So bad it's dull! So dull it's bad! Why is this shitty dude our protagonist and not the mind-reading woman? Why does he get the girl without improving as a person at all?
I love Bunuel, but this film suffers from its rudderlessness. There seems to be, uncharacteristically, no sharp satiric point to this film, where typically you find post-Dali-collaborations Bunuel driving ruthlessly into his central thesis. There is no real theme, just preoccupations: Doctors, police, incest, et cetera. The film slips through half-fulfilled vignettes, each one either engineered as provocative perversions or trite twists. I believe the intention here is to shock the feeble-minded pearl-clutchers while challenging the sophisticated viewers into reconsidering…
(Permit me to ramble.)
By all rights, this movie should not exist. The principal creatives of this project (the director John Parker, and the lead actress Adrienne Barret who literally dreamed the plot) were a strike of lightning, never to recur. They shouldn't be making silent movies in 1955, they shouldn't even be making independent films in Hollywood for that matter! A film that shares a cinematographer with Plan 9 From Outer Space should not be dripping with chiaroscuro beauty…
This movie truly believes in its heart of hearts that it is clever and insightful, when it is actually a trite and deeply, deeply tiresome exercise in 6th-grader insight on The Phonies, and about as subtle as a sledgehammer to the nards, what with its rote use of one-trait cardboard cutouts who get their due with hamhanded dramatic irony: the homophobe — get this — is GAY! The lionization of pedophilia is a bit of a dealbreaker too. The only…