Still, may the gods help me, there is a lot to like about Candy. Does it open with unwarranted psychedelia? Yes! Does it make any sense? No! Is it an attempt by the establishment to infiltrate the counterculture and make a buck off of it? Oh, hell yeah it is; this thing is as bad as Skidoo in that regard, and if you love watching old guys trying to be hip as much as I do, you will love this film.
Jerry is less offering a job to Howard than he is seducing him, and in a very pragmatic, do-you-want-it-or-don’t-ya manner suggestive of a hook-up rather than a romance. It’s all metaphorical, of course, but everything about their interactions, from Jerry’s constant preening to Howard’s habit of talking with his mouth full, cranks the usual film noir homoeroticism up to 11.
Rudy Ray Moore’s blaxploitation classic Dolemite (1975) is one of the few truly terrible movies endearing and fun enough to be watchable.
It’s an odd, languid, beautiful, frustrating giallo that is really only held together by Farmer’s fantastic performance and the audience’s willingness to go along with the notable amount of nothing in so many of the scenes.
The big surprise here is that, despite its many flaws, The Man and the Moment is still a lot of fun to watch. Maybe not entirely for the reasons it was meant to be fun — La Rocque channels Franklin Pangborn a lot and I find that charming and fascinating — but at this late date, who’s to quibble? Just being able to watch the film is a fantastic thing.
Originally released as an episode of the long-running German television show “Tatort,” Samuel Fuller’s Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street (1973) is a surreal parody of the crime caper, with plenty of sarcastic humor and references to beloved films noir to make it enjoyable.
If you’ve seen Alfred Hitchcock’s Suspicion (1941), and you probably have, you know that by the end we discover it was all just a big misunderstanding. Golly!
Steve Scott’s Trashy Lady (1985) features authentic vintage sets, period accurate costumes, and lots of hardcore gettin’ down.
Brotherly Love has been saddled with the label “tragicomedy” for decades, though there is very little outright comedy here, just wry observations and O’Toole waving his arms about more than usual. Essentially, York and O’Toole both give fine performances while both seemingly failing to understand the humor in all of this. Though the screenplay was written by Kennaway, it feels like an inferior adaptation, and O’Toole’s role feels like a rehearsal for The Ruling Class (1972).
With an ex-con butler, silly parlour games and a house full of whackadoos, Not So Dumb is a direct ancestor to the screwball comedies that would become popular in the late 1930s. Dulcy’s jangly bracelets are reminiscent of Mame Dennis’ acting debut and plot points seen in Not So Dumb are used again and again in films like Arsenic and Old Lace, Holiday, The Philadelphia Story, and others. And for those of you who think Gone With the Wind was the first instance of a mainstream film using naughty, naughty swears, note that Mr. Forbes, the cranky businessman, declares, “I don’t care a damn about pictures!” And he doesn’t stop there.