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Sunday, 17 March 2013

Color of Night vs Barry Lyndon

In the history of film criticism the eponymous movies have probably never been mentioned in the same sentence. The former, a 1994 Bruce Willis vehicle made to cash in on the post Basic Instinct sex thriller trend of the early 1990s, the other a visually ravishing 1975 Stanley Kubrick epic based on a literary classic.
So, what's the connection?
Simple. I watched a chunk of Barry Lyndon today, absorbed by its stunning visuals and masterly camerawork, and later that evening I watch Color, a film so shockingly bad, it was like a tractor beam.
Bruce was as good as ever despite a script so lame had it been a horse it would have been put down.
They shoot bad movies don't they? Yes, they certainly do, and CON (apt acronym), was either a comedy masquerading as a thriller, or a serious thriller whose cast and crew had a funny turn for the movie's duration.
The odd thing is I'd happily have both movies on DVD, but while Barry would rarely be watched, Color is the sort of film you watch at parties, a Rocky Horror-style cult with some of the most unintentionally funny scenes you'll ever see.
Jane March, aka the Sinner from Pinner, did a vanishing act after this and little wonder. Though game, she doesn't come out of this well.
Director Richard Rush had previously made cult drama The Stunt Man. You wouldn't know it as this looks like he's never used a camera let alone made a movie before. The editing is all over the place, the score wildly wrong, especially during a key scene involving several patients, and the prosthetics are just dire. Yet for all its faults, con is enjoyable. It keeps you watching like a trashy airport novel keeps you turning pages. Showgirls may have been one of the worst films of 1995, but there are no prizes for guessing what took that title a year earlier. Would I watch it again? Absolutely.

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