HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Demonwarp
Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The
Chloe
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Murder Inferno
Extraction
Overlanders, The
Can You Keep a Secret?
Women in Revolt
Astronaut
Peanut Butter Falcon, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
   
 
  What? Hitchhikers Guide
Year: 1972
Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Sydne Rome, Marcello Mastroianni, Hugh Griffith, Guido Alberti, Gianfranco Piacentini, Carlo Della Piane, Henning Schlüter, Christiane Barry, Roman Polanski, Pietro Tordi, Nerina Montagnani, Mogens von Gadow, Dieter Hallervorden, John Karlsen
Genre: Comedy, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: American hitchhiker in Italy Nancy (Sydne Rome) has taken up the offer of a lift from a group of three ne'erdowells and they quiz her about her travels, but she reassures them she's not worried about being attacked when there are decent sorts like them picking her up. How wrong could she be? Before long, the trio are attempting to rape her, but when the car stops and they all pile out one of the attackers gets carried away and starts raping his friend, giving Nancy the chance she needs to escape. She finds herself in a small cable elevator which she travels down towards an expansive seaside villa and looks for assistance now she has lost everything but the clothes she stands up in and her diary.

The appropriately titled What? - another good name might have been "Huh?" - was one of the absurdist black comedies that director Roman Polanski wrote with his regular creative partner Gérard Brach. However, if you were anticipating the uneasy laughter of a work of theirs like Cul-de-Sac then you may well have been let down, as the humour is by turns to silly and simply not funny enough to have you rolling on the floor, never mind chuckling lightly. At first the film appears to be an excuse to have its star Rome as naked as possible, but Polanski calms down after that and opts to pursue his joking around with her perceived innocence.

Also turning up is Marcello Mastroianni as former pimp Alex, who Nancy discovers when wandering the corridors looking for something to wear - while she was sleeping in the night someone took her T-shirt. Clasping her diary to her bosom, she improvises with a napkin and we begin to find out more about the idle rich who populate the rambling house. And it's not only the house which is rambling, as the story is best described as loosely assembled, if you can call it a story. Time and time again Nancy meets a character who is so wrapped up in their own world that they fail to connect on any meaningful level - Nancy might as well have been part of the furniture if the men she meets weren't attracted to her.

It's only Alex who our heroine takes a liking to, for reasons of carrying the action forward rather than anything else because he has a tendency to act strangely to the extent of dressing up in a tiger skin rug and demanding to be whipped, or dressing up as a policeman and "arresting" Nancy. Other inhabitants of this place make it resemble a role playing game that she has stumbled into, only a game with no apparent point and some have observed that What? is a tribute of sorts to Alice in Wonderland with a grown-up protagonist prompting sexual implications. This analogy only goes so far, and eventually that "making it up as they go along" feeling takes over, rendering the film more like an opportunity to have a nice holiday in Italy with a spot of filming thrown in. There's only so much of this cruel whimsy that you can take before boredom sets in, even if it does look bright and attractive. Music by Claudio Gizzi.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2920 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Roman Polanski  (1933 - )

French-born Polish director who has been no stranger to tragedy - his mother died in a concentration camp, his pregnant wife, actress Sharon Tate, was murdered by the Manson family - or controversy - he was arrested for raping a 13-year-old girl in the late 1970s.

Polanski originally made an international impact with Knife in the Water, then left Poland to make Cul-de-Sac and Repulsion in Britain. More acclaim followed with Rosemary's Baby and Chinatown in Hollywood, but his work after escaping America has been inconsistent. At his best, he depicts the crueller side of humanity with a pitch black sense of humour. He also takes quirky acting roles occasionally.

Other films include Dance of the Vampires, adaptations of Macbeth and Tess, What?, The Tenant, dire comedy Pirates, thriller Frantic, the ridiculous Bitter Moon, Death and the Maiden and The Ninth Gate. He won an Oscar for directing Holocaust drama The Pianist, which he followed with an adaptation of Oliver Twist and political thriller The Ghost; he nearly did not complete the latter having been re-arrested on that rape charge. Next were adaptation of stage plays Carnage and Venus in Fur.

 
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
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: