Carol Bolts adaptation of her stage play locks its audience in a claustrophobic bachelor flat for a night of black comedy, lust and terror. Jilted on her birthday by her boyfriend, Daisy ...
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Carol Bolts adaptation of her stage play locks its audience in a claustrophobic bachelor flat for a night of black comedy, lust and terror. Jilted on her birthday by her boyfriend, Daisy picks up night club singer Rafe and takes him home. Is he a lover, liar or psychotic serial killer? Watch and see. Watch many times. The film is more complex than it seems and remains eerily contemporary in the issues that still compel us today: law and order, psychotic killers, police and human behaviour. Rafe is by turns charming, funny, and passionate and some would say a psychopath - that is, without feelings, but is he? Brent Carver beautifully portrays the fluidity and depth of this complex character. Daisy feels for Rafe even as her feelings for him turn fearful. A primary question in art as in philosophy is what the truth is. Rafe is a living exemplar of the dilemma. The dogma that says that you cannot make a drama with a liar as its hero is shown to beuntrue.
Having no idea what to expect from this long forgotten, out-of-print Canadian TV movie from the late '70s, I gave it a try and was gradually pulled into its weirdness (much like the protagonist played by Jaffe, I suppose). As a non-Canadian who was never even alive during the late-'70s Pre-AIDS urban disco scene (either Canadian or the American one portrayed in "Looking for Mr. Goodbar"), the whole sleazy atmosphere was extremely off-putting to me, but that made it even more unnerving.
A lonely urban professional woman picks up a street musician at a singles bar for a one-night-fling, only to be gradually drawn into his strange fast-talking style and behavior once he's at her apartment. Originally based upon a stage-play (which was no-doubt highly topical at the time), the film does get a bit too stagey for my taste with essentially two characters on a closed set for the majority of the film (and several monologues). But once I got past that, I was impressed by how different this movie was from what I would expect from a similar American film, which would probably have more gratuitous violence and nudity and less real character development.
With all the cheesy '70s disco, clothing, and hairstyles, the theme of the movie is still fairly relevant and can speak to the loneliness, fears, and anxieties of any young person living alone in a city filled with apartments full of strangers. From that angle, this movie is very scary and claustrophobic and gave me some real shocks when I watched it alone late at night. I recommend it for anyone who likes horror with some real substance but can handle a slow build.
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