Andy Warhol's movie maker and one of the most underrated directors and writers around.
Flesh (1968) -- A day in the life of a married homo-male-prostitute (who has a a baby) turning tricks so that he can pay for his wife's girlfriend's abortion: an idea that Paul Morrissey finds kinda funny, but that might seem to most viewers as simply decadent or dirty. Like most movies about decadence, this one makes fun of the characters and has a conservative message, but he also allows them to be so natural and likeable that the judgment isn't annoying or overdone like it is in something like a Lukas Moodysson film. The entire movie has a home movie feel to it and effortlessly captures what later directors like Harmony Korine and Vincent Gallo struggled so hard (and often failed) to get.
Trash (1970) -- The same kind of movie as Flesh, but better due to a lack of some annoying technical aspects (the first one took some getting used to with its constant "pops" for each jarring edit) and overall storytelling. This one features a heroine junkie who lives with a transvestite attempting to move up in the world by trying (and failing) to get welfare. Like Flesh, Morrissey is most interested in displaying what he calls "silly lives" and showing how hippies didn't have a cause: they were just lazy and stupid. But, also like Flesh, the characters here are really likeable and interesting, especially Holly Woodlawn.
Women in Revolt (1971) -- Three transvestites (including my favorite transvestite -- and yes I have one -- Holly Woodlawn) are in a feminist movement but find it difficult to stick to their convictions in funny, satirical, Paul Morrissey-style ways.
Heat (1972) -- The third in the trilogy of one-word titles starring Joe Dallesandro, this one is a satire on Hollywood life in the style of Hollywood Boulevard. More "silly lives" on display, though this time in a setting we're most used to from movies. If you like Trash, you'll like this (if not as much).
Flesh for Frankenstein (1973) -- They don't make 'em like this anymore. Comedy that doesn't look at all like the comedies we've come to expect. Everything is quiet and delicate and beautiful, until of course blood is spurting out of limbs and things like that. More than just camp, I assure you.
Blood for Dracula (1973) -- A sort of remake of Flesh for Frankenstein as a Dracula movie, with Kier Udo in the title role again, Arno Juerging as his (even greater this time around) assistant, and Joe Dallesandro as the commoner who spoils their aristocratically evil plans. Things are even more restrained this time around, adding to the unique comedy. The plot is unlike any other Dracula movie I've seen and quite good, almost like a computer adventure game. These movies have often been dismissed as nothing but campy fun, but the art driving everything makes them not only brilliant comedies, but a lovely pieces of art in general.
The Hound of the Baskervilles (1978) -- A movie that had a lot of potential--I think you know what that means. There are some funny moments here and there, but for the most part the movie was a big mess. The best jokes were usually the most horrible of puns, if that gives you an idea.
Mixed Blood (1984) -- Clearly this is meant to be another satire on silly lives; the problem is that it's not that funny and anyone watching might take it to be just another serious (and seriously boring) 1980s New York ethnic gang movie. Marilia Pera is fun to watch, however, and has some good moments.
Copyright (c) Oct 2004 - Apr 2008 by Rusty Likes Movies