Monday, September 13, 2010

Psycho Girls

(Gerard Ciccoritti, 1985)
This is not your average stupid movie, because it is also maddeningly pretentious. Tearing a strip off the hypocritical intelligentsia (to whose status its makers transparently aspire), it critiques psychiatric rationalism in a complacent and pandering way while handing the psychos - two of whom, for the record, are actually male - the keys to the asylum. While the film is dispiriting throughout, you can kind of see how then-Globe media critic John Haslett Cuff wound up in the lead, since the script makes a big deal of its quite finite intellectual attainments. But one boring dinner party later we're strapped in to the unforgivably sadistic torture gallery of the third act, an ill-conceived attempt at "Salo"-in-reverse which compounds the already rampant offenses of pathological overextension, smirking smugness and complete unwatchability. Two or three times a haunting image or idea struggles to the surface, but filmmakers this committed to static poses should put away their gore fetish and get back to their dissertation, and Cuff's occasional outbursts of hard-boiled narration would make matters worse if such a thing were possible.

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