Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Greatest Sci-Fi/Horror
Movie Ever Made

THE UNDERVERSE. Thought that would get your attention. No, it's not Alien. It's Cat People. True, it has no spaceships. What does it have? Absolutely superlative setting, cinematography, score, and most of all, casting. This movie couldn't be made today because there is no way to replace Malcolm McDowell and Nastassia Kinski in the lead roles. McDowell is brilliant because he isn't playing a leopard; he simply is one. Kinski is brilliant because for all the promotion and puffery of supposed screen sirens we get these days, this is the only woman in the last quarter century who is not only completely uninhibited about being naked, she also looks like she's naked even when she's wearing clothes, which is nearly half the picture. On top of that, amazingly, the beautiful Kinski and the historically, epically ugly McDowell also look like brother and sister. (Try to cast it with any of today's stars; just try.) The score is so good it could tempt one to think that the whole film is simply a teaser for the song played during the closing credits -- Bowie at his best. Except that the movie is genuinely horrifying, a perverse Cajun gumbo of bayous, eros, incest, suspense, and hideous violence. Is there science fiction? Yes indeedy? The autopsy scene might not be as chest-bursting as Alien's biggest moment, but that's because it's a different kind of moment, yet definitely fictitious in its scientific details.

Wanna fight about it? Take it to the Underverse.

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