Frankly, it is hard for me think of another film with such an unsympathetic cast of characters as Wild Side – one of only a handful of films where I was rooting for the grizzly and ungodly deaths of all the characters in the film via AIDS or drive-by shooting. Aesthetically and thematically speaking, Wild Side is indisputably Donald Cammell’s most artistically vapid work and features next to nil of the references to art, culture, and philosophy that his previous films are famous for as a work that, in terms of artistic integrity and geniune eroticism, does not even compare to the masterpieces of the Golden Age of Porn, like Through the Looking Glass (1976) and The Opening of Misty Beethoven (1976). Almost entirely set in shadowy and darkened rooms, Wild Side has a strikingly superficial set-up that resembles the sort of direct-to-DVD neo-noir flicks that no one has ever seen, so it should be no surprise few know of Cammell's cinematic swansong today. Admittedly, Christopher Walken gives a top-notch performance in Wild Side that seems to be a perverse parody of the sleazy and psychopathic gangster roles he is best known for, but it is hard to overlook his aesthetically-degrading dirty old man wardrobe and repulsive midlife crisis cool guy haircut. To her credit, Anna Heche is quite convincing as a conspiring cunt-licker of a cunt and Joan Chen is not half bad either as a chinky 'cunning linguist,' but that does not change the fact that I found Wild Side about as interesting as a filler episode of The Sopranos (1999-2007) or Boardwalk Empire (2010-present). Of course, I can respect Cammell for attempting to portray banksters as debauched as possible, but I sincerely doubt any member of the Rothschild family can ‘assert’ himself like Mr. Walken, even when he has a retarded 12-year-old boy grunge haircut, but I don’t find it far-fetched that money launderer’s kosher cocks gets hard for cash and buying high dollar goy gals.
Indeed, it is nothing short of a shame that Cammell killed himself for Wild Side – a film that would have never reached the level of cinematic greatness he had hoped for, no matter how many jaded jump-cuts and fetishistic flashback sequences editor Frank Mazzola added to the film as you cannot polish a turd, especially one aspiring to be extra-erotic. But then again, if my wife was a woman whose idea for a film was about a mixed-race lesbian couple who kick two alpha-males' asses and whatnot, I would probably have more problems than getting the final cut for an over-stylized softcore flick with sub-witty dialogue and would-be-wild-and-wanton imagery. If one learns anything from Wild Side, it is that banking turns Jews and wasps into cosmopolitan cuckolds of Chinese femme fatales. Banker or not, it seems director Donald Cammell fell under the same spell for salacious and Sapphic soy sauce and it seems to have affected his judgment as a filmmaker because who can say with a straight face that the self-slaughtering Scotsman gave his greatest ‘performance’ with Wild Side?!