Sunday, July 1, 2018

'70s Trash: The Manipulator (1971)

Oh boy, what did I get myself into?  Today's Film is The Manipulator, a 1971 Film from that Mill Creek Set I'm still mining.  It gave us Mama Dracula, Savage Harvest and that lovely Film about organ-trafficking, among others.  I narrowed the set down to the Titles that sounded interesting.  The key word there is 'sounded,' of course.  This one *sounded* interesting.  It wasn't.  The Plot involves a crazed Actor kidnapping an Actress to act out a Play.  Now just take that basic idea, strip out anything that isn't weird, remove most of the Plot structure and you've got the Film.  It should work.  It doesn't work.  To find out why, read on...
We see our Lead- Mickey Rooney- silently-wandering around an abandoned Studio Back Lot.  He doesn't look happy.
He's clearly crazy and talking to mannequins like they are people he knows.  He still thinks it is the 1940s, apparently.
He has apparently kidnapped this lady recently to act out Cyrano De Bergerac.  We don't actually see that happen, mind you, since the Film never leaves this ugly, brown area- ever.

At least Mummy Maniac left the room once or twice.
Is there anything else to talk about with this Movie?  Some twist or moment that moves things forward?
Nope.  It's just 80+ minutes of him being weird, yelling and singing and her being constantly upset.
So yeah...I didn't watch the whole thing, but, rest assured, this is it.  The End.
Good intentions gone awry.  Letting an established guy like Mickey Rooney go crazy in a scene-stealing role- great.  Making that literally the only thing in the Film- not great.  I was on-board at first, but quickly realized that there was nothing else in the Film.  He's weird.  He's crazy.  He sometimes dances in sped-up footage.  She's upset.  That's ALL THERE IS.  Did someone forget the rest of the Script, Actors and Sets?  It's an Acting Exercise in excess and nothing more.  Oh well- at least he's not playing Asian again.  Don't be fooled- this is only for the true Auteur-lovers or sadists.  I tapped out or, more accurately...
Next time, something hopefully more interesting than the last two.  No promises.  Stay tuned...

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