Saturday, April 14, 2007

My Big Fat Greek WHAT?!? (cue "surprise" take; cue "BoOoOIiing" sound effect; cue eternal shame)

Last night I forwent my usual, lascivous, Dov Charney-like Friday night plans ("Who are you kidding, hermit boy, you were probably building a model monorail and posting L.A. Law clips on YouTube, as usual." "Shut up. A lot of Larry Drake fans watch those clips.") to attend a gala cinematic event in DC. Earlier that afternoon, whilst browsing the "Weekend Picks" on DCist - as I often do, in case a hot new indie band like Milk Was a Bad Choice or The Willie Aimes Dysphoria are in town - I saw a listing for a free, ultra-obscure, "Greek exploitation" film called Death Kiss playing that evening at the Library of Congress. The description on the theater's website included the following passage:

Gigolo Jim Preston, disenchanted during the anniversary of his marriage to his wealthy, older, alcoholic, shrill of a wife, Ellen, concocts a plan to rid the planet of her presence and enjoy the breadth of her fortune with many a young plaything. In his plight, Jim calls upon his seemingly normal friend Mike to drop the axe. Unbeknownst to Jim, Mike is a heroin-addicted psychopath with hobbies that include kidnaping, rape, addicting others to heroin, storing live people in coffins, etc. and is considering taking up necrophilia.

As I mentioned earlier in my Grindhouse post, it's easy to get burned with these movies that promise almost-surreal levels of outrageousness but either don't deliver or quickly get boring - or are otherwise just plain unwatchable. Maybe Quentin Tarantino has been a worse influence on me than I thought though, as the description sounded so wacky I wondered if the Greeks had anything new to offer the world of sordid, grade-z movies... besides maybe foustanellas. So I decided to hoof it over there after work ("'Hoof it over there?' What are you, a Montana survivalist or something?" "Haven't you done enough damage already, parenthesis?").

There were a couple dozen others in the audience as our gregarious host gave a brief introduction. He confirmed the screening was more or less a fluke, as they happened to have a rare Greek exploitation film (a micro-genre I'm going to offensively and not-so-catchily dub "Unilowbrow") and decided to schedule it for an open date. They had also promised trailers beforehand with titles like Black Samurai and The People Who Owned the Dark, but instead the first thing that appeared on screen was... a 70's porn flick. After what felt like a looong few minutes of graphic on-screen fucking, the host ran into the projectionist booth to shut the thing off, then came back and apologized, saying the wrong film was in the canister. "That was supposed to be a Pasolini trailer," he pleaded. Yeah, right.

So anyway, then it was on to the main course; the souvlaki, if you will. Hey, remember how the description of the movie sounded potentially fun? Well, would you believe it turned out to be... misleading *gasp*? First, this print of the film was actually called The Rape Killer, not Death Kiss. Second, the psychopath wasn't nearly as outrageous as he was made out to be. He was just a sweaty little Polanski lookalike who liked to rape women, slap them in the face OVER and OVER and then strangle them. Whoops! Oh, and the wife wasn't "shrill" or "alcoholic," she was just the usual brainless female victim. The heroin vacuum who played the mistress was a non-entity as well. The audience sporadically laughed at the usual inane dialogue, horrific clothes and implausible plot points (not to mention an undending succession of compact cars), but the rape stuff stopped everybody cold.

So overall it was a disappointing couple of hours, but at least it was free, aside from the metro fare. Plus, now I'll be able to say I watched some hardcore porn at the Library of Congress. I feel just like a Congressional page! For a much classier cinematic antidote, here's a link to a wild, 8-minute car chase from the French* action movie Blazing Magnum.

*EDIT: At first thought it was an Italian movie, I think because some music from this was on that Beretta 70 soundtrack comp. So at first I wrote - get this -"Italian? Now, uh... that's-a spicy meatball." Ha ha ha! Get it? 'Cuz... that old commercial... ("Do you comprehend how much you deserve to die for that?" "...Yes. Yes I do.")


I love you in the face said...

You linked me!
Also, I think your parenthesis are danged comical.

Chris said...

Thanks (Thanks!)!