (Nightdreams trilogy, Café Flesh, Dr. Caligari) and Liquid Sky, as a delightfully deranged and decadent dream-within-a-dream where nothing is as it seems, especially during sex. Indeed, New Wave Hookers might be good unclean fun featuring Judaic Jamie Gillis and a little negro fantasizing about “white bitches” that get horny from listening to new wave music, but Squalor Motel is a shockingly stylish and nicely nuanced proto-alt-porn piece that features an entire unhinged universe that reminds the viewer that there was indeed once a time when the degenerates in the porn industry cared about creating salaciously stylish and creative celluloid art.  Either that or cult porn auteur Kim Christy, who is a transvestite that specialized in tranny porn, was more interested in set-design than heterosexual sex.

 Miss Clark (played by Colleen Brennan, who previously appeared in popular exploitation works like Jack Hill's Foxy Brown, Russ Meyer’s Supervixens and Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS) works at the front desk of a sleazy yet stylish new wave themed motel and she constantly reads extra-erotic novels with delightful little titles like “Bound Pig Fuckers” and dreams about all sorts of meta-sexual debauchery, so sometimes she has a hard time separating reality from fantasy, especially when it comes to sensual matters. Miss Clark works for a sleazy, swarthy, and considerably repulsive Hebrew-like fellow named Manny (Nick Random), who she incessantly cock-teases by saying super sassy things like, “Too bad you don’t have any class. You know, if you were half the man…some nights I might let you lick my ass. You would like that, would you Manny…running your tongue between the cheeks of my butt.” Not unlike Norman Bates, Manny loves cross-dressing and spying on his guests via peepholes that he has assembled in all of the rooms of his truly offbeat motel from hedonistic hell. While a certified scumbag of the patently pathetic sort, Manny is not greedy, as he allows Miss Clark to join him while looking at guests engaging in carnal games via peepholes. Indeed, through a secret peephole in a ‘hip’ and ‘edgy’ lounge segment of motel called ‘The Reptile Room’—a seemingly perennially changing pleasure-dome that is frequented by a dominatrix that wears an SS officer hat and parades around a gimp on a leash—Manny and Miss Clark get off to spying on a seemingly faggy fellow with a French art fag mustache and pancake makeup who quite shockingly exerts his rampant heterosexuality by bending over a babe on a pseudo-classical sculpture of a little girl. Of course, this sex scenario is rather tame compared to what Miss Clark while voyeuristically gaze at during the rest of the night at the maniac motel.

 When a young blonde babe named Nancy (Desiree Lane) who has just married a nerdy Guido shows up to the motel to wait for her husband so they can prepare for their upcoming honeymoon in Hawaii, she has no idea that she is about to be extensively defiled by the guests and employees of the somewhat esoteric establishment. Indeed, after being forced to devour the dick of a demented doorman (Jamie Gillis) who wears a trenchcoat full of black market items ranging from Preparation H to K-Y jelly, Nancy enters the Reptile Room where a multicultural tranny new wave group is playing for an eclectic collection of erotic eccentrics, including a chain-smoking new romanticist babe who is giving a handjob to an unseen gentleman whose cock is poking out of a gloryhole. When the tranny band stops playing, all the guests of the Reptile Room stare at and mock Nancy, but luckily Miss Clark, who has a thing for the naïve and seemingly virginal newlywed as demonstrated by a long cunt-chomping dream-sequence, comes to her rescue and salaciously states, “I know just how to relax that muscular tension.” After sending Nancy somewhere so that she can ‘calm down,’ Miss Clark begins peeping inside various rooms at the hotel as a proud voyeur who admits regarding her vice, “Oh, I love to watch. Watching is almost as good as doing it.” In a sea-themed room, a stupid surfer-like dude is carnally serviced by a high yellow negress on a bed in the shape of a ship. In another bizarrely-themed room, an impotent redneck finally manages to ‘rise to the occasion’ after one of his many blowup dolls transforms into a real flesh-and-blood woman. Meanwhile, pedophile-like motel owner Manny, who is sporting nothing but a Miss Piggy mask, tiny pink bikini, and a little girl’s ballet tutu, masturbates to the bro with the magical blowup doll. 

