What Is It? is a bewildering, unnerving, surreal, blackly comic film from the visionary mind of Crispin Glover that tells the inner and outer struggles of a young man facing villains and demons on multiple planes.
A group of friends whose leisurely Mexican holiday takes a turn for the worse when they, along with a fellow tourist, embark on a remote archaeological dig in the jungle where something evil lives among the ruins.
Montag the Magnificent (Glover) is a master illusionist who performs at underground venues, selecting female volunteers from his rave-like audiences. To their hysteria, it appears he's ... See full summary »
This is the story of Willard Stiles who is a social misfit taking care of his ill and fragile but verbally abusive mother Henrietta in a musty old mansion that is also home to a colony of rats. Willard then finds himself constantly humiliated in front of his co-workers and is eventually fired by his cruel and uncaring boss, Mr. Frank Martin, a vicious man whose professional interest in Willard extends to a personal financial one.Written by
Anthony Pereyra <email@example.com>
There is a close-up of the clock at the office showing that it is 9:21 and therefore that Willard is late again. Mr. Martin shouts at him for less than a minute and then in the background you can see the clock reading about 9:35. See more »
Gloriously weird, Crispin Glover's performance seems to boil out of the rage-fueled emotionalism of an era before Botox: think Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster, blended with the latter-day fragility and introspection of Sean Penn. This role gives him the room to show off some astonishing gifts.
Glover is the best but far from the only reason to recommend this remake, superior in most ways to the 70s original. (There's some homage along the way, including a tongue-in-cheek set piece done to Michael Jackson's famous warble, "Ben". How time has made that hymn to interspecies love sound creepy!) Writer-director Glen Morgan has crafted a chewy little parable about capitalism, and his sardonic depiction of the real rat race, with a reliably savage Lee Ermey flogging his office employees behind a motivational sign reading "Prudent Aggression," gives the film more than the usual B horror subtext. The production design is sweet, too.
A terribly nice 100 minutes, and one of the best B horrors since Reanimator.
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