Tuesday, May 7, 2019

'80s Trash: Grotesque (1988)

A pretty strange Poster and an equally-strange Film to go with it.  This is Grotesque, a 1988 Film also featuring Tab Hunter.  When researching Cameron's Closet, I noticed that his last few Films were all from this Year.  As, I guess, luck would have it, I also had another Film with him from that Year.  That's too coincidental to ignore, no?  The Film is very had to explain.  The Plot involves a Movie Effects Maker, his Family, the Daughter's Friend, some Punk Rockers, a Monster and the Law.  See- not so simple!  Besides Hunter, the Film also features Linda Blair and Robert Z'Dar.  In addition, the Story takes a few odd twists and turns that I'll try to explain.  To see if this Title is more accurate than intended, read on...
The actual Film begins with footage that turns out to be from a Film worked on by the Father.

After that pointlessness, he explains that he's going on Vacation.
Besides him and his Daughter (with her friend tagging along), a bunch of Punk Rockers are also heading that way.  They heard about a supposed-stash of goods at the House and want to steal them!
The Family stays at home and the Dad shows off his work.  Is this foreshadowing or padding?
The Rockers break in and don't take the news about there being no fortune well.  They kill both Parents and the friend, but...
They run into a hidden figure- a mutated one.  He kills a bunch of them, while the rest flee after Blair.

The next day, the Scene is found by Hunter (as the Uncle) and a posse is formed.  They arrive at the wrong time, however, and kill the mutated man instead of the real bad guys.
After that, the Film focuses on...whether or not they can try to the two Punks for the crime.  This is Law & Order now?!?
Before they can be released, Hunter grabs them both and reveals his secret- he was the mutated man's father!  They both suffered from deformities and his Brother made him the mask we saw as his face.

He locks them up in the hidden Room after deforming them with surgery!
...and now we see that this was just a Film that was *also* being Screened.

When did it start and why was the Make-Up Guy so integral to the Plot of his Film?
For one last turn, we learn that two Monsters have replaced the Projectionist and they scare the Filmmakers, thus proving that they are still the real Monsters!

Any other twists?  No?
Okay.  The End.
What a confusing Film.  The core of it worked.  The idea that the normal-looking people were hiding a big secret.  The idea that the 'monster' is not always the one who 'looks weird.'  To be fair, Robert Z'Dar was one of the bad guys, so that does muddy the message a bit- I kid, I kid.  The idea that normal-looking person could become the 'monster' when provoked so greatly is another key message here.  The problem is just how the whole thing was put together.  They rush to the home invasion and to the killing of a good chunk of the Cast.  The 2nd and 3rd Acts are just weird.  Why the focus on Police Investigation?  Why *two* Interrogation Scenes in a Row?  When it got past that, it finally picked up again...only to be bogged down by the confusing Ending(s).  Seriously, when did the 'Film within a Film' start?  Is this like a super-Corman-style Film and the Opening Credits bit from another Film are meant to be for this Film?!?  Did the 'Film' actually start when he left for the Weekend?  There's also- again- how important the actual Make-Up Wizard really is to the Plot.  Imagine a Horror Film featuring Rick Baker playing 'Rick Baker' and his job being key to the whole thing- weird, no?  Getting past *most* of that, the Film has some real pacing issues, but ultimately-delivers a pretty solid experience.  It could be a lot better though.  Speaking of things that could be better, the Film opens with this Ending, which features...a large Monk Vampire?  What in the what now?!?
Next time, a jump to the '90s for something less Horror.  I love Cyborgs and Karate, so win-win.  Stay tuned...

No comments:

Post a Comment