I have a week off between Christmas and New Year’s, and in the spirit of adventure I am cleaning my apartment from top to bottom, getting some new furniture, and culling the piles of CDs, DVDs and books that threaten me daily.
This is exhausting work. Also dusty.
So last night I sank into the $10 transfer station couch that is going to end its 14 years of service when a new one is delivered day after tomorrow and fired up three films that are adventure stories of one sort or another.
I began with Deathstalker and the Warriors from Hell. This is, the internet informs me, the last sword ‘n’ sorcery flick made by Roger Corman in Argentina.
It is also my favorite of the first three Deathstalker films. (The final two are essentially the same film and of no use to anyone.)
It is my favorite because it features character actor Thom Christopher as the evil warlock Troxartes.
John Lazar does a fine job with the similar character in number two, but Thom gets the edge because he channels Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard.
Troxartes is simply teeming with evil here.
It also features the famous potato scene, between Deathstalker and the mother/daughter combo who live in the canyon and raise horses and potatoes. That the women are proto-Third Wave feminists goes without saying. (The hair.)
Next up was Monty Python and the Holy Grail, with its rabbit jokes, discussions of avian migration, and the endless peril. Also French taunting and the brave but somewhat delusional Black Knight.
I completed the journey from ridiculous to more ridiculous to weird and creepy and ridiculous with A Clockwork Orange, which I haven’t watched in 30 years.
It remains a disturbing film. The Ludovico Technique is particularly gruesome, as is the interior decorating at the DeLarge home.
I’d like to see someone try to make it today. I think it would ruffle a lot of feathers across the political and cultural spectrum.