Friday, October 9, 2009

The Wizard Of Gore

"Sit down, bitch. You die tonight."
It's probably better to watch remakes before the originals. That way I can be confused by them on their own merits.
The most I can say about the plot of Wizard Of Gore is this: Montag The Magnificent (Crispin Glover) performs magic shows wherein he mutilates and kills people (most of them are naked chicks, but we do get a clothed chick and a dude in his underwear, too). The people are fine at the end of the show, but the next day they're found dead anyway. Edmund Bigelow (Kip Pardue), his girlfriend Maggie (Bijou Philips) and their friend Jinky (Joshua Miller) try to crack the case.
There's the "back of the DVD" summary for you.
It took me more than an hour to realize that The Wizard Of Gore is a Se7en style film noir suspense movie. I rented it expecting a gorefest but, all things considered, it wasn't that bloody. All the magic tricks were performed behind a smokescreen and were the victims of cutaways and discretion shots. I'm not going to run out and, for instance, recommend this movie to my mom (for several reasons), but if you're really into gore, don't get your hopes up for a lot of it.
Anyway, once I got over the hurdle of figuring out exactly what kind of movie it is, I managed to enjoy it more. I just had to relax and let the plot twists take over.
'Cause, really, that's all this movie is: a series of plot twists. I think the majority of movies like to throw one or two really big plot twists at the audience in order to keep them on their toes. This one threw in several, to the point where not only do I think I didn't understand the movie, but I don't understand what I didn't understand about it.
Which, considering some of Montag The Magnificent's speeches, may have been the point in the first place. Either that, or we can include "what the hell he was going on about" to the list of things I didn't understand.
I think I would have really liked The Wizard Of Gore if it weren't for the protagonist. Edmund Bigelow has no redeeming qualities. In fact, he pretty much lacks a personality completely. The only stand out characteristic he has is that everything he owns is from the 1950s. To the point where it stops being cool and starts being pretentious. When your main character is bland and unlikable it really decreases the power of some of the plot twists.
Then there's Maggie. She lacks personality, too. So I guess she and Edmund are perfect for each other. At least Maggie owns a laptop computer, so she's bland and useless without being pretentious about it. Except she does spend a lot of time bitching and moaning about how the magic show is misogynistic. Which doesn't stop her from going a second, third and fourth time with Edmund. Inconsistency, thy name is Maggie.
I've got no beef with Jinky. He was the one likeable person in this mess.
It's really too bad that this movie is littered with these characters, really. I had no problem with the movie itself. It was confusing, certainly, but sometimes I like to be confused. I feel a bit like I did after I watched Saw IV. I'm a little pissed off right now 'cause I don't get it, but when it dawns on me I'm going to be very impressed.
A rewatch is out of the question, though, because I can't sit through another hour and a half of Edmund Bigelow and his stupid vintage suits.
You know you're a useless character when I hate your vintage suit.

End of line.

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