HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Tales of Ordinary Madness Here Come The Pink Elephants
Year: 1981
Director: Marco Ferreri
Stars: Ben Gazzara, Ornella Muti, Susan Tyrrell, Tanya Lopert, Roy Brocksmith, Katya Berger, Hope Cameron, Judith Drake, Patrick Hughes, Wendy Welles, Stratton Leopold
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Charles Serking (Ben Gazzara) is an alcoholic poet who tonight is giving a recital of his work with a group of other artists to a small audience. Once he's finished his meditation on style, he goes to sit down but can't stomach listening to a series of folk songs so wanders off stage. As he staggers through the halls of the theatre, he finds one room containing a young girl who claims to be a twelve-year-old runaway, but Serking thinks she's older than that, although this doesn't stop him sitting her on his lap and singing her a lullaby. However, he's the one who goes to sleep and when he wakes the girl is gone, but not before she went through his pockets. It is now morning and Serking returns to his apartment for another day of drinking, writing and, he hopes, womanising...

The work of Charles Bukowski, for that is who Gazzara is essentially playing here, has exerted a fascination over many filmmakers, but Marco Ferreri got in there first with this, based on Bukowski's autobiographical short stories. It was adapted by Ferreri, Sergio Amidei and Anthony Foutz, and doesn't have much of a plot to speak of as it's more of a wallow in the existence of lowlifes, but the director seems determined to shock - and Ferreri was keen on shock tactics - with the result that Tales of Ordinary Madness is, like a lot of deliberately controversial works, more than a little ridiculous. Unfortunately it's not especially funny with it, so laughs are thin on the ground.

The opening sets the tone for sleaze, and it continues with Serking following a young woman called Vera (a typically nutty Susan Tyrrell) that he notices on the streets and is immediately attracted to, saying things in voiceover like "Her ass was like a wild animal's!" (an elephant's? A badger's? A ladybird's?). After a bit of detective work he manages to track Vera down to her home where she encourages him to have sex with her and he's only too happy to oblige, but notably unhappy when she calls the cops, claiming to have been raped. She drops the charges the next day, but we can see from this the type of women that Serking habitually gets involved with.

And none are more damaged than Cass (Ornella Muti), an improbably glamorous prostitute who Serking falls in a kind of love with. Cass has a tendency towards self-mutilation, and Serking isn't really a match for her low self esteem; although he tries to cheer her up in his own way, when she, for example, sticks a large safety pin through her face you can tell she's in a bad way and may not be long for this world. In spite of this, they have a relationship of sorts, mostly as drinking buddies and sex partners as alcohol and sex seem to be a great way of taking away the pain of their lives, if only for a short while.

Gazzara is a strange choice for a Bukowski-style role, as he seems entirely too composed and his greying beard is no substitute for looking permanently sozzled. He seems amused as he lounges around the scenery and locations, and in parts about to burst into song ("That's why the lay-deh...!"), more of a romantic ideal of drunkenness in a Frank Sinatra "One For My Baby and One More For the Road" kind of way. We see him throwing up at one point, and stumbling about a bit, but his hazy demeanour looks more like a cool lifestyle choice so he can slum it among the down and outs and deadbeats. Meanwhile, the pretension, largely staged between the voiceover and the scandalousness, comes across as daft (Serking attempting to insert his head into an overweight woman at one point) and the ending strives for a lyricism that the preceding ramble hasn't earned. Music by Philippe Sarde.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 7076 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
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: