A young couple, living in a campus apartment complex, are repeatedly harassed by an eccentric plumber, who subjects them to a series of bizarre mind games while making unnecessary repairs to their bathroom.
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In Adelaide, the wife of Dr. Brian Cowper, Jill Cowper, is writing her thesis at home for her Master's in Anthropology. When the plumber, Max, arrives unexpectedly to do a routine check and maintenance of the the bathroom pipes, Jill is stuck alone at home with the strange, talkative stranger. That day, he mentions spending some time in prison, frightening Jill. She talks about this to her friend Meg, her husband Brian and the superintendent's wife, but they all believe the plumber to be a simple, but nice man. Jill does not agree. There is a problem in the bathroom that brings Max back again, this time even longer. Over time, the tension between them increases. Finally, Jill finds a way to get rid of the plumber. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Hearing about this great little film from many people, I spent tireless hours on retail sites tracking a VHS copy down. Finally I caught a cheap copy on Half.com and it came several days later, (cut to one month later, when Weir's "Cars that Ate Paris" debuted on easily-accessible DVD format with "The Plumber" as a double feature. Go figure.) But I sat down to watch it and proceeded to laugh for quite some time.
The story is basically about this Aussie anthropologist studying Aboriginal tribes as her boring nutritionist husband is constantly talking shop. She's constantly left to her solitude and values her privacy, which makes it all the more irritating when a strange plumber invades her life. Somewhat threatening and somewhat a misunderstood doof, this plumber spends hours holed up in her bathroom doing nothing but lounging around, hammering shower tiles, writing folk songs and ripping pipes from the walls.
It's a precursor to "The Cable Guy," but don't let that discourage you, (I liked "Cable Guy" myself). It's funny as hell and has a great ending. I'll even forgive it for the nutritionist's ponderous subplot that goes nowhere. It's only 79 minutes--whaddaya got to lose?
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