Friday, May 20, 2011

The Darkside

(Constantino Magnatta, 1987)
This movie is absolutely terrible in a quite remarkable variety of ways. It opens up as a shot-for-shot slaughter of Taxi Driver, and that film's influence keeps popping up in desperate and irrelevant places. (Not to mention the random early-Egoyan homage of the A/V stuff; in fact, Magnatta started his cinematic career playing a tape op in Next of Kin.) The villains are the most hateful caricatures imaginable, and not just because they're played vaguely queer: they actually cackle demonically repeatedly and at length, and in between they smirk a lot. And oh yeah, did anyone even proofread this script?? Why is it so important for the scumbags to retrieve their stupid Betamax roughie? Why are there TWO different explanations for why Cyndy Preston appeared in the video? What could her dangling, utterly out-of-character 'he's just what I need' line mean?? Aaah I could go on. Even the usual name-that-Toronto-location amusements, and a wildly improbable bedroom-farce type hallway chase through the Parkdale Hotel, get swallowed by the dire murk.

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