HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
We Need to Do Something
Falbalas
Vanguard
A-X-L
Injustice
Bigfoot Hunters
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls Nite Out
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
Seance
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
   
 
Newest Articles
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree 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 3499 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 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
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: