Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Speed Inside My Shoe

I, Madman (1989)
directed by Tibor Tak√°cs
rating: 2 out of 5 cravats
on DVD from Netflix

The first half of this movie is a fantasy for boys and girls both: for egghead boys, the idea that Mae from Near Dark works in a bookstore in the San Fernando Valley and stays at home at night reading scary books in her rain-swept apartment; for nerdy girls, the suggestion that they could be Virginia, be fashion-minded and smart and pretty, with a good guy who can't wait to get home to that cozy, well-appointed loft to see them. By interpolating the fiction on the page into the fiction on film (watching Jenny Wright play dress-up, essentially, with better-appointed 40s digs), Madman evokes the first-edition bit from The Big Sleep but still makes it scary. Like In the Mouth of Madness on a more romantic scale, and without Cthulhu's evil empire!

The second half retains none of the first half's charm, mystery, or appeal. I watched this over two nights by accident, and it might as well have been two different movies. And there are, sadly, already far too many examples of failure.