HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Incredibles 2
Big House, The
Night Eats the World, The
War Bus
Back to Berlin
Leave No Trace
They Shall Not Grow Old
Dollman
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Man Who Invented Christmas, The
Tom's Midnight Garden
Lady, Stay Dead
Thieves, The
My Dear Secretary
I Think We're Alone Now
Amazing Colossal Man, The
Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael
Suzanne
Nae Pasaran!
Kiss of the Dragon
Other Side of the Wind, The
Secret Santa
Wolcott
10.000 Km
Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure
Hitler's Hollywood
Ghost Goes Gear, The
First Purge, The
House of Wax
Mandy
   
 
Newest Articles
The Conquest of Everett: The Kenny Everett Video Show on DVD
Bout for the Count: Hammer's Dracula in the 1970s
Nopes from a Small Island: Mistreatment of American Stars in British Films
You Know, For Kids: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box
If He Were a Carpenter and It Was the 80s: The Fog, Prince of Darkness and They Live
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
When is a Jackie Chan Movie Not a Jackie Chan Movie? Armour of God and City Hunter
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 2
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 1
I-Spy Scotland: The Thirty Nine Steps and Eye of the Needle
Manor On Movies--Black Shampoo--three three three films in one
Manor On Movies--Invasion USA
Time Trap: Last Year in Marienbad and La Jetée
   
 
  World's Greatest Sinner, The Life Eternal: Free With This MovieBuy this film here.
Year: 1962
Director: Timothy Carey
Stars: Timothy Carey, Gil Barreto, Betty Rowland, James Farley, Gail Griffin, Tyde Rule, Gene Koziol, Dayna Madison, Gitta Maynard, Titus Moede, Betty Sturm, Marty Prisco, Grace De Carolis, Carolina Samario, George F. Carey, Duana Dedda, Paul Frees
Genre: Drama, Trash, Weirdo
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Here is the Devil himself to explain his plans for frustrated insurance salesman Clarence Hilliard (Timothy Carey), who has a quiet life with his wife (Betty Rowland) and two kids (and horse, and Great Dane), along with his goodnatured gardener Alonzo (Gil Barreto). He might seem like an ordinary man, but the Devil sees great potential in him, and plants the seeds of unrest in his mind, so the next day he goes in to work, he announces to his staff that insurance is useless, and they should all take the day off; anyone who does call up asking for their services is told they don't need them. His boss is outraged at this, and fires Clarence on the spot, but he doesn't care, he has decided that he is tired of God calling the shots - heck, he can be God if he wants.

Timothy Carey was not your usual movie star, he was a highly eccentric character actor who had a habit of being fired from the films he made for his bizarre behaviour, which included a predilection for going off the script to make up his personal spin on his material. Among his celebrity fans were John Cassavetes (who cast him in his own idiosyncratic features) and Elvis Presley (who saw to it that Carey appeared in his final movie), although there were those who were admirers until they actually worked with him. There was no doubt he had a certain presence, fully adept at essaying the role of the social menace and intimidating everyone from Marlon Brando to The Monkees, and his cult following progresses the further his films are seen.

The World's Greatest Sinner was his magnum opus, a self-directed tale of megalomania; he would direct one other film, adapted from footage of a prospective sitcom idea that never came to fruition because it was confounding in its weirdness, but that has been hardly seen anywhere. This enjoyed wider distribution, though that was not saying much, a work that Carey had toiled over for three years, shooting when he had the money available, and even then barely released on the grindhouse circuit, yet those who did catch it would never forget it. A wild melange of musings over the Almighty and the lead character's bad behaviour, it became a requested title among fans of Frank Zappa, who Carey had hired to compose the music.

Zappa, if anything, is even more of a cult figure than Carey, and his appearance as a guest on The Steve Allen Show to plug this movie is a much-watched clip, not that his director was happy as he thought Zappa was denigrating his masterpiece, and they fell out. That soundtrack consists of orchestral music, but more vitally, the songs Hilliard sings when he decides to become a rock star to spread his word; this occurs in the first half (he becomes a politician in the second), and sees the star vibrating his way across the stage and grabbed at by screaming, hysterical fans as his band, including a lady on saxophone, play up a storm behind him. It's safe to say the only way Carey could achieve that kind of adulation would be to manufacture it himself, which is what he did, but he had more on his mind than celebrity and sending up politics and the society that encourages snake oil salesmen on a huge scale, he wanted to challenge God Himself.

To that end, Clarence changes his name to God Hilliard, sticks a black goatee to his chin and means to be elected to the Presidency of the United States, telling huge rallies (of stock footage) in feverish speeches that he promises each citizen will live eternally on Earth under his guidance. But Carey's presentation was so downright peculiar that it was difficult to know how to approach all of this, with such images as the preaching Hilliard revealed to be standing on bags of fertiliser, or keeping the take that saw a fly land on Carey's face during a quiet moment of sincerity, or the bits where he seduces his female followers, ranging from a fourteen-year-old girl (obviously an adult actress) to a little old lady (whom he snogs passionately). He even attacks the child playing his daughter, knocking her to the floor when she tries to make him see sense. In truth, this was so ramshackle that it was difficult to draw any reasonable conclusions from it, impossible to tell from the ending whether Carey was a believer in God or an atheist, or more pertinently an inspired genius or hopeless madman. Or even if The World's Greatest Sinner was one big joke only he was in on.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 744 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Steven Seagal
Pam Grier
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
Rashed Ali
Alexander Taylor
   

 

Last Updated: