“You’re so funny when you’re sexually frustrated.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary points out that while the picture “received much criticism for [its] depiction of women as sex objects,” “that is exactly the nightmarish vision Ellison and Jones see for this apocalyptic age” — not exactly “one they find appealing.” He adds that the “best part of [the] film is [the] wicked rat-a-tat dialogue between Vic and Blood, taken almost word for word from Ellison,” and describes Vic and Blood “like a comedy team cast in an absurd play.”
Peary elaborates on his review in his Cult Movies 2 book, where he points out how “violent, sexy, [and] sometimes vulgar” this black comedy is despite its seemingly “kiddie fare” title, and he discusses some key changes made between the novella and this adaptation — primarily around the role of Quilla June (Benton), who was virginal in the book but here is a power-hungry seductress.
Personally, I have mixed feelings about this movie — and even Peary concedes that it’s “not for everyone.” While I can see its dark appeal as a film with “bizarre humor,” it’s too harsh for my tastes, especially given that there really isn’t a sympathetic character in sight (other than perhaps Blood, played in a “terrific performance” by Tiger of “The Brady Bunch” fame). Sure, this may be highly realistic for a movie portraying the darkest of End Times, but it’s hard to watch — especially without a woman to root for. While I’m glad I finally revisited this cult classic, it’s not a personal favorite.
Note: Watch for Jason Robards, Jr. in a key role as a member of the triumvirate committee “downunder”.
Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments: