Bill, Martha and their little child Hal are spending a quiet winter Sunday in their cosy house when they get an unexpected visit from Mike Nickerson and Tony Rodriguez. Mike and Tony are ...
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Bill, Martha and their little child Hal are spending a quiet winter Sunday in their cosy house when they get an unexpected visit from Mike Nickerson and Tony Rodriguez. Mike and Tony are old acquaintances of Bill; a few years back, in Vietnam, they were in the same platoon. They also became opposed parties in a court martial - for a reason that Bill never explained to Martha. What happened in Vietnam, and what is the reason for the presence of Mike and Tony ?Written by
Eduardo Casais <email@example.com>
Many of you have probably seen Brian De Palma's Casualties of War from 1987. CoW was based on a real story, this fictional 1972 film shows what happened afterward. All I can say is that this is an incredibly intriguing, but sadly forgotten film.
There are many other aspects that make this film special. First of all it's James Wood's debut, second it's allegedly the first fictional film to deal with Vietnam in a serious manner, and third because of how intense the film manages to get. The very set-up sends flashbacks to Funny Games. Two old army buddies of Wood's shows up at his house. This might seem nice enough, but even without the knowledge I had you get the feeling that something is wrong. These are the men Wood's turned in for raping and killing a Vietnamese girl.
The atmosphere screams of dread and you sit back horrified wondering when it's all going to explode. Unlike Kazan's other features it's not visually beautiful in the traditional sense, though it does have many haunting images. This film seeks a more personal touch, again one that might appear somewhat similar to Haneke's minimalism. One thing I found fascinating is that it often cuts the heads of it's characters, which creates an unnatural and weird, albeit very effective atmosphere.
It's also wonderfully contained - there's basically just one setting - their house and the area near by. This only intensifies the whole situation. Of course it does have some small problems. For example the character doesn't seem to realize how serious the situation actually is. But this is one scary flick, and I would definitely recommend it!
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