Saturday, April 18, 2009

Day Eighty-Nine: Alice, Sweet Alice (1976) - Rank 3/5

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In the wake of the success of "The Omen," Hollywood was evidently determined to cash in on the creepy kid genre before it would be ultimately stolen by the Japanese film industry. "Alice, Sweet Alice" is very much a look at how Veruca Salk would have turned out had she been born into a middle class family and had picked up mildly schizophrenic tendencies after her trip to the Wonka factory. Clad in a yellow raincoat and translucent face mask, she plays with cockroaches and torments all who know her. When her sister is killed and set on fire in the rectory (heh heh...ahem, sorry) of the church, all fingers point to the preteen bitch.

Halfway through, the film changes gears and suddenly becomes less enthralling. It's difficult to explain why without giving the plot twist away, but let's just say that the story becomes very confused as to where it wants to go and ultimately stagnates for much of the duration of the film. This turn of events is disappointing, considering the first half of the film was impressively directed for a B-grade horror film, both for unusual angle and camera shots, as well as the acting (which made cast members in Baz Luhrmann productions seem subtle by comparison). I could forgive the film for all of its shortcomings, for it featured this...

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Meet Alphonso DeNoble (awesome name). Imagine if Anton LaVey had gained an excessive amount of weight so he could play the corpse victim for gluttony in "Seven," and along the way he had an affair with Paul Bartel, and through his Satanic powers bore their lovechild, and then that lovechild ate Victor Buono and absorbed his acting powers like a wendigo...that would be Alphonso DeNoble. He plays the landlord who lives below Alice's family and is a minor nemesis of the girl. However, most of the time he lounges about in an undershirt and boxers, sweating, listening to ragtime music, drinking tequila and playing with a half dozen kittens atop his belly. I mean, kittens? What the hell? The last time I saw an individual so fat and disgusting, yet hilarious, was the first time I watched "The Loved One" and was greeted with Mrs. Joyboy. I looked him up and it turns out that he only had two other roles in films before he died of being both fat and awesome. Needless to say that the reviews of those titles will soon appear here.

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