Reviewed by Jenny LeComte
Rating: 10 Beans
h, there's nothing like watching an Andy Warhol movie. Except perhaps having your body vigorously rubbed with a parmesan cheese grater, having a root canal in a heat wave, washing your face with caustic soda or covering yourself in honey and lying on top of a bull ant colony.
Trying to find background information on "Flesh'' proved difficult. I strongly suspect I'm the only sucker who's ever sat through the whole thing. Why did I do it? I guess that's the kind of girl I am - impetuous.
I really should have known better. People who consider themselves "arty'' can hardly eat their peas for excitement when they hear Warhol's name. But the fact is, the guy had no artistic talent. He did terrible screen prints of soup cans, wrote a diary which could cure insomnia, wore an extremely bad wig and made abominable movies. One film called "Mondo Feet'' comprised pictures of people's feet - that's it. Feet. Nothing else. Another of his films - "Empire'' - featured 14 hours of Empire State Building footage. That's it. Just a building. Nothing else. Not even some funky music by Velvet Underground to liven it up.
"Flesh" wasn't much of an improvement. It's basically a 90-minute experimental wankathon cobbled together by some dork with Parkinson's disease holding a super-eight. The sound and picture quality is shocking. The picture rolls like a drunken sailor and you've got to strain to hear every word spoken.
From what I could piece together, the story is thus. Heroin addict Joe (played by Joe Dallesandro) has to go on the game to support not only his smack habit, but his wife's as well. His wife is played by Geraldine Smith and her name in the movie is...Joe's wife. Geraldine is a lesbian and her lovers are Patti (Patti D'Arbanville) and Geri (Geri Miller). The entire cast look like they've been snorting coke for about six days. Warhol obviously couldn't give his "actors'' fictitious names because they would probably forget them.
The action? Well, there isn't any. The super-eight operator falls asleep a lot so you have extremely long shots of just one thing - like Joe lying on the bed naked. When I first saw that scene, I thought: "OK, full frontal of naked man - and not a very attractive one at that. Pretty risque, Andy, pretty risque.'' When the scene went on for another five minutes, I thought: "What is the point of this?" I got bored and pressed the fast-forward button. The scene went on and on and on. My hand, still clutching the remote control, started to hurt. I mean really hurt. It went into spasm. Still, the scene went on. And on. And on. And on. It was a bloody nightmare.
When I finally reached the end of the scene (it must have been a good 20 minutes long), I saw the picture jump to something else. It was so abrupt that I dropped the remote control. Why on earth did that happen? I have a mental image of Warhol reviving the super-eight operator with yet another snort of Peruvian marching powder.
This is - without a doubt - the worst movie I have ever seen in my life. It's got nil entertainment value and it's totally unwatchable. I wasted 90 minutes of my life watching "Flesh" and it felt like 90 years.
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