Writer, ex-con and 40-something bottle-baby Tim Madden, who is prone to black-outs, awakens from a two-week bender to discover a pool of blood in his car, a blond woman's severed head in ...
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Norman Mailer's first feature filmmaking effort stars the director and his two longtime collaborators Buzz Farbar and Mickey Knox as a trio of gangsters holed up in a ramshackle New York apartment, drinking, braying, and fighting.
When the drifter Harry Madox reaches a small town in Texas, he gets a job as used car salesman with the dealer George Harshaw and settles down in a hotel room. During a fire, Harry observes... See full summary »
Writer, ex-con and 40-something bottle-baby Tim Madden, who is prone to black-outs, awakens from a two-week bender to discover a pool of blood in his car, a blond woman's severed head in his marijuana stash, and the new Provincetown police chief, Captain Luther Regency, shacked up with his former girlfriend Madeleine. As his father Dougy helps him try to unravel the mystery, he is dogged by the psychotic Capt. Regency, who has it in for Tim as a car-crash that he was involved in with Madeline has left her unable to have children. Flashing-back to the past, Tim remembers the time when he encouraged Madeline to swing with a Li'l Abnerish couple from down South, the fundamentalist preacher Big Stoop and his Daisy Mae-ish wife, Patty Lareine, whose ad Tim had come across in 'Screw' magazine. It's on the trip back that the car crash occurs, since Madeline is incensed that Tim has so enjoyed Patty Lareine's charms. Except for his father Dougy, who is dying of cancer, Tim suspects everyone, ... Written by
Jon C. Hopwood
The film was screened out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 1987. See more »
[narrating a letter]
My husband is having an affair with your wife. I don't think we should talk about it... unless you're prepared to kill them.
Oh man! Oh God, oh man! Oh God, oh man! Oh God, oh man! Oh God, oh man, oh God!
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The passage of time (now 1/28/11) heals all wounds. This flick may have been a laughing stock after release in 1987 but the passage of time has added new dimensions enabling the viewer to see it again from many different angles; one of which is the involvement of Norman Mailer who now possesses the mystical aura of a great artist post mortem. The campy acting and over the top attempts at noir now actually enhance this film. As a bonus there is the Cape Cod filming location with some wonderful views of the Cape in winter. The plot is complicated and almost rises to the level of a good screwball comedy although in this case the comedy is definitely black. Lots of bodies to be moved from place to place as the characters frantically try to stay one step ahead of whatever is threatening them at the moment. In the end, all is satisfactorily resolved and each character has been dealt with appropriately by fate. I thought that the last five minutes contained some of the best black comedy I've ever seen, all topped off by the happy fairy tale ending.
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