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Sunday, August 28, 2011

My review of Alice, Sweet Alice



I have always been curious about this film ever since I saw the poster. So here I am watching Alice, Sweet Alice...or Communion...or Holy Terror...whichever you prefer really.

Acting/characters: Right away we discover that the titular character is a total well...you-know-what. but I think it's merely lashing out because it seems that her mother favors her younger daughter, Karen. Or, at least she seems to think so. She's just withdrawn. There is definite overacting in this film.Thankfully though, it was infrequent. It was infrequent but it was still there. By far the best performance in the film (and looking at other review it seems that most people agree with me) was Paula Sheppard as the titular character, Alice. She wasn't in the film as much as I would have liked in the end but she stole the show whenever she was. unfortunately, this was one of only two movies she did. considering the other one was critically acclaimed too, she could have gone on to do much more. everyone else was okay. I feel that they tried to make the acting good in First Age Slashers. They actually tried unlike the Second Age. This movie is no different. They wanted the acting to be good as opposed to the acting in successive films. 7.5/10

Plot: there is only about 10 minutes of exposition in this film before they drop you right into the action. But the actual killings are pretty spread apart. Until the end that is...even then a little. But it's a slasher film so what are you gonna do? The plot was enjoyable and kept me entertained through all of it. One big problem that I have is that it was kinda lazy at points. It is never good at all when a character disappears and you never hear anything about them again. It creates plot holes and unsolvable questions. IF ANYONE HAS SEEN THIS MOVIE CAN YOU PLEASE ANSWER SOME QUESTIONS I HAVE ABOUT IT!?!?!

Sorry about that I just hate it when characters disappear for no reason and I don't want to give spoilers away by just asking about it here. That aside, it was entertaining but not perfect. I enjoyed it overall though. but I do have to say that the killer reveal absolutely sucks. I hated it. 8/10


Screenplay: The screenplay flaws here go hand in hand with the overacting. It was overall unmemorable. It just moved the story along which wasn't bad in this case. I would have liked to have seen a little more effort go into making the script better but it was pretty decent. I'm not sure whether the overacting was a result of the bad screenplay or if the overacting butchered the lines that they had written. whichever it was it sucked. I'm going to have to give the script some of the blame for it though. it was decent though. Nothing really special. 7.5/10


Likableness: It was a decent First Age Slasher (not that I've seen as many First Age Slashers as I would like) but I have seen better (Psycho anyone?) yeah, much better. Other FAS show me that at some point, this genre was trying. it really was. They were trying to make these movies good as opposed to the second age where they were all a dime a dozen. It does show here that they were trying to make a good movie here and for the most part I think they succeeded. I would watch this one again and I would suggest any people who are fans of a decent horror film to watch it. It is a flawed film but entertaining. 8/10

Final Score: 31/40 77% (D)
Tomatometer rating: 80%
Tomatometer rating if my review was added: 83%






TRIVIA TIME: 1. Paula E. Sheppard, who played 12-year-old Alice, was 19 during the making of the film.

2. When Father Tom stands in the rain, watching Mrs. Tredoni check the mail, a poster for the film Psycho can be seen in the background.

3. Linda Miller was injured while filming the scene in the hospital, and production had to be halted for a month. Fortunately, she didn't have to go far for medical help since they were filming in a hospital.

4. The knife used in the film was created by Alfred Sole's neighbor, who was an engineer, and was designed with a retractable blade. It was the only knife used in the film; the filmmakers never made any duplicates.


My review of House of the Dead

The second you see the letters U W E B O L L arranged in the dreaded order that spells the name of the horrible German director (Lou Woll) in the opening credits, you know you are in a for a bad film.


Acting/characters: Shallow, generic, and underdeveloped that's all I can say about them. I kept hoping that there would be someone in the whole film who I would think "maybe this one will be different and kinda likable" out of the whole cast, no one fit that bill. I can't even remember their names without looking them up with the exception of Kirk. Even as I write this, their names and faces slip from my mind. That is for the best I feel. I just do not care about them whatsoever. Who could? Maybe the 3 or 4 people out there who like this film say 'the characters are so incidental because this is a cheesy action flick and nothing more.' To those 3 or 4 people (including Uwe Boll) I say, if I want this many faceless characters, I'll go play the video game itself. It's a movie so it should have at least one character worth anything. This doesn't. Plus, the character who narrates the film is so dumb. Well, not just him, the whole concept of the character. A narrator is our protagonist. We are seeing the film from his or her eyes. This guy wasn't in the film for the first third of it. Once he was you never got to really know him at all. It's like he was just there and was narrating it in passing later. I dunno maybe the script did have a likable character, well if so, the actors killed it. They all absolutely sucked. I think one of them went on to do something worthwhile after this...how? They were monotonous, blank, and uninteresting. 0/10

Plot: I've read the plot to the original game. This one is supposed to be a prequel to that game in a sense...no matter what angle you look at it from the two are not connected plot-wise at all. This would be fine I suppose but Uwe Boll decided to use a plot that has been circulating on the Slasher Genre for decades: Teenagers at a party in an abandoned location are being killed off. So, not only did he not even try to tie it into the actual source material itself, he decided to use an old, over-used plot to do it. Way to go Uwe! You've sunk to a new low. At least I haven't seen the plot to Alone in the dark 50 times in 50 different movies like this one. You didn't even try. You didn't even try. 0/10

Screenplay: If I asked Uwe Boll what he thought about the script for this film he would give me a blank stare and say 'the what for my film?' an exaggeration to be sure, but not that much of one. Some lines in there just had my head ringing. Which ones?...all of them...yeah, all of them. I don't know who wrote this screenplay or why but they should be banned from ever making a screenplay again. This comes off like some kid wrote it. No offense to kids. Come on people this is a movie1 You get paid to do this! Now I'm not saying it has to be Casablanca but can you please not try to outdo Troll 2 in terms of stupidity? 0/10

Likableness: I add Uwe Boll to my list of directors who love slow-mo too much (move over Michael Bay and Zack Snyder). And he's just friggin' lazy too. There is one shot that he reuses 4 DIFFERENT TIMES!!! I mean come on! Twice is pushing it but 4!?!?! I highly disliked this film and I will probably never watch it again. I would advise everyone who has not seen this to go and watch something better. Like the Garfield movie (oh snap) and leave this alone. It was terrible. I give this one a solid 0/10.

Final Score: 0/40
Tomatometer rating: 4%
Tomatometer rating if my review was added: 4%



TRIVIA TIME: 1. The fisherman with the hook (gaff) at the beginning of the movie is a reference to the killer in I Know What You Did Last Summer.

2. At the beginning of the movie, Greg says, "Who's the U-boat captain?" when he sees Capt. Viktor Kirk. Prochnow was the captain in Das Boot.

3. Jonathan Cherry burned 30% of his hand on the second day of shooting. The scene on the bridge, where he hurts his hand, was shot later, to explain the bandage he had to wear.

4. Reviews were so bad that Danish cinemas refused to buy it.

5. House of the Dead is the last film to use the turn-table technique for 360° shots. The risk of actors being hurt or killed by the fast-moving camera was too much.


...man, the opening joke I use sucks doesn't it? well, compared to the actual movie it's a great joke.

My review of Ferocious Planet

Acting/characters: One of my first thoughts was 'ooh, it has Gimli in it! What fun! But I'm just gonna go ahead and say it, he has a total of about 3 minutes or so of screen time but he has high billing for the film. That right off the bat tells you what kind of film it is. The characters are all what you'd expect from a film like this: stupid stereotypes. every last one of them. And they die in the order they're supposed to. The acting fit the film. It was pretty bad. Not as horrible as I expected but still pretty bad. But everyone in this film was a complete moron. Every. Last. One. Some just less so than others. basically par for the course for a film like this one. 1/10

Plot: I've seen plots like this before: race against time before something bad happens. It played out the same way too. I must admit that it was rather entertaining actually. Nothing awesome but it kept my interest. But it was a bit too long. It was bout 90 minutes but I felt that that was a bit too much. Funny how some movies can make 90 minutes feel too long. I just felt myself wanting it to end. It was a little repetitive and its tricks to add suspense just didn't work because you knew how it was going to end anyways. But I must give it some credit, it was entertaining for the most part. 4/10

Screenplay: Just terrible, absolutely terrible. It's a SyFy movie. They churn them out so fast they don't even bother with the screenplay. Nothing else to say really. 0/10

Likableness: Despite its innumerable glaring flaws I kinda enjoyed it. Mostly. Would I watch it again? Sure with a group of friends. But otherwise no. Would I suggest this one to someone who likes stupid cheesy films like this one? Not really actually. If you want that watch Wyvern. That one was much better. Am I glad I watched it? Sure. It was far from the worst film I have ever seen. It was merely entertaining and overly cheesy but really bad. And the special effects were horrendous. Absolutely horrendous. They could have done better. 3/10

Final Score: 8/40 20%
Tomatometer rating: N/A
Tomatometer rating if my review was added: 0%


No trivia for this movie either. sad day.

My review of Justin Bieber: Never say Never

Well this is a documentary so my normal format will not suffice here.

So, this documentary came out, what, a year or so after he became big? Well, to me that's too soon. I think they should have waited until he...became a little less big. Not to sound heartless or anything. But just having his early life and his rise doesn't cut it to me. I'd say that he would have needed to wait at least 10-15 years before they did something like this. This is too soon for me.


Well on to Bieber himself, the kid is undeniably talented particularly with drums. That is clearly evident. He definitely has God given talent. On a talent scale overall I would rate him at a...9/10. He's a decent singer but not too perfect. Does his talent warrant the kind of screaming fan attention that he gets? Maybe. Well, actually nobody deserves that. He deserves a loyal fan-base, but those girls just need to calm the heck down. Yes he's good but openly weeping with tears of pure joy at the mere sight of him is too much. I never had much experience with him. I don't think I've heard many if any of his songs so I have a pretty neutral opinion on the guy. I never got into the group that hates his guts.
but the guy is very popular and he knows it. but he seems like a nice enough guy if a little big-headed occasionally.


Now, on to the movie itself. It was interesting but it just got so boring after a while because it was so repetitive. You could have cut out half an hour off of that movie and still have it say exactly the same thing that it did. It was overly long and I just got bored halfway through. When was this gonna end!?!? I found myself thinking. Eventually it did end as all movies must. It was a 3-D movie too which confused me. It just goes to show that film-makers don't really know what to do with 3-D. There were only a few seconds in the film that could be 3-D. Why do they do this!? Long story short, It was overly long, the second half was really boring (and if I watched the first half again right now that would be boring too) and it hardly has a real story to it. It's a one hour and 45 minute long movie and only 35-40 minutes of that has a story to it. Most of it is exposition. It was simply a camera crew following him around for a while. it was okay at first but it got boring. Would I suggest this to anyone? Well...no. No I wouldn't unless you like Bieber.

Final Score: 25/40 62% (M)
Tomatometer rating: 64%
Tomatometer rating if my review was added: 65%


No trivia for this film...I should knock off a few points for that....

My review of Videodrome

I haven't seen too much Cronenberg, only this, The Fly and The Dead Zone. But I gotta say this about him, the guy definitely has a style...yes, he has a very distinct style for sure.

Acting/Characters: This is another film where one actor pretty much carries the whole thing. In this case that actor is James Woods. Now, I have not seen him in too much (mostly the Family Guy episodes he guest stars in these days) but I like him. He hasn't done anything that I have seen that he really sucked in. I enjoyed him in this one well enough. He did a pretty good job. The rest of the cast did a decent job too but they weren't as memorable as Woods. No one did a bad job. it was mostly pretty good but woods did the best job by far. 8.5/10

Plot: Well, I went into this one knowing nothing except for the whole 'James Woods puts his head into a TV' scene. I didn't know what to expect from the film but it wasn't what it was. Was that a good thing? Yes, yes I'd say it is. It's another one that at moments, you aren't 100% sure what is real and what is not. It suited this film well. It didn't overdo it either which is good. It definitely was one that got weirder as it went along. I wasn't a fan of some of the sexual stuff in the beginning though. I got enough of that kind of thing in The Piano Teacher. But overall it was a very solid plot that was very Cronenburg. I enjoyed it. It kept me very interested throughout the whole movie. It was unpredictable too. It was pretty good. 8.5/10

Screenplay: Long live the new flesh!it was pretty good all around. Nothing flawless but I enjoyed it. some of the better scenes in the film were the ones without any dialogue (or minimal dialogue) which isn't a bad thing. It's wasn't like: oh finally they've shut up so now we can have some peace from that horrid dialogue. It was pretty enjoyable and it flowed well. 8/10

Likableness: Aside from the sexual stuff in the beginning I enjoyed it. I like movies where I never truly know what is real or not. Backed by a strong performance from James Woods, it never gets boring. I would suggest it to people who like films like this one. or even just Cronenburg fans (although most Cronenburg fans have probably seen this one already anyways) I liked it. Would I watch it again? Yeah, I probably would. Not right away but I would. 9/10

Final Score: 34/40 85% (N)
Tomatometer Rating: 80%
Tomatometer rating if my review was added: 80%


TRIVIA TIME: 1. David Tsubouchi, who appears here briefly as a Japanese porn dealer, later became a Minister in the Ontario provincial government. His appearance in this controversial film as a pornographer was exploited by the opposition.

2. The chest-slit sequences had James Woods built into a couch with the chest-slit apparatus glued onto him. Woods swore he would never work with anything that had to be glued onto him ever again! During filming the sequences with the flesh-gun (which "fired" bursts of cold, vaporous gas), Woods played a prank on director David Cronenberg by smearing his (real) hand with blue paint and pretending he had frostbite.

3. During filming of the Cathode Ray mission sequence, the film's gaffer, Jock Brandis, walked in and casually informed the crew that the power lines to the building were smoking because of the load imposed on them by the TV sets.

4. Andy Warhol called the movie the "A Clockwork Orange of the 1980s".

My review of The Piano Teacher (La Pianiste)

Acting/characters: The mother in this film treats her daughter like absolute garbage and then guilt trips her to make her feel bad for hurting her poor old mother. People like that repulse me. she controls or criticizes her daughter's every move. Now I'm not psychologist, but it seems that her mother is imprinting the bad memories of their time together on their daughter so she will live forever in her daughter's memory. I intensely disliked the characters in the film. If they weren't being idiotic they were being petty and shallow. As I mentioned before, the mother was a nosy, controlling cow who put herself before her daughter every time, the titular character was just twisted, and her love interest was just ridiculously stupid. was the film well acted? Well...I guess so. If the actors were trying to make me intensely dislike the characters they did a great job. I as an audience member go into a film expecting to relate, or at least sympathize, with one character. In most films that is key. if the audience has no one to relate to we don't care about anything that happens. I know I didn't. 4.5/10


Plot: During the film, there is a talk about Schumann and his slow descent into madness and I think it is no coincidence that that conversation was in this FUBAR film. Or at least it tried to be FUBAR I think, maybe I'm missing something, but this film was just so boring. Near the end of the film it got more interesting but not in the way I was hoping. It was disturbing. I don't know what the filmmakers were trying to get across with this. I know that this one is based off of a novel. Seriously though, what is the point? Maybe I missed something. The whole film is in French so maybe something got lost in translation. I know that the filmmakers wanted to make the audience repulsed by the protagonist. They did a good job of that. It fluctuated between boring and sickening for me. I also felt that the first half of the film and the second half were two totally different movies almost. The first half was the titular character as a reserved jerk who is under the thumb of her domineering mother and she is a piano teacher. The second half is where things start to take a whole other turn. I didn't enjoy it but that's just me. 5/10

Screenplay: As I've previously mentioned, I have a tough time doing the screenplay portion of reviews for foreign language films. I never know what gets lost in translation. So, they might have a line in this film that I thought was stupid but in its original French it was something far better. However I didn't feel that it had any glaring flaws in it. It wasn't outstanding but I don't think that the screenplay itself was trying to be very deep. It was what wasn't spoken that was supposed to be the most brutal and powerful. It moved the story along pretty well and I didn't think it did a bad job. It is rare that I think a screenplay is the best part of the film but I think for this one it was. 8/10

Likableness: It was kind of a boring film with parts that definitely kept your attention. In a good way? well, that depends on each individual viewer. As for me, I don't think so. was it well made? I suppose so but it just wasn't my cup of tea. Maybe there was something that I missed. some hidden meaning that I overlooked. But can I in good faith recommend this to anyone? Sorry Jhon E, but no I can't. I saw it, I suppose I'm glad that I am just for the sake of expanding what kind of films that I have seen. But I don't need to watch it again. 5.5/10

Final Score: 23/40 57% (M)
Tomatometer rating: 73%
Tomatometer rating if my review was added: 72%


TRIVIA TIME: 1. Isabelle Huppert really played the piano in the film. She had studied piano for 12 years. As preparation for her role as a piano teacher, she resumed practicing a year before the film was started.

2. The character of the mother is based on author Elfriede Jelinek's real life mother...yeah, I figured.

My review of Planet of the Apes

Acting/characters: I generally like Charlton Heston but I do feel that can slip into overacting sometimes. But he was pretty good in this one. Roddy McDowell, Kim Hunter, and Maurice Evans were pretty good too. They would have to be as those four actors (most Charlton Heston) had to carry the whole film. They were all pretty good in their roles. There weren't any other characters that had very much screen time or speaking parts. The characters were pretty good I thought. I actually felt that I related a bit more to some of the ape characters as opposed to the human one. Maybe that's just Charlton Heston. But it was pretty good. 9/10

Plot: It is at heart an anti-cold war film I think. I can't go into more detail than that without spoiling some major plot points but those who have seen it can agree or not. One thing I highly disliked is that it seemed to be very anti-religion. In this film religion and science clash (they don't have to for goodness sakes!) with the religious leaders portrayed as nasty hypocrites and the scientific apes portrayed more sympathetically. However, that aside, I did like the plot overall. It was a very interesting plot that kept my attention and I liked how it kept certain things from the audience. It never completely explained what was going on with the apes until the very end which I feel keeps the audience interested. They did a good job. Plus the ending was really good. 8.5/10

Screenplay: "Get your stinking paws off of me you damned dirty ape!" Everyone knows that line. It was ranked as one of the most famous by the AFI. It rarely had lines that I didn't like. It was thought provoking. It asked the question 'what is intelligence'? It did so in such a way that it wasn't all in your face about it. It just kinda mentioned it and left you to think about it on your own. I liked that. But the anti-religion/pro-science stuff could get a little in your face at times which I don't like so much. But it wasn't too frequent and didn't distract from the story that the film was trying to tell which was nice. 9/10

Likableness: Again, aside from the anti-religion/pro-science stuff it was a very engaging and likable film. It had a very interesting plot and it told the story it wanted to very effectively. It wasn't a perfect film but it is one that I wouldn't mind watching now and again. The makeup was also really good for 1968 (it won an honorary Oscar after all) and I think it still holds up a bit even today. it is definitely a classic film that I would suggest to anyone who has not seen it. Charlton Heston overacted a bit here and there but he did a good job overall. It was a pretty good film. 9.5/10

Final Score: 36/40 90% (N)
Tomatometer rating: 89%
Tomatometer rating if my review was added: 89%



TRIVIA TIME: 1. During breaks in filming, actors made up as different ape species tended to hang out together, gorillas with gorillas, orangutans with orangutans, chimps with chimps. It wasn't required, it just naturally happened.

2. Charlton Heston was sick during much of the film with the flu. Rather than wait for him to get better, the producers felt that his hoarse voice added something to the character of Taylor. According to Heston's diary, after filming the scene where Taylor and Nova are forcibly separated, he wrote that he was feeling like hell while shooting because of his illness, and felt even worse "every time that damn fire hose hit me".

3. One of the first films to have a major large scale merchandising tie-in. Merchandise related to the film included toys and collectibles, action figures, picture and story books, trading card sets, books, records, comics and a series of graphic novels from Marvel Comics.

4. Turning down the part of Zira was one of Ingrid Bergman's greatest regrets. Much surprised at how well the finished film turned out, she later confided to her daughter Isabella Rossellini that in hindsight the film would have been an ideal opportunity for her to "disregard her regal bearing". She also regretted missing the opportunity of working with Charlton Heston.

5. Linda Harrison, who plays Nova, was having an affair with producer Richard D. Zanuck at the time of production. In the year of the film's release, Zanuck divorced his first wife and married Harrison. The couple were married for 9 years and had 2 children. Linda Harrison was pregnant with producer Richard D. Zanuck's child and was starting to show towards the end of the shoot which required careful posing on her part to conceal it.

6. John Chambers' outstanding makeup technique pioneered in the film was based upon one technique he had used during World War II to give disfigured veterans a normal appearance. Chambers spent many hours watching the apes at Los Angeles Zoo, studying their facial expressions. Several other productions were delayed due to the fact that many of Hollywood's top make up artists were working on this film. Leftover makeup supplies were later used on actor Michael Conrad, playing an ape-like alien in Fugitives in Space. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gave Chambers a special award for makeup (which was not an Oscar category until 1981) for this achievement, in the second time that a make-up artist received an Academy Award. William Tuttle was the first, with 7 Faces of Dr. Lao. Chambers' award was presented by Walter Matthau and a chimpanzee in a tuxedo.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

My review of The Elephant Man

The music in the film was excellent I must say. I highly enjoyed it. It...did an excellent job establishing the mood of the film. Pathetic description I know, it was good though.

it didn't win Best Makeup at the Oscars because there was no makeup category then. However the uproar about the fact that this wasn't even given a special award (as was the case in the past for amazing makeup) led the Academy to create the best Makeup category. However, the Academy heads still refused to give this film an honorary award. As such, it went 0-8 at the Oscars.



First off some background, I'm sure you all know that this is about John 'The Elephant Man' Merrick. Well, his name was actually Joseph (not John) Carey Merrick. Treaves deliberately changed his name in the book he wrote. No one knows why. Merrick was born apparently perfectly healthy to his parents Joseph Rockley Merrick and Mary Jane Merrick. He developed his deformities at a young age. His deformities continued to grow and eventually led to his death. Merrick's condition was undiagnosed at the time of his death. Later studies of his skeleton and the casts made of his body led researchers to suggest he suffered from neurofibromatosis (NF), a genetic condition that 1 in 4,000 persons suffer from. The NF Foundation used the movie as a fund raising tool and credited it with making the disease more widely known. Later examination, including CT scans of the skeleton, lead researchers to believe he suffered from proteus syndrome, a much rarer condition than NF. In 2003, researchers using surviving DNA samples from Merrick were able to determine that he definitely suffered from proteus syndrome, and probably suffered from NF as well, hence his unique condition.



Acting/characters: The two performers who truly carry the film are John Hurt as Merrick and Anthony Hopkins as Fredrick Treaves. Hopkins was outstanding. And how good was Hurt may you ask? Well let me put it this way, John Hurt was so good in this film that I am rethinking my position that De Niro definitely deserved his Oscar for Raging Bull. Don't get me wrong, he did amazing and I'm not sorry that he won, I'm just thinking that Hurt could have gotten it too. The supporting cast (which featured such greats as Anne Bancroft and John Gielgud) were very good too. However, the supporting cast was relatively minor as most of the scenes focused almost exclusively on Hopkins, Hurt or both. I can't think of anyone else who had more than 10 minutes of screen time. That fact makes the performances by Hopkins and Hurt even better because they had to carry the whole film. They did an amazing job at it. Also it must be noted how young Hopkins looks in this film. I am used to seeing him post Hannibal Lecter (and as a random coincidence I am wearing a Hannibal Lecter T-shirt) so seeing him as young as 43 is interesting. Anyway, the acting was great. 10/10

Plot: It was pretty straightforward which makes it one of the first Lynch films to be so. Usually with Lynch films there is some portion of the plot that is...dreamlike. Something that is unusual for a normal plot. But, this one was relatively straightforward which proved to me that Lynch can make whatever kind of film that he freaking wants to. The plot itself was very interesting and I never found myself bored by it. I know that critics such as Roger Ebert tend to criticize this film for 'excessive sentiment.' Well, It is a sentimental kind of film but I don't think it's exactly excessive here. I think Lynch does a good job balancing the horror of what happens to Merrick and the hopefulness that he has when he is being taken care of. It was very well done. 10/10

Screenplay: "I am not an elephant! I am not an animal! I am a human being! I am a man!" The most truthful words in the film to be sure. I enjoyed it. It helped the story along very well and I it was very powerful I feel. The mark of a truly great script is that it gives the actors involved a lot to work with. I think that it is clear that it did. I know that is was based a lot off of the book that Dr. Treaves wrote about Merrick. Having not read the book myself I cannot fully state the extent that it borrowed from it. But it really worked well. Very well. 10/10

Likableness: This is a spectacular film and one that I would highly suggest to anyone who has yet to see it. If nothing else, see it for the stunning black-and-white cinematography and the even more stunning performances by the two leads in the film. I highly enjoyed it and I would not have any qualms about seeing it again. Is it something to watch very often? Depends on who you ask. It is not a lighthearted film. It is very heavy. But it is definitely worth a look. I enjoyed it quite a bit and I wouldn't have said no to both Hurt getting the Oscar and this film as well actually. I know many will disagree but I feel that way. 10/10


Final Score: 40/40 100% (N)
Tomatometer rating: 91%
Tomatometer rating if my review was added: 91%



TRIVIA TIME: 1. Director David Lynch originally tried to do the makeup for the Elephant Man himself but simply wasn't able to.

2. Following the death of the real Joseph "John" Merrick, parts of his body were preserved for medical science to study. Some internal organs were kept in jars, and plaster casts were taken of his head, an arm, and a foot. Although the organs were destroyed by German air raids during the Second World War, the casts survived and are kept at the London Hospital. The makeup for John Hurt, who played Merrick in the film, was designed directly from those casts.

3. The Elephant Man makeup took 7 hours to apply each time. John Hurt would arrive on set at 5.00am and shoot from noon until 10.00pm. Because of the strain on the actor, he worked alternate days. After the first day of shooting, when actor John Hurt was exposed for the first time to the inconveniences of having his make-up applied and walking around in it, he called his wife, saying, I think they finally managed to make me hate acting.

4. When Frederick Treves sees Merrick for the first time, he sheds a single tear. Anthony Hopkins thought of his sick father at that moment to help him to cry.

5. This film was executive produced by Mel Brooks, who was responsible for hiring director David Lynch and obtaining permission to film in black and white. He deliberately left his name off the credits, as he knew that people would get the wrong idea about the movie if they saw his name on the film, given his fame as a satirist. Mel Brooks hired David Lynch to direct the film because he admired Lynch's work in Eraserhead. David Lynch was working as a roofer at the time he was offered the chance to direct.

6. Anthony Hopkins's portrayal of the good doctor Frederick Treves in this film is reportedly what inspired Jonathan Demme to cast him as the evil doctor Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs. (Hopkins later said that he felt the sharing-and-caring role of Dr. Frederick Treves a rather dull one.)

7. Frederick Treves, great-nephew of Dr Treves, appears in the opening scene as an Alderman trying to close down the freak show.

8. When Merrick returns to London, he is chased by an angry mob, and flees underground. The shot of the crowd descending the stairs in pursuit features David Lynch in full costume.

9. Due to the constrictive deformity of his mouth, Merrick never spoke as clearly in real life as he does in the film. Dr Treves often had to act as Merrick's interpretor for visitors. Those who knew him well, such as hospital staff and friends, grew used to his impeded speech but it remained indistinct and worsened as Merrick's condition deteriorated.