Friday, July 17, 2009
I tried to watch the Criterion DVD of John Huston's Wise Blood last night. Man, what a steamin' sack of crap. If they'd made it a period piece (the novel was published in 1952), it might have worked; but instead they left the whole supporting cast dressed in late '70s ordinary while requesting/allowing Brad Dourif - who plays the main character, the religious/anti-religious loony Hazel Motes - and the girl who plays his attempted seductress, Sabbath (maybe the least appealing woman I've ever seen in a movie, and that includes Edith Massey) to dress and act like they fell to earth in a rocket from the planet 1952. Between that and the goofy-ass music that plays pretty much anytime the Enoch Emery character appears on screen, it was like To Kill A Mockingbird meets Jesus Christ Superstar, if TKAM had been a Roger Corman movie. Dourif was briefly compelling to watch, but I used to work with a guy like that (not the religious angle but the personality - always staring and striking dramatic poses and trying to fill the room with his burning intensity) and it was possibly even less annoying in real life, because at least I could send that guy out on a delivery and have a few minutes' relief. I actually sort of get why Criterion released Armageddon; this choice is one that really baffles me.