I came for the Joe Dante episode, which was fine, but I didn’t want to watch anymore after it.
Not great but it does have a hovercraft, Dean Martin drinking and driving, and a sexy Ann-Margaret doing two rather lengthy, swinging sixties dance routines. Probably an inspirational text for AUSTIN POWERS, I watched it because Tarantino programmed it at the New Beverly in his ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD series.
Very square for a “Grindhouse” film; this film would have seemed right in step with the B-movies of the 1950s much more than the exploitation schlock of the late 70s (perhaps this explains why one of the victims is named Samuel Fuller) but all the stuff with the Phantom killer is either unremarkable or unintentionally humorous (a chase with the killer has him decked out in his full gear and mask when it doesn't make a lick of sense for…
Second viewing, first in theater.
This worked better for me on this second viewing, perhaps partially due to the enthusiastic crowd receiving the film at the New Beverly but mostly because of how much I enjoyed the quiet scenes between Devane and Haynes which obviously aren’t going to lead anywhere rewarding for her and you can see her realize it progressively. Tommy Lee Jones is very solid in support even though he isn’t given much to do but his reaction upon hearing of about the forthcoming violence is priceless.
This was a work print with a temp score and lacked final color timing. Grade obviously doesn't reflect the final product but it would take a lot of work to get me out of mixed territory because of tonal inconsistency and the general feeling that the film was making fun of a character that is more tragic than comic. Some terrific performances and especially fine work by Emily Mortimer and Paul Schneider (who I wish would get more work).
I admire the spirit of this movie and its unwillingness to be filtered. Mitchell has created a worldview that is completely unrefrained and slightly too open for me. Since the film offers little except the excitment of its spectacle, I have to withdraw myself because I am partially put-off by some of the ins and outs of this film's sexuality.