Directed By: Donald Cammell
Written By: Donald Cammell & China Cammell Based on the novel “MRS. WHITE” By: Andrew Klavan & Laurence Klavan
Cinematography: Larry McConkey
Editor: Terry Rawlings
Cast: David Keith, Cathy Moriarty, Alan Rosenberg, Art Evans, Alberta Watson, William G. Schilling, Mimi Lieber, Michael Greene, Danielle Smith
In a wealthy and isolated desert community, a sound expert is targeted as the prime suspect of a series of brutal murders of local suburban housewives who were attacked and mutilated in their homes. As he desperately tries to prove his innocence, his young wife starts to uncover mysteries of her own…
This film is like a jazz album. One can’t quite get into or find the correct beat to connect with to groove with it.
This film was recommended by quite a few people. Especially as it is one of the few films directed by Donald Cammell a popular writer and director of cult films such as PERFORMANCE.
As his films are usually out there it’s expected that his films will be a bit crazy. This one Certainly is it commits the sin of being boring for most of the film Until a totally bonkers ending. Which still doesn’t save the film as a whole.
The film shows its Giallo influences only when it uses them in the daylight. These scenes are the only time the film comes alive and its artistic touches work to its advantage. Other times it seems like a film that is pretty Mainstream and more a studio product but presented in a style that feels peculiar and not for the better. That comes off pretty bland the first 2 thirds of the Film.
The camera work is unpredictable which is a thrill. It keeps you alert. Even the casting is inspired but in the end, the ingredients are there, but the dish served comes up short.
What saves the film somewhat or at least keeps you watching is David Keith’s performance that goes from mundane to romantic to off the wall.
Alan Rosenberg doesn’t fare as well as he comes off like a New York stereotype at first who is dim-witted and then later comes across as a new age burnout.
Cathy morality gets a chance to not play her usually big-haired villain or tough New York City girl. Here she gets a chance to just play normally as the lead who might be a little too trusting, but other than Be the audience’s introduction to the events and revelations she is given little to work with or do with her character to make an impression.
It also doesn’t help that this film is supposed to be sexy and have a lot of sex and half the time it is usually the opposite and the seduction doesn’t seem to raise the temperature. Even the sex scenes take a while for the audience to realize what they are doing.
The film’s theme seems to be nature vs commercialism. Which represents more of an Avant-garde film abs approach that eases into trappings of the more ridiculous commercialism.
By the end the film made me come up with some thoughts when it comes to films such as these. Where it seems we will make excuses for ourselves to explain why we just sat through all of this, but rationalize what we have seen by giving it artistic credentials because it tries to be artistic and different. When it did take a gamble that was misguided. Ultimately it might actually be bad but if the filmmaker had success before there must be some kind of deeper point
Usually viewed by an audience who expected it. Usually mostly caucasian looking at it analytically abs since it speaks to them or is identifiable it must be good abs preached upon.