Jun 12, 2014
Call me a proud anti-modernist and ardent reactionary, but I think postmodernism is one of the many malignant diseases of a dying civilization that has been extinguished of all vitality, organic-ness, authenticity, and soulfulness and nowhere is this more readily apparent than in contemporary cinema. From Woody Allen (who wishes he was the Jewish bastard son of Fellini and Bergman, yet lacks the originality to even come close to the majesty of the two European master auteur filmmakers) to Quentin Tarantino (whose personality seems to have been taken over by a horribly hokey 1970s Italian exploitation flick) to Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer (who reflect the lowest of lows regarding this aesthetically terminal trend), Hollywood is a culturally apocalyptic garbage dump of superlatively soulless recyclization, regurgitation, and would-be-cute-and-quirky intellectual masturbation where nothing is taken seriously, perennial cynicism reigns with a limp kosher wrist, and where true beauty and soulfulness has been flushed down an Adorno-brand toilet. Of course, pomo pomposity is not just a strictly Hebraic Hollywood disease, but a favorite tool for the tools of academia and the cinematic underground, with the totally imaginary cult filmmaker ‘J.X. Williams’ (The 400 Blow Jobs, Peep Show) being an excellent, if not somewhat obscure, example of such artistic shallowness and phoniness. Although professing to be an obscure and even ‘cursed’ underground filmmaker who directed 54 feature films, wrote 78 screenplays, and was the subject of a 6,000+ page FBI file, Williams is really some particularly pathetic postmodernist dork and art school queen named Noel Lawrence who has dedicated his life to inventing the non-legacy of a fake filmmaker with a fake filmography. Taking his pseudonym from a common pen named used by various writers of gay pulp novels from the 1950s and 60s, Lawrence—a self-described “lapsed academic”—has even gone so far as to create an elaborate biography regarding the phony Williams that involves, among other things, conspiracy theories, Satanic curses, mafia and communist ties, and related sensationalistic attention-whore lies that demonstrate that the flagrant fabricator must have succumb to full-blown nihilism, probably suffers from Asperger syndrome, and lacks any trace of authentic artistic integrity, let alone an authentic personality. Indeed, utilizing clips from old forgotten movies and found footage, and artificially tampering said footage to give it a more vintage look (in fact, the counterfeit filmmaker peddles his services at his official website), Lawrence’s filmic fabrications represent the non-art of an artistic thief to a most shameless and soulless degree. Out of all of Lawrence’s little dilettante creations, the only one I could stomach without feeling like lynching the director is his short The Virgin Sacrifice (1974).
Described in a Canal+ Profile on J.X. Williams as follows: “a modern, Satanic masterpiece. All Hollywood flocked to the few secret screenings. Blending orgy and magic, Williams made use of sensational optical perspectives and framing. Many American critics swore this lost masterpiece was a secret Kenneth Anger film,” The Virgin Sacrifice was purportedly originally 3+ hours in length, but the sole print of the film burned up and only 9 minutes of footage survived. Ostensibly funded by a high-profile member (Jewish negro Sammy Davis Jr.) of kosher conman Anton LaVey’s atheistic Rand-esque Church of Satan, The Virgin Sacrifice is a work with a pseudo-history shrouded in silly conspiracy theories involving satanists and commies that will bore the hell out of anyone familiar with such things. Essentially, a sub-avant-garde hodgepodge of surreal Satanic horror imagery, Lawrence’s film is what you might expect if someone edited out most of the banal parts of various 1970s horror-themed porn flicks (i.e. Kenneth Andrews’ The Night of the Occultist (1973), Eric De Winter’s Maléfices porno (1978)) and repackaged them in a pretentious post-structuralist format. Beginning with a typically banal scene that you would expect from some worthless 1970s exploitation flick of a mute girl going to see about an apartment and learning that the current tenants are Satanists that belong to a cult that “recognizes that the evil in this world far outweighs the good. And so, we believe that Satan is our true savior,” The Virgin Sacrifice finally gets to business at the two minute and twenty second mark and evolves into a hallucinatory horror trip of surreal and quasi-psychedelic celluloid chaos featuring spinning Gothic castle staircases, seemingly decomposing skull collages, pentagrams, kabalistic symbols (including, a star of David with a naked women inside), Francis Bacon-esque face distortions, graphic surgery footage, animated flying skulls, and a cloaked woman entering a greenish-yellow dawn. Of course, any serious horror-exploitation fan will notice that many, if not all, of the segments are recycled from other films, including I Drink Your Blood (1970), The Brotherhood of Satan (1971), and various Hammer horror works.
Admittedly, The Virgin Sacrifice is the only so-called J.X. Williams film that I have managed to watch in its entirety, as the postmodern posturing of most of the pseudonymous director's work is just too plain prosaic and ultimately pointless to stomach without getting the urge to unleash a gang of well fed and well exercised skinheads with baseball bats at a multicultural liberal arts college. In a sense, the short is a sort of anti-horror film because, aside from the first two minutes or so, it is entirely comprised of climatic scenes with no build up or storyline, as a work that ‘cuts the fat’ off the genre and only shows the good stuff, thus making it an ADHD-friendly work. Indeed, The Virgin Sacrifice is more or less hysterical horror porn that treats splattering blood like cumshots, daggers like dildos, skulls like tits, and death like orgasms. The film is also a rather ridiculous example of blasphemy for blasphemies’ sake, as a conspicuously consciously wicked work that seems like it was created by an armchair iconoclast who gets a hard-on from the thought of thinking about Christians squirming while watching his more-hokey-than-heretical pomo projects. While it is unknown as to whether or not Lawrence is of the Hebraic pseudo-faith, the fictional J.X. Williams claims to be a member of god’s chosen tribe. Indeed, Mr. Williams contributes articles to filmthreat.com and in one of these articles he wrote regarding Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lars Von Trier: “I don’t care how many millions of dollars this loser dumps into the Wiesenthal Center. Believe it or not, Arnie, us Jews care about other things besides money…Speaking of which, you might have heard how Lars Von Trier got Canned after invoking the H-word at a press conference. He reminds me of the two-year old who misbehaves at the fancy restaurant. It’s only a matter of time before Daddy yanks him out of his booster seat and locks him inside the station wagon so the adults can enjoy their dinner in peace.” Indeed, Williams' remark certainly reeks of good old Semitic snideness. Personally, I hope Lawrence is Jewish, as few things are more patently pathetic than philo-Semitic postmodernists. An intentionally convoluted work of would-be-black-cine-magic that seems like it was directed by the dimwitted and distinctly less talented heterosexual bastard brother of Kenneth Anger, The Virgin Sacrifice is ultimately a glorified horror mix-tape that facetiously glorifies aesthetic nihilism and celluloid kitsch and steals from filmmakers of the past and fails miserably at passing itself off as some sort of lost cinematic gem. Indeed, if you ever wondered what kind of film Quentin Tarantino might make had he been an American-bred academic who fried his brain on too much critical theory and deconstructionism, did not know how to work a film camera, and had a massive collection of totally worthless exploitation films, The Virgin Sacrifice might give you a good idea.
Posted by Soiled Sinema at 3:35 AM
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