“People are so sick. The more you see ’em, the sicker they look. You could be so nice, if you didn’t wanna be a creep!”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary goes into further detail about this absurdly dark comedy in his first Cult Movies book, where he points out “it has always been the intention of Warhol and his directors to ‘disturb’ the American audience’s movie-watching sensibilities as conditioned over the years by the dominant Hollywood product.” Warhol forces us “to accept his redefinition of cinema” — indeed, his characters “are so nasty that they’d give that Richard Widmark villain of Kiss of Death (1947), who kicks an old lady in a wheelchair down a flight of stairs, a good run for his money.” For instance, “working on a contract for Mrs. Aiken, P.G. [Stefania Casini] lowers a car on a garage mechanic’s legs”; a mother (Susan Blond) who’s “too impatient to wait for the hired assassins” “tosses her crying baby out the window herself; Glenda [Geraldine Smith] and Marsha [Maria Smith] even go so far as to stab a dog with a sharp knife.” And that’s not even mentioning the wanton pyromania that goes on in both a movie house and a car. I’m curious how many film fanatics these days are familiar with and/or interested in Warhol’s work, given that more recent directors have continued to push the envelop in terms of what’s “acceptable” to put on screen or not — however, Warhol’s film-making factory remains an important enough part of underground cinema history that I believe his major films (like this one) should continue to be one-time must-see viewing.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments: