Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tanya's Island

(Alfred Sole, 1980)
How do things like this happen? A barely-clad actress in a shitty relationship appears to have a dream that she's a barely-clad non-actress in a different shitty relationship, except on a desert island, where she befriends a gorilla. The point appears to be some kind of critique of civilization, as insufferable tortured artist Richard Sargent makes various rules and builds various Gilligan's Island-style bamboo cages to prohibit his bimbo prize (D. D. Winters a/k/a Vanity, which explains this movie's continued if nominal commercial existence) from exploring her 'savage', 'wild' inner nature with the gorilla. If the metaphoric thrust doesn't really parse, that's probably because Winters is almost totally vacant, a slack-jawed, ill-motivated baton to be passed between Sargent (who does at least hint at self-awareness with his hyperbolic wildman routine) and the hairy ape (a down-on-his-luck Rick Baker). The overall effect is akin to a softcore pornography ensemble suddenly dislocated to film school, with rampant pretensions that are both hilariously unearned and stretched to within an inch of their alleged life.

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