 Unquestionably, one of the most sickest and shocking segments of Squalor Motel is a scene where a fellow named Dr. Thumbs (Herschel Savage)—a Svengali-like medical physician with an Uncle Adolf mustache who speaks with a horrendous pseudo-German accent and sports a bloody lab coat—‘successfully’ attempts to make a frigid Jewess named Mrs. Shipowitz (played by Tantala Ray, who previously appeared in Stephen Sayadian’s Café Flesh), who sits with her legs spread open on a operating table, sexually aroused. After Dr. Thumbs cures Mrs. Shipowitz of being a frigid sexless bitch, he tells his nurse to schedule a follow-up session, stating, “12 months or 12,000 fucks…whatever comes sooner.” In easily one of the most artfully phantasmagoric fuck scenes of cinema history, Miss Clark engages in a shadowy quasi-expressionistic threesome with a male guest whose face make-up somewhat resembles that of David Bowie's from the cover art of the post-Ziggy Stardust album Aladdin Sane (1973) and his corpse-like lover. In the end, Nancy’s husband finally arrives, only to discover his sweetheart masturbating furiously in a closet while queen bitch Miss Clark laughs manically. 

 On top of being an aberrantly aesthetically pleasing experience that makes Liquid Sky seem like sentimental celluloid child’s play, Squalor Motel is a genuinely humorous cinematic affair, albeit in an innately immoral fashion that makes the literary satire of Ambrose Bierce seem quite puritanical by comparison. Indeed, one has to wonder about a porn production where Judaic porn star Herschel Savage—a man who developed his stage name with his kosher comrade Jamie Gillis (who was incidentally born on the same day as Hitler) by combining a stereotypically ‘nerdy Jewish identity’ with that of a stud—devours an ambiguously Jewish character’s cunt while donning an Uncle Adolf mustache. In other words, Squalor Motel is what one might expect in a sort of campy celluloid new wave hell. Indeed, aside from Teutonic auteur Eckhart Schmidt’s art-horror flicks like Der Fan (1982) and especially Das Gold der Liebe (1983) aka The Gold of Love, as well as Austrian cult auteur Niki List’s sardonic comedy Malaria (1982), Christy’s rather underrated fuck flick is probably the only film that adds an element of danger and darkness to the new wave and new romanticist subcultures. Indeed, new wave is like punk with a better fashion sense sans the visceral potency. Luckily, Squalor Motel manages to be simultaneously strong, raw, and stylish, even if it does feature ebony tranny rockers and hysterical Hebraic Hitler-wannabees.

-Ty E

Sep 16, 2014

Cemetery Man

I don’t know about other people, but to me, Rupert Everett—a man who first gained critical and commercial acclaim by portraying a British cocksucking commie spy traitor who defected to the Soviet Union in the film Another Country (1984)—positively personifies the pathetically pompous and all-too-proper English poof, even if he looks like a Roman soldier, so I have always found it quite intriguing that he gave one of his greatest performances as a somewhat suave and rampantly heterosexual Guido cemetery caretaker. Indeed, for what is arguably the greatest and most original ‘zombie comedy’ ever made, Cemetery Man (1994) aka Dellamorte Dellamore aka Of Death, of Love aka Zombie Graveyard aka Demons '95 aka Of Death and Love directed by Italian horror auteur Michele Soavi (Stage Fright, The Church), Everett unequivocally proved he could pull off a quasi-illiterate graveyard philosopher with a more bitter than sweet view of romance and a nasty knack for fornicating in graveyards with busty goombah babes and putting more bullets than semen in said women's bodies. A deathly dark (anti)romance of the rather nihilistic sort disguised as a quirky horror comedy, Soavi’s masterpiece of the mirthfully macabre is based on the 1991 novel Dellamorte Dellamore by comic artist/writer Tiziano Sclavi, yet there is no doubt that the director has made the source material his own.  Featuring brain-splattering Fulci-esque zombie kill scenes, oneiric surrealism and misogyny in the spirit of Argento (albeit more playful!), a cynical portrait of Italian society that rivals that of unsung artsploitation auteur Alberto Cavallone, and old school gothic aesthetics that recall the best of Mario Bava (in fact, Soavi opted for using an authentic ancient ossuary for the film), Cemetery Man is unquestionably a highly addictive celluloid treat for anyone with even the most marginal interest in great Guido horror cinema, even if it offers more unhinged laughs than petrified screams, as a work that is, philosophically speaking, sort of like a comedy for antinatalists, as well as a romance flick for lapsed necrophiles. A film that is truly done a great disservice when it is described simply as a “horror comedy,” “zombie comedy,” or anything like that, Soavi’s considerably misanthropic masterpiece may deserve some comparison with works ranging from Federico Fellini’s Toby Dammit (1968) to Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead II (1987) to James M. Muro’s Street Trash (1987), but when it comes down to it, there is really no other film quite like it. Indeed, if you’re looking for a philistine zombie flick with a sorry ‘socially redeeming’ message like those directed by George A. Romero, Cemetery Man will certainly prove to be an outstanding disappointment, but if you're looking for what is a seemingly seamlessly assembled arthouse-horror-comedy hybrid the visually quotes Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte and makes vengeful mass murder seem strangely merry, you can probably find no better work than Soavi’s lavishly loony neo-gothic celluloid nightmare-within-a-nightmare. 

