Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Allegorical Frippery

A pair of young men escape their dreary lives and become talented gunslingers in the Rock N Roll, Acid(ish) Western, Zachariah. Don Johnson & John Rubenstein's friendship becomes strained as their notoriety increases and their divergent, barmy experiences shape them into mirror images of one another and an final confrontation becomes inevitable. There's some great tunes from Country Joe et al and nice period visuals which help flesh out the nonsense but it's essentially a diet version of El Topo festooned with ham fisted, cheap symbolism and a few laughs. Still I liked it and I'm quite surprised it's not received more attention.

I'm not really sure what to make of Rhinoceros, starring Gene Wilder & Zero Mostel. Filmed as part of the American Film Theatre series and based on a play by Eugen Ionesco this is a seriously odd little fable about one man's stand against a citywide tide of metamorphoses from man into Rhino. Wilder puts in a decent performance as the boozy office clerk who withstands the change but it's Mostel's film with an amazing transformation from effete city gent to monstrous apartment trashing beast that single handedly rescues the film from it's obtuse purpose. I dunno it's quite funny in bits but with the budgetary constraints precluding any actual Rhino action and it's general atmosphere of hysteria obscuring any meaningfulness it was a little disappointing, especially so given the potency of the previous Wilder & Mostel feature. Apparently the play has a bit more substance behind nonsense.

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