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|Index||15 reviews in total|
The Turning (L. A. Puopolo, 1992)
If you've actually made the effort to seek out this film, you did so for one reason and one reason only. And nothing I can say will sway you from renting it. But I'll try anyway.
This film, the acting debut of Gillian Anderson, is well-known among connoiseurs as containing Ms. Anderson's only semi-nude scene. Hate to spoil your fun, but the stills you've seen online are digitally-enhanced.
And everything you've heard about how awful the movie is, aside from the thirty seconds or so in question, is completely true. Clifford Harnish, a white separatist Marine (Michael Dolan, a character actor who often plays military types, most recently in TNT's original film The Hunley), comes home after spending four years away. His girlfriend (Anderson) is working as a waitress for her father (who never liked Clifford in the first place, and likes him less so now), his parents (Raymond Barry, who plays Senator Matheson in The X-Files, and Tess Harper, who has a penchant for playing "leading man's wife" in various films) have broken up, and dad is dating the local chanteuse, Glory Lawson (Karen Allen). Everything is predictable; everything is glacial; everyone manages to turn in the worst roles of their careers (and everyone except Anderson had already turned in pretty long careers by this time). Please, for god's sake, avoid this film like the plague. By far the worst thing I've seen this year. (zero stars, of course)
The Turning resulted in possibly the most exploitative advertising campaign
in video retail history. Released in England during the peak of X-Files
popularity, the video cover was a single shot of Gillian Anderson, her hands
tentatively grasping her blouse. The implication was clear it screamed out
"this is a film where Scully goes topless."
As it turns out, Anderson, billed fifth, appears for less than eight minutes of the 88-minute running time, sporting a ludicrous "southern" accent. Her exposed breasts, never seen in full anyway, occupy less than ten seconds of screen time. Maybe really sad X-File fans would be satisfied with around half a minute of her bare back.
You might think that this served people right, that it was scores of masturbatory X-File fans getting their just desserts. But I think exploiting people in such a transparent way is very cruel, not to say dishonest. Her minor role, and the fact that her sexuality plays no real part in proceedings, even causes the cover to be questionably within the trade descriptions act.
So what of the film itself? Well, the story centres on Clifford, a character whom I couldn't decide whether he had learning difficulties or was just played that way. I don't mean that remark in bad taste, by the way he really is portrayed like that. Questions over what kind of person he is are subtly built up by having him wearing a T-shirt with a swastika on it. Just in case you don't get the message, the incidental music helpfully contains a few "hails!" when he talks. That said, Michael Dolan does give a reasonable performance, much better than most of his co-stars, who were surely familiar with the words "TV" and "Movie" being in close proximity.
The dialogue often resorts to platitudes, though is generally inoffensively mediocre. One humorous moment is where Clifford describes "the three of us" (him, his mother and his father) and whether intentionally or not I do not know paraphrases Casablanca, with "don't add up to a stack o'cows**t." Humphrey would have been proud.
The adequate direction steals one or two riffs from Deliverance, though fails to build up any sense of tangible menace. The rather so-so domestic tale of a bunch of estranged rednecks; they could easily be guests on the Jerry Springer Show under the title "My Son Is A Nazi". Not bad, not great, this is a film that has "average" written all the way through it. Just one question why is it called The Turning???
How on Earth was this movie allowed to even be made? The ONLY and I mean ONLY reason that I even wasted my time watching this movie was because it supposedly "starred" my all time favorite Actress, Gillian Anderson. But Gillian, honey. What were you thinking?! This movie lacked any kind of plot of character development. I am wondering who sold their soul to the devil...or paid someone off to even get this film made. They so slyly put Gillian's picture on the cover of the movie to lure people in. And then she's in the movie for about 5 minutes. This movie was so boring that it had me wanted to fast forward to the scenes with Gillian in them. I can't believe Gillian ever even got another role after appearing in this sad, sad excuse for a movie. I am now dumber as a result of watching this film.
The Turning is about a disturbed young man who returns home after four
years to try and save his parents marriage. He grows increasingly
violent, and people begin to wonder where exactly he has been for the
last four years...
I know that many people don't like this movie, but I found it quite intense, and even scary at times! Michael Dolan, Tess Harper, Karen Allen, Raymond J. Barry, and Gillian Anderson all give exceptional performances. Many people see this film just for Gillian Anderson's semi-nude scene, but the movie is much, much more than that! If you happen to come across this one, please, give it a try!
Rated: R for language, disturbing situations, and brief sexuality.
A thoroughly tedious drama that would have been lost forever down the
bin chute of film history were it not for a pre-'X Files' appearance by
Gillian Anderson, wearing fewer clothes than we were used to back in
those days. I dutifully rented it at the time and was instantly bored
out of my skull.
It's a dreary movie that could have burned through its plot in less than ten minutes but instead pads it out with supposedly meaningful but actually embarrassing dialogue while the cast acts as though they all have around half an hour to live. The irritating score constantly intrudes upon any scene that seems like it might become vaguely engaging and the plot trundles around in circles until the more-than-welcome ending.
Curiosity value aside, there's nothing here to see.
The West Virginia International Film Festival screened this film in
fall 1997 with the director present. The film was made on the border
between West Virginia and Virginia. Mr. Puopolo gave a great
introduction and answered many questions. The basic idea of the film -
a young man returning home after living with Neo-Nazis - is unique in
my film experience. Too bad Ms. Anderson wasn't in more of the film -
but given its unique storyline, and fairly good visuals, etc. it is an
interesting film. One should never judge a film by its poster - or
It is certainly a B film - like other classics such as "Cockfighter" and "Two-Lane Blacktop." This film should be judged for what it is - a low budget independent film that captures some of the reality of life in America's working class world.
One sentence that says it all: This movie is boring.
There's no story, no sense and even the famous nude scene of Gillian Anderson isn't really nude, so there's no point to watch this movie. I almost slept while watching it.
There's one guy running around and talking to some people about his past or whatever it is supposed to mean. Then he meets this girl, his past love, they have sex on a kitchen floor and then he leaves the girl puzzled and I can say that the viewers are even more puzzled than the girl.
I really wonder why this movie was made? Perhaps the only reason was that the producers of The X-Files would need some material of Anderson in near future, so they could judge if she was good enough for the role of Scully, or not.
Well, I guess that's enough. Oh and I saw that it is rated NC-17... Is there any reason for this except the famous "nude" scene? I guess everyone knew that nobody would buy this movie without expecting a sex scene and so they tried to do as if there was one.
It's no cinematic masterpiece, but to give this movie zero stars is rather
harsh. I knew Gillian Anderson had some nude scene at some point or
but it only once I saw it (and scratched by head thinking "Hey - isn't
Gillian Anderson?") that I realized this was that movie.
But still, it's not that bad a film. The performances seemed quite competant to me, the character's motivations made sense, and the ending wasn't quite what I would have predicted. In fact, they did a good bait and switch by cutting to an exterior shot of Karen Allen's house during the climax.
I've seen many, MANY worse films than this...I wouldn't seek it out, but it's reasonably entertaining if there's nothing else on. Three out of five stars.
I got this "fine film" on VHS a week ago, and my expectations were sky high.
"Yesssss! Gillian naked!", I thought. She looked all hot and ready on the
cover. I looked at the back, and it said that she "sheds both her clothes
and her inhibitions."
She does both of those things, I guess, but come on...I got a glimpse of a breast her or there for about two-three seconds, but that was it. And she`s in this turkey-flick for about ten minutes! But I gotta say, I have started to like it a little. Gillian plays brilliantly, and I think the accent is really good...and kinda cute on her. The movie is really, really tedious and a big bore, but it`s just that which makes it fun...you know? It`s kinda "camp".
I can imagine this is what it would look like if Ed Wood got to do an episode of "Twin Peaks." Boring, un-interesting conversations which go on and on, set against a small town in the woods, where everybody knows everybody. Maybe Ed would have done a better job than L.A. Puopulo has, though...
This movie lacked any sort of plot, character development, or directon. The best thing that can be said for The Turning is that, Gillian Anderson graced it with her presence.
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