Wednesday, January 30, 2013

MOOM PITCHER REVIEW! THE SINISTER URGE, directed by E. D. Wood! (1960)

Haven't seen this Ed Wood faverave in quite awhile so it was almost like seeing an entirely new moom pitcher once again! Like Ernie Bushmiller, Wood always knew how to transpose real life into his medium, and naturally in this film you kinda feel like Wood has crept into your mind and presented life the way YOU remember it, the way YOU experienced it before some kumbaya teacher shamed you into being so altruistic and caring that you turned away from it with a vengeance!

And for those of you film snobs who first read about Wood in the pages of THE VILLAGE VOICE or THE NEW YORK ROCKER (like me) and latched onto his entire "oeuvre" because it seemed campy enough for you to feel superior to (not like me!), let me tell you that THE SINISTER URGE will destroy all of those above-it-all attitudes you have not only regarding the works of Wood, but of all those people who saw movies like PLAN 9 and BRIDE OF THE MONSTER at the theatre or on tee-vee and didn't look upon 'em with all of that disgusto high horse so firmly in place! I know how all of you effete Eastern Seaboard lib/rad types act, in that snootish way where you think you're about ten rungs ahead of the rest of us up that ol' evolutionary ladder the way you treat us all with either condescending pity or abject sneerdom! As if celebrating Kathy Griffin doing a mock go down on Anderson Cooper is any sorta high mark regarding Western Civilization next to some old fogie back in 1925 tellin' everyone that Rudolph Valentino was a guinea faggot, but believe it or not I'll take that ol' fogie fanabla over Griffin and the guttural ideals she spews just about any day of the week! At least he seemed like a real-life breathing piece of flesh and blood and dontcha think that just about everybody on tee-vee these days is so two-dimensional that they go invisible when they turn sideways?

From the everyday acting that seems to go beyond the thespatorial* arts (my award goes to the swarthy guy with the mustache and whip) to the realistic police procedures it's almost as if you're a fly onna wall smack dab inna middle of 1960 (the third year of THE GREAT FUN TEENAGE GULCHATORIAL EXPERIENCE!)...I mean THE SINISTER URGE is that real of a police drama that it not only equals DRAGNET at its down-to-earth grittiness but makes POLICE STORY look like rejected MR. TERRIFIC scripts! The cops, headed by the ever-popular Kenne "Horsecock" Duncan, are on the lookout for the local pornography racket that's operating by way of this teenage hangout pizza joint, positively sure that the very snaps these pornographers produce are, er, inspiring this local greasy kid stuff delinquent who's out knifing young nubiles in the park. In between that we get to see the inner workings of the smut biz complete with an example of the young gal straight from Buntwat Idaho who comes to Hollywood looking for the big break, only to fall into the clutches of the porn biz just like Wood said she would in his oft-inspiring tome HOLLYWOOD RAT RACE

Everything from the presentation to the sets and acting make you think (wish? hope???) you were around back then considering how things were much definitely more on the ball than they are a good half-century later, especially if petty thugs and girly pix were the only things we hadda worry about. It's so real as in this is probably the way your grand/great-grandpappy was talking, acting and thinking back then, not to mention dressing and existing with all of that boffo furniture and by-now long-rusted automobiles roaming the streets of this world of ours. And what's best about it is you don't need a scorecard to tell the goodskis from the badskis in this 'un, not unlike later when you find out you're rooting for the hero in the pic who turns out to be the villain who's actually the hero, in an anti-hero sort of villainish way!

Fantastic Wood one-liners too from "Show me the picture and I'll show you the crime" not to mention "Pornography, a simple name for a lousy business!" (not exact quotes, so please don't bother to write in) that's stuff they shoulda had on DRAGNET or at least HIGHWAY PATROL (THE ROARING TWENTIES???). But whatever the line may be, it's backed up by top notch performances (why Dino Fantini didn't get an Oscar and Jodi Foster did I'll never know!) that's even more real'n the time the cops came over to your place because of that missing cat in the neighborhood and you were seen with a wiggling bag of rocks heading for the river but it was all circumstantial anyway! But why take my word for it...go find a DVD or old VCR tape yourself (I did have a youtube link up of the entire film posted, but I got rid of it after someone had it "taken down" due to a third party complaint that undoubtedly had something to do with a copyright infringement...which shocks me because I never thought anybody would have renewed the copyright on this 'un in a millyun years!)


*I made that word up...neat, huh?

1 comment:

django said...

When you consider how quickly and economically (I think the entire budget was $12,000, including the prints and the advertising!) this was made, Ed Wood should have rec'd some kind of award. And like the best exploitation films, even though little is "shown," still I feel slightly dirty as I'm watching it.
Glad you reviewed this. It often gets lost in Ed Wood discussions (as does JAIL BAIT). Wood is, was, and always will be THE MAN in terms of low-budget independent film-making, as far as I'm concerned. I wish more people would read HOLLYWOOD RAT RACE--that shows the REAL Ed Wood.