Thursday, December 29, 2022
"A interesting updated version of a Woman's Noir that was a nice surprise it's a combo of Southern Gothic, Sexploitation, and Carny Noir." (Noirsville)
Directed by Zalman King.
Written by Zalman King and Macgregor Douglas. Cinematography by Mark Plummer, Music by Jonathan Elias.
The film stars Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks, Boxing Helena) as April DeLongpre, Richard Tyson (There's Something about Mary) as Perry Tyson, Louise Fletcher (One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Next) as Belle DeLongpre, Burl Ives (Day Of The Outlaw, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof) as Sheriff Earl Hawkins, Kristy McNichol as Patti Jean, Martin Hewitt as Chad Douglas Fairchild, Juanita Moore (Imitation of Life) as Delilah, Don Galloway (The Big Chill) as Senator DeLongpre, Millie Perkins (The Shooting) as Mrs. DeLongpre, Milla Jovovich (Leeloo in The 5th Element) as Samantha DeLongpre, Kerry Remsen as Carolee, Hervé Villechaize (The Man with The Golden Gun) as Smiley, Dabbs Greer as Kyle.
|Sherilyn Fenn as April DeLongpre|
|Richard Tyson as Perry Tyson|
|Kristy McNichol as Patti Jean|
|Louise Fletcher as Belle DeLongpre|
|Burl Ives as Sheriff Bill Hawkins|
This is an updated version of what they used to call a Woman's Noir. In the US, violent crime is committed by men something like over 95% of the time. Realistic Noir about women are going to be dark stories about fraud, bunco, embezzlement, prostitution, drug addiction, other vice, suicide, infidelity, and affairs of the heart. Some classic examples of Woman's Noir are Woman on the Beach, Pick-Up, Wicked Woman, The Man I Love, The Sign of the Ram, The 7th Victim, Ruby Gentry, Jeopardy, Gaslight, and Abandoned.
It's also a Southern Fried, Gothic Drama Noir and some examples of these are A Streetcar Named Desire, Moonrise, Reflections in a Golden Eye, The Fugitive Kind, and Flamingo Road. You could probably add in Cape Fear, but that tips into the Crime genre.
Two Moon Junction is also partly a Carny Noir examples of these are Girl On The Run, Nightmare Alley, Man in The Dark, Ministry of Fear, and Gun Crazy. Strangers on a Train also has some this Amusement park Carny atmo. Sexploitation Noir came into the fold during the 1960-1969 Transitional Noir period when the MPPC was disintegrating and the obscenity laws were changing.
Dixieland. 1980s. Alabama. April Delongpre. Debutant. Sorority Girl. Senator's Daughter. Engaged (and semi arranged) to be married to Chad Douglas Fairchild. The seal of approval comes from her upper crust grandmother Bell. We come into the story at the preparations for the Phi Beta Kappa ball.
There's a nice montage of the sisters in various stages of dress. They are all in virginal white. Zipping up gowns. Hitching up their stockings. Touching up the "warpaint." April is the Queen of the Ball.
It's Southern High Society.
|April Delongpre and Chad Douglas Fairchild|
April arrives home for the summer. She is happily greeted by her parents and her two younger sisters Samantha and Carolee.
The sisters are excited to give their "secret" bridal shower present to April. Its a black see-thru nighty from the then "Sacs Fifth Avenue of sleaze" Fredricks of Hollywood. The sisters already got sex on the mind.
Their summer recreation revolves around their country club. All is how it should be in a perfect world.
This tranquil summer idyll is invaded by Dimartellie's Ten-In-One Carnival. Something wild and wicked this way comes.
We get another nice montage of carnies pounding stakes, and setting up the rides, tent shows and games.
This is juxtaposed with a shower scene with April.
April's tranquil summer has also been invaded. Invaded by the sexual needs and drives of her libido. This is expressed in a shower scene at the club. April is under a shower head she is looking with her minds eye and fantasizing with the juxtaposed images of the sweaty shirtless carnies.
This works her up and with a devilish smirk April picks out at a loose tile and reveals a peephole to the men's shower. She sees a sausage party.
Aroused even more, April sits down on the tile floor and from the expression on her face we know she is masturbating and enjoying it, a particular carnie Perry Tyson with long flowing hair is her object of desire.
This segues into a flashback to a recent trip to the carnival with her sisters.
We see the sequence of events where while watching her sisters take a tilt-a-whirl ride April and Perry lock their sights on each other. They like what they see. Perry tries to put some moves on April but she is after all there with Chad. But that, in the long run doesn't matter. Chad can't compete.
It all starts down the road to Noirsville because Perry's got a chick magnet that is quite strong pulling like a full moon tide upon April, strong enough that it's even affecting Samantha and Carolee. Perry wants to give the little sisters another ride for free but April puts the kibosh on the suggestion. When the girls leave the saucer, Perry finds Aprils purse that she dropped in the tilta-whirl while loading in Coralee and Samantha.
|Kerry Remsen as Carolee, April, and Milla Jovovich as Samantha DeLongpre|
April goes back later that night at closing time to the carnival to see her object of desire Perry. She again makes small talk with him.
A few days later when her parents and siblings go away for the weekend April discovers Perry's dog in her yard and Perry in the shower. April wants to call the police but she doesn't. April wants to runaway but she doesn't. They end up playing hide the sausage.
|Hiding the sausage|
The relationship continues to heat up and April gets a bit jealous of Perry's friend Patti Jean when she finds her dancing for him on a flatbed trailer behind the carnival. Perry's drunk and he asks the girls for more bourbon.
When Parri and April go for a liquor run to get Perry more bourbon, one of the rides goes out of control. Perry saves the day by cutting off the electricity to it but he blames the carnival owner for not investing money into safety and improvements. A fight ensues.
That fight among the carnies results in Perry's dog getting killed and Perry thrown out of the Carnival. After burying the dog Perry takes April on a motorcycle ride to a motel where they have more sex.
Sheriff Earl Hawkins who has been tailing April to keep tabs on her finds out what is going on. He arrests Perry and escorts him to the state line and tells him not to come back. But of course he comes back and it goes Noirsville.
Sherilyn Fenn is compelling as April the sexually starