Friday, October 21, 2011

Colleenie Ghoulie Week 3 - Brimstone and Treacle

A sick, twisted little tale

Here we are at week 3 of Colleenie Ghoulie. This week’s selection is definitely a dip into the creepy and twisted. The 1982 cult classic, Brimstone and Treacle,
starring Sting.

What can I say about this movie? There’s simply something about its delicious creepiness that draws me in. The British are masters at making feeling uncomfortable a form of entertainment and this film is a prime example.

Based on a stage play and originally banned from a BBC broadcast, this film eventually found a theatrical release and let me tell you, it’s not for everyone.

Told like a dark fable, we meet Martin. Martin wanders the streets and tries to convince strangers that they know him. This is how he worms his way into your home and life. This time Martin bumps into Tom Bates, who not only has many secrets that he would not want others to find out about, he also has an invalid daughter at home just about Martin’s age.

Sting overacts his devilish Martin to the hilt and it works. If he made his character too realistic the audience simply would not be able to stomach the plots twist and turns. Horrendous things are going on here, but it’s clear that we are witnessing is a morality tale. What price must man pay for his sins? This film is disturbing, but in an “I know it’s wrong but I can’t look away” kind of way.

There’s also a fine performance by my wonderful Marcus Brody (Denholm Elloitt), playing a completely different character than my sweetie from Raiders of the Lost Ark. What acting chops!

I hadn’t seen this movie in years and I actually really enjoyed watching it again which made me feel like, “What the hell is wrong with me?” I saw this when I was 17 or 18 and I think is was a cinema defiance for me. Yes, I was branching out and seeing films from other countries, but I could choose films that did not fit the norm. So for me there’s nostalgia wrapped up in it too.

Also, don’t forget this film boasts one hell of a soundtrack! The Go-Go’s, Squeeze and songs from Sting like, “I Burn For You” and “Spread a Little Happiness” are true gems. There’s also a cool narration from Sting on the CD. Say what you want, but Sting really threw himself into this project!

If you’re thick skinned, give this one a watch or at the very least look up some of songs on YouTube. I found an awesome post of an early 80’s Sting performing “Spread a Little Happiness” in a soup kitchen.

We only have one more Ghoulie pick left and it just arrived in my mailbox. I only saw this movie once and it totally creeped me out. What movie is it? Well of course you’ll have to check back Friday to found out.

No comments: