It’s been a long time since I saw a movie that’s left such an indelible mark on me, or caused such a strong emotional response .
Living out in the sticks of Cape Town, where the nearest cinema is at the Long Beach mall, where the average film seems to be aimed at someone with the emotional intelligence of a ten-year old, I was looking forward to opportunity to experience the joys of Cavendish Cinema Nouveau. Being in a rush, we picked a film almost at random, not having read any reviews, and I sat back with my popcorn, without expectations, in my opinion always the best way to approach a film.
I couldn’t have expected anything like what I saw. The only other films to have caused a comparable response were David Cronenberg’s Crash, and Evolution, the glorified dandruff shampoo advert. This one was up there with both of them in the kill me rather than make me sit through it again stakes.
If the director had planned the strong response he got from me to the film he’d be an evil genius. Luckily I’m sure he hadn’t. The film was utter, utter drek, one of the worst, if not the worst, film I’ve ever seen. The strong emotional response was fury, at best disbelief that Ster Kinekor could actually buy this shit.
Ster Kinekor Cinema Nouveau brings in some dodgy films at the best of times, having made presumably a commercially-based decision to ignore most films that aren’t English, depriving us the chance of seeing in particular most of the vast number of excellent European films made every year. However, there have been some fantastic Australian films of late, with their industry experiencing a bit of a boom right now.
This wasn’t one of them.
In Crash I remember staring upwards, fascinated by the textures on the roof, while yet another car-crash was followed by some auto-erotica (haha). This time I spent the time apologising to my friend as the movie descended into further ignomony, and considered hauling out my cellphone to play Snake. The thought of suing Ster-Kinekor for emotional trauma provided further entertainment.
Called You Can’t Stop the Murders, it was set in a tiny Australian backwater, where the highlights of the year are the annual fun-fest and the line dancing competition. In this sleepy backwater begins a series of murders, based on the members of the Village People. Abysmal script, abymsal acting, abysmal plot.
It’s probably a good thing I didn’t have time to read any reviews, as I’d have had more lined up to sue. Locally, Magdel du Preez of the Star calls it refreshing and utterly enjoyable, and awards it 7 out of 10. Punjabi Goth of Africa Gateway calls it one of the funniest, most twisted and demented movies black comedies to be released in a long time, giving it 8 out of 10. Only Shaun de Waal of the Mail and Guardian gets it right, describing it as very much like those bad South African sitcoms in which everyone seems to be speaking too slowly … and waiting for a laugh that never comes.
Hopefully this post has at least been of some therapeutic value in exorcising my soul of the demonic influence of the 90 or so minutes of purgatory I sat through this afternoon.