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Murder: Ultimate Grounds for Divorce (1984)

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Roger Daltrey, his unpleasant wife, played by Toyah Willcox (Quadrophenia), and another couple on a camping weekend find themselves stranded. Arguments arise, and secrets begin coming out: ... See full summary »

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Roger Cunningham
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Valerie Cunningham
Terry Raven ...
Edwin
Leslie Ash ...
Philippa
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Roger Daltrey, his unpleasant wife, played by Toyah Willcox (Quadrophenia), and another couple on a camping weekend find themselves stranded. Arguments arise, and secrets begin coming out: accusations of affairs, marriages of convenience, and homosexuality.

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The Kids Aren't Alright
6 December 2004 | by (Xanadu) – See all my reviews

Har har. Might as well cram a joke (no matter how played out and hackneyed) into this review somewhere.

See, I have this habit of buying out of print films. My collection ranges from the absurd, to the moving, to wonderful little films that were cruelly overlooked, and to the altogether forgotten.

I suppose this film falls in one of those categories, and no long forgotten gem, Murder: Ultimate Grounds For Divorce, is definitely absurd.

So why did I add this one to my collection? Well, seeing as how the source of my film collection takes about an hour to get to, I don't have much time to dilly-dally with "should I or shouldn't I buy this?" once I arrive there. So most of the time, I just seek out out of print films I've been searching for, and will then also spontaneously buy others for the hell of it (namely based on box art, who's in it, the decade it was made, etc.). Living dangerously with VHS doesn't always pay off. Roger Daltrey's striking, sweaty face on the cover is what made me buy it. I figured that hey, it's long forgotten and stars the handsome and talented Roger Daltrey of the amazing The Who. If anything, it could be a real laugh with friends of mine (who have come to expect me showing them some VHS oddity).

Now after having seen it, I'm not sure I want to share it with anyone else. Class of 1984, Night Children, Terrorvision, Tokyo Pop, C.H.U.D. 2...all films I gladly shared with others who enjoyed them. But this one? I'm sure that I'd rather share old David Carradine films and leave it at that.

So yeah. What is this one about? Well, Roger plays (get ready) Roger (he joins the ranks of Tony Danza for having a character named after himself). He's married to one of the unpleasant women of whom I forgot her character's name, though played by Toyah Willcox. Then there's Raven, who plays Edward (though on occasion Edwina), who is married to Philippa (Leslie Ash). All have been married to each other for 7 years, and in that time, they have had outings with each other every weekend. On a camping trip into the woods, their mode of transport breaks down, the keys are lost, and they are stranded. At first they try to make the best of it, until Roger starts with the verbal jabs and accusations of affairs start to fly. Arguments arise, and soon they come to blows. Secrets come out in the course of the film, accusations of affairs, marriages of convenience, and homosexuality fly; and all are shown in flashbacks (which involve Roger fooling around with some more unpleasant looking women). But the question arises: is any of it true? The answers to these questions are discovered through the course of the film, but really, why bother watching middle aged Brits scream at each other until they're blue in the face? Sure, cross dressing and explosions occur, but what's the use? Roger Daltrey gives a great performance, as does the rest of the cast (though Toyah exclaims "Bloody!" far too much for my taste. The little git grated my nerves something fierce), but I dare say it's all wasted. Certainly with their talent, something better and more substantial could've been created?

Thankfully though, Roger has quite a musical and acting legacy to be remembered by, and Murder: Ultimate Grounds for Divorce, will be shuffled away and forgotten by all, save for the few who have seen it or own it. This one will be filed away as one of the oddities I own and nothing more.


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