Monday, July 7, 2008

The Voluptuous Horror

Last night we watched Burnt Offerings (1976, 116 minutes) on one of the second-tier Showtime channels—which is to say, one of the eleventh-tier movie channels.

The trailer makes it look scary, but trust me, this is a film remarkable only for its ability to sustain a protracted, utterly mediocre level of terror. The second-to-last minute is thoroughly chilling, mainly because you've wanted to be scared for the previous 114 minutes, and because you knew Karen Black was a total weirdo and were wondering what the hell was going on behind her weirdo eyes. Then the credits come. You've been through a trying experience, and you feel oddly satisfied that it's over.

After that, we watched Factotum, an adaptation of the highly esteemed Charles Bukowski novel, starring Matt Dillon as the lovable Henry Chinaski, and Lili Taylor and Marisa Tomei as his special lady friends.

It was good, a worthy adaptation without having the budget to be a full period piece. Seemed like a good way to end a Fourth of July weekend.

1 comment:

JMW said...

Here's the thing. I watched Burnt Offerings when I was about 8 or 9, and my parents were out and I was being watched by someone else. It scared the living daylights out of me. I still remember that dude with the white face paint who drove the hearse, and I get terrified. I'm glad to know it's not that scary, but I really couldn't take the chance of confirming that, because re-viewing might lead to 'Nam-level flashbacks.