Harry is unable to hold a job due to his mental illness and lives in an abandoned Hollywood hotel haunted by friendly ghosts of the long dead staff. The lines of his mental illness and reali... Read allHarry is unable to hold a job due to his mental illness and lives in an abandoned Hollywood hotel haunted by friendly ghosts of the long dead staff. The lines of his mental illness and reality become extremely blurred as some of his strangest events are indeed witnessed by others... Read allHarry is unable to hold a job due to his mental illness and lives in an abandoned Hollywood hotel haunted by friendly ghosts of the long dead staff. The lines of his mental illness and reality become extremely blurred as some of his strangest events are indeed witnessed by others. As Harry becomes more frustrated by not being able to distinguish fact from delusion he ... Read all
A California mechanic begins acting very weird and "can no longer work." After walking naked and singing into a church, he gets hospitalized, but is released to his brother's custody. His brother puts him up in an old empty hotel he's in charge of, and things get weirder and weirder until the final acts of violence.
This movie tells you what's going to happen from its opening scene so there can be no "spoilers" here. But it really has nothing to do with the "McDonald's Massacre" in southern California in the early 80s. Repeated online descriptions say it does, but these are simply wrong. The character here bears zero resemblance to James Huberty of the real-life massacre, and this movie is more a low-budget, urban aping of "The Shining" than it is about any real-life massacre.
The guy's hallucinations here are unrealistic and deeply involved in a way that I've never heard of hallucinations being with real patients. They are much more detailed fantasies than hallucinations, and most people know what their private fantasies are and do not believe them to be real. Our character here does, and this does not always make for a plausible viewing experience.
Confusing matters further is the fact that there are apparent REAL threats against our character in the form of three punks with a stupid grudge against him. In a sequence more bizarre than any of his fantasies, our guy ends up in an extended conversation with one punk about everything including the meaning of life!
All this may have worked better if done in a different style. As it is, with our guy fumbling between fantasy and reality while distracting action sequences are thrown in, it seems a muddle.
I think the guy's talking teddy bear is a good character and should have been developed more. Instead, there are distractions with hallucinated butlers and possibly hallucinated private eyes looking for long-stashed treasures and such. Most of the stuff with the punks is another snooze, and endless sequences of our guy trying to seduce his female psychiatrist (!!) just go nowhere as well.
Even the final massacre is done oddly, with several people conveniently jumping out on cue to get shot. The end that our shooter comes to is different from real-life Huberty's. The general racial make-up of the victims is different. Huberty's was an attack on a popular fast-food joint. Here we have an attack on a small family restaurant. Huberty called for psychiatric help before his crimes but was put on a callers' waiting list. Our man here has steady psychiatric attention that does him no good. Huberty never separated from his family and was living with them the day of the McDonald's Massacre. Our man here is long abandoned by his wife. Huberty let legitimate concerns about the government become driving obsessions. Our guy here is totally apolitical. And on and on go the complete differences.
Our guy here is hard to sympathize with as he acts child-like and confused one moment, but arrogantly sure of his sanity and dismissive of others the next. Hey, he just forgot to put his clothes on before going to church, what's the big deal?! Such is a guy who is not exactly going to pull at your heartstrings.
Nonetheless, this movie succeeds in some ways as an 80s oddity complete with a Casio-driven score. It is worth a look for 80s video fans in spite of its flaws, and enjoyable in some ways for fans of the strange, especially fans of the low-budget strange. All others need not apply.
- Jul 29, 2019