Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Stridulum (1979)

In a way, Stridulum, is a sports movie. It begins with the longest basketball-scene I've seen in a official non-sports movie. A while later we get advanced ice skating and where you least expect it, sudden montages of even more impressive gymnastics. But this is not only a sweaty orgy of athletics, it's probably the most confusing movie I've seen in a long time.

John Huston is doing his worst as an polish alien. Or something. His pal is a Christ-like figure, in a charismatic performance by Franco Nero, and somewhere in there is Mel Ferrer as the main baddie. Human or not, I have no idea. Lance Henriksen is a famous CEO who's dating Joanne Nail and gets to know her nasty little blonde killer-daughter at the same time. The daughter has some powers, metallic eyes and is a master at ice skating and gymnastics. Huston is running around with a bunch of shaved guys on top of a skyscraper and preparing for a portal to open. And somewhere a confused Glenn Ford is trying to solve the mystery of the "I'm a cute little bird"-statue...

No, seriously... you have to see this one. It's not a bad movie. Not in the technical sense. The cinematography is for most of the time excellent and there's some amazing set pieces. There's some nice car- and motorcross-stunts, which looks expensive and dangerous, the final half hour is less incoherent than the first hour and gives us a great mirror-room sequence, a cool bird attack (where one of the birds transforms itself to a metal bird with a knife inside it!) and one atmospheric scene with a broken down car in the middle of the night.

I'm not sure I have to mention the fact that most of the older men feels like child molesters (it's mentioned twice in the movie itself actually!) and especially the scene where John Huston’s fools the parents the he's the babysitter! They even joke about him being a child molester, but laughs and shakes their heads in disbelief. Those where the days.

The abstract storytelling is probably what will scare people away from this odd bird (no pun intended) of a movie. Sometimes the scenes jumps to another without any logic, people show up and appears again, stuff happens without any explanation or consequences (the ice skating-rampage for example...) and people just goes around like zombies in something that seems like a dream.

But ya know, I liked it. It's not as good (far from actually) as Holocaust 2000 and the american movie it imitates, but it's a weird mix of genres and is at least never boring.

The DVD from Storm is good. Not perfect, but good. The picture is quite soft and the english track is very low, but just kill and slaughter everyone and everything around you that can disturb the silence and you will hear what's going on without a problem ;)
Yours truly,
Ninja Dixon

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