 Francesco Dellamorte (Rupert Everett) is a cynical yet serious cemetery caretaker that rather reluctantly calls a small Italian town named Buffalora his home and he lives in a decrepit old ramshackle at the ancient graveyard with his severely retarded and morbidly obese childlike sidekick/assistant Gnaghi (François Hadji-Lazaro), who can only one (non)word: “nyah.” Working at a graveyard where the front gate has the Latin inscription RESVRRECTVRIS (“They will resurrect”) engraved on it, it should be no surprise that Dellamorte has a semi-serious zombie problem, though he prefers to call these rotten flesheaters ”returners.” Indeed, for whatever reason (although never mentioned in the film, director Soavi credited Mandragola roots in the cemetery as being responsible for reanimating the dead), most of the corpses come back to life seven days after the caretaker and his invalid comrade bury them, thus it is Dellamorte’s and his strangely cute and cuddly sidekick Gnaghi’s job to kill them by putting a bullet in their brain, as it is the only way to make the undead dead. A perennial loner who is believed to be impotent by the locals due to false rumors spread by young goombah punks and who is more or less illiterate despite the fact he is an incessantly pondering gravedigger philosopher of sorts, Dellamorte is not exactly the sort of man you would expect to be looking for love, but it eventually comes to him in the voluptuous form of a widow known as “She” (played by Finnish-Italian model turned actress Anna Falchi, who was discovered by maestro Federico Fellini), who comes to the graveyard to grieve over her recently deceased elderly husband. A beautiful yet seemingly warped woman of the rather whimsical sort, “She” only becomes interested in Dellamorte after he shows her his ossuary. While Dellamorte and “She” soon fall in love, their relationship is killed off as abruptly as it starts when the latter is killed after her belated husband rises from the grave and bites her while she is consummating coitus with the sexually virile graveyard caretaker. When “She” later rises from the dead, Dellamorte shoots her in the head, though, as the devastated caretaker will soon learn, she might not have been dead after all. Meanwhile, Gnaghi starts a morbid yet mostly harmless sexless romance with the reanimated head of the local mayor’s prematurely deceased daughter Valentina Scanarotti (Fabiana Formica), who was decapitated in a gruesome motorcycle accident.  Of course, Dellamorte’s beloved “She” also returns as a zombie, thereupon causing the caretaker to realize that he was indeed responsible for her death and thus throwing him into a deep hallucinatory depression that inspires him to kill seven of the young Guido punks who spread the rumors of his completely fictional sexual impotence.  Indeed, as demonstrated by his one-sided talk with a dictatorial Grim Reaper, who ultimately convinces him to kill the living instead of the dead, poor depressed Dellamorte might not have the most sound of minds, though he is certainly more rational and sane than anybody else from his quaint small town.  Of course, Dellamorte kills “She” too after she tries to take a big blood-gushing bite out of his flesh. The Caretaker also has to kill Gnaghi’s zombie lover Valentina after she kills her mayor father (Stefano Masciarelli), who was more interested in his own political campaign than his town’s zombie problem and the tragic death of his teenage daughter. 

 Undoubtedly, things get rather strange and 'soul-stirring' for Dellamorte when two women (also played by Anna Falchi) that look exactly like his beloved ‘She’ enter his life and ostensibly fall in mutual love with him at first sight. Indeed, the first is the secretary of the town’s new mayor Civardi (Pietro Genuardi), who instantly falls in love with the cemetery man and even agrees to marry him. Rather unfortunately, the Secretary is afraid of cocks and cannot stand the thought of a big purple-headed love truncheon deflowering her nubile naughty bits, so Dellamorte confirms to her the false rumors of his impotence and goes to a local doctor so he can be castrated (!), but luckily the physician refuses to do the procedure and instead injects his member with a painful substance that will supposedly guarantee that he will fail to “rise to the occasion” for at least the next month. Unfortunately, while Dellamorte is recuperating from taking a gigantic needle to the dick, the sensual Secretary is raped by mayor Civardi and she enjoys it so much that she drops the seemingly perennially forsaken cemetery man and cancels their planned marriage. Rather enraged after losing his second lady love, Dellamorte drives around town while looking for a prostitute and is ultimately approached by two young female college students, including a lady that also bears a striking resemblance to “She” named Laura (Anna Falchi), who he instantly falls in love with and vice versa. Indeed, despite the cock-blocking injection that he received to his dago dong, Dellamorte is so aroused by Laura that he manages to sexually service the carnal college student three times in row, but when he subsequently finds out that she is a high price prostitute, he kills her and two of her friends by setting fire to their apartment. When Dellamorte finds out from the local police investigator Marshall Straniero (played by American actor Mickey Knox)—a malignantly moronic man of law who humorously blames everyone except the cemetery man for the crimes that the cemetery man did indeed commit—that his friend Franco (Anton Alexander) took credit for burning up the college girls, he visits his less than sane comrade in the hospital to find out why he “stole his murders.” While talking to Franco, who is in a semi-comatose state, Dellamorte casually puts a bullet in the brain of a nun, a nurse, and a doctor. While leaving the hospital, Dellamorte once again bumps into Marshall Straniero and confesses to the murders, but the automaton-like cop does not pay him any attention. Fed up with life, love, and killing as man who states, “I’d give my life to be dead,” Dellamorte decides to leave Buffalora for good, so he tells Gnaghi to pack up his things, including an ancient coffin, and the two leave town. After leaving Buffalora and heading towards a mountain road, Dellamorte abruptly slams on the breaks, which causes Gnaghi to severely injure his rather thick head. After coming to the conclusion, “The rest of the world does not exist,” and becoming all the more upset by the fact that his only friend is dying in a rather ridiculous fashion, Dellamorte decides to kill himself and his comrade, but Gnaghi stops him at the last second. Indeed, somehow smashing his head was to Gnaghi’s benefit as he can now talk and asks Dellamorte, “take me home…please,” to which the graveyard caretaker eloquently replies, “Nyah.”  Indeed, while life might suck, especially when you're a mass murderer that is responsible for killing your own lover(s), Dellamorte seems to more or less finally come to terms with that fact in the end.

 Apparently, the American fanboy horror magazine Fangoria revealed in January 2011 that Michele Soavi was planning to direct a sequel to Cemetery Man that the director described as being more brutal and shocking than the original, though there seems to be no evidence that the film has ever went past the pre-production stage. Personally, I doubt that even Soavi himself could top the original film, but I have to admit that I would not mind seeing him try, even with an older and even gayer Rupert Everett as the lead. Additionally, in the late-1990s Everett approached Soavi about creating an American remake of the film but the project never went anywhere, which is probably for the better, as demonstrated by the countless horrendous Hollywood remakes of successful European films. Indeed, American filmgoers would have certainly been dumbfound by an unclassifiable flick with the beauteously brutal flesheater-exterminating of Fulci’s Zombi 2 (1979) aka Zombie yet the elegant in-your-face surrealism of Fellini’s Juliet of the Spirits (1965), hence why the Cemetery Man was a total flop when it was released in United States. Like the criminally overlooked Spanish arthouse-horror flick A Bell from Hell (1973) aka La campana del infierno directed by mysterious auteur Claudio Guerín, Soavi’s meta-offbeat zombie flick was certainly not specially tailored for the masses, as it is a true auteur piece directed by a born cinematic artist who just happens to work in the horror genre. Indeed, when it comes to Italian horror, Soavi is the only mensch that deserves to be credited as following directly in the footsteps of great cinematic artists like Mario Bava and Dario Argento, though Cemetery Man certainly demonstrates that he is a more eclectic filmmaker than his celluloid progenitors, as neither of these men were able to juggle comedy, horror, and surrealism in such a seamless fashion. A bad dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream that does for the zombie genre what Luis Buñuel did for European arthouse cinema, Soavi's film is like the That Obscure Object of Desire (1977) of horror, albeit more figuratively and literally biting, as a feverishly fucked flesheater fever dream of the fiercely farcical sort where the rotting undead are certainly no more repugnant than the living.  Indeed, if you're looking for a flesheater flick that more accurately captures the essence of our degenerated and disillusioned zeitgeist and do not mind a little art and pathologically politically incorrect humor mixed with your zombie guts, forget the retrograde undead filmic feces of George A. Romero's post-Day of the Dead oeuvre and bite on Cemetery Man.

-Ty E