Can you make anything sensual? Arguably, good writing/direction/acting can. After all, one person’s gore is another person’s bloodplay. So, I came open-minded to this film, very willing to be persuaded anything can be made sexy. I was wrong. To give you an analogy, this film was like watching someone try to persuade you that dog mess is sexy. Sorry… doesn’t matter how much you show people fondling it, rubbing their hands in it, rubbing over their bodies, licking it, you can’t make it sexy. Dog mess just… isn’t. And neither are car crashes. I had to wonder if anyone making this film had ever been injured, car crash or no. I have, and I can assure you, the very last thing being incapacitated, in pain or scarred makes you feel is sexy. But that’s what this film is trying to sell you.
Starting out with an involuntary car crash, it quickly degenerates to James Spader and his friends causing them so they can get off on the carnage. Spader is great in the part, as usual, and the gay scene great fun because of that. I’m even in two minds about having a gay scene in this movie. On the one hand, it’s great to see gay sex slipped in (sorry) naturally and equally as the heterosexual sex. However, this is an aberrant movie about sick people doing sick things for weird sex. Oh... so stick a gay scene in? So, are the writers somehow equating sick sex with gay sex? I think they are, and the film went down another notch in my book because of this.
I actually felt quite sickened by this film, and as you know, nothing really offends me as long as it is well done.
This film is creepy, nasty, dirty and daft.
I really did not get this movie. I know it’s controversial, famously full of sex, but I had no desire to watch until LadyM said it supposedly had some gay content. Well, yeah, it does, but it’s minimal. So if that’s what you’re looking for then unless you really want to watch a disturbing movie succinctly described by one critic as “Sex and wrecks” then I wouldn’t bother.
It does feature an amazing performance by Elias Koteas as Vaughan, a scary, horribly scarred but hypnotically sexy former scientist with a fetish for sex & death. He stages famous car crashes (James Dean, Jayne Mansfield) so the people he draws into his dangerous world can get off.
I said above there’s lots of sex, and, oh boy, there is. However, this is NOT an erotic film, quite the opposite actually. Each character is totally isolated and disconnected, looking for ultimate closeness through sex. Totally unaware intimacy & affection, caring for someone else, is what love is all about. Eroticism needs emotion and passion, and none of them have either.
So everyone is cold and very hard to feel anything for. Which is probably meant as metaphor. Something about the way the modern high tech world has made us, all shut away in our little metal boxes, hurtling through our lives.
There’s lots of nudity, way more than you’d expect from a North American film, but it’s the usual double standard, more bare boobs than you can count and even female full frontal, but nary a peek at a male member. And this from a film meant to be shocking and explicit. Hah! Maybe they thought it was risky enough to include some gay sex and a bit of f/f action between Holly Hunter and Rosanna Arquette.
Some scenes made me quite queasy- licking wounds and scar tissue, that sort of thing. The music was quite nice though. And it WAS good to see Vaughan and Ballard, played by James Spader, exploring their attraction, the one bit of sexual action that felt real to me, like they weren’t just desperately going through the motions. Maybe they should’ve taken that further and ditched the obsession with cars, eh?
Definitely not for everyone. Me included.