The Gardener (1998)
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(Cat's eye comments follow.*)
This is a remarkably intelligent idea, worthy of Peter Greenaway as it combines sex, death, eating and counting. It is about the eternal bond between excrement and beauty. The Greenaway approach would come at it from the side of beauty. This takes an apposite, opposite approach. The film takes beauty (flowers, the statuesque Ms Everhart), kills it and turns it into a vile product. Presumably, the intent is to trigger the viewer into creating their own internal garden in the life we have outside this film.
Thus, an intelligent film viewer will see this as a matter of art, deliberately bad. The clue is Ms Everhart's subsequent involvement in a Dogma film, and McDowell's past role with the master of visual indirection, Kubrick. The notion is that beauty must pass through the digestive system, a notion treated here with exaggerated sexual connotations. Everhart is a famed companion of Hollywood stars, and already at 30 is an icon of this process, something of deliberate focus in `Jade.'
*Cat's eye comments result when nothing intelligent can be directly said of a film.
You have to understand, this film is diabolical on almost every conceivable level. There is simply no redeeming feature to it. The script, premise, acting, direction, sets, costumes, stunts, score and special effects are all excruciatingly insufferable, but it doesn't even stop there.
It is the *only* film I can think of where I can stand up and say "Yes, even the props are awful." In that respect, I am referring to the typical example of a random DEA Officer - little more than an extra - who, for some unknown reason, brandishes a pistol that is so enormous, one would normally expect to find it on the deck of the Bismarck.
In this way, an inconceivable absurdity permeates every facet of this motion picture. The US Government would not be unreasonable to establish a special agency tasked with keeping James D.R. Hickox (director), Joseph Gunn (writer) and Angie Everhart (`actress') away from movie studios from now until the end of time.
Frankly, I would happily welcome a visit from the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, rather than watch this film again. When compared to suffering The Gardener in all its nightmarish glory, passing a dozen kidney stones would be considered a joyous and uplifting experience.
If you want to make a case against film preservation, dig up "The Gardener" (re-titled "Garden of Evil" on my DVD). The hammy starring duo can't get their lines to match, and nobody notices. The props are awful. At one point, Mr. McDowell is presented as a teenager, an age group notable for aged faces and bad wigs. Ex-"21 Jump Street" resident Richard Grieco and ex-"Juliet" Olivia Hussey are upstaged by President Clinton's brother Roger and "Dynasty" regular Pamela Bellwood.
** The Gardener (1998) James D.R. Hickox ~ Angie Everhart, Malcolm McDowell, Richard Grieco, Olivia Hussey
Anyway, we've seen this almost funny piece of experiment that could have been a film if it was better written and especially filmed! It was too dark! I hate dark films. I've spend more then 500$ on my Philips television, it's a very good one so it had to be the film. That was my first and worst frustration.
But it was also too obvious. And at the end, ... leave that stupid plastic on Kelly's naked body: come on! When you're running for your life, you don't care if you're bare naked!!! (I wouldn't)
Stupid film, and I'm kind of ashamed to have watched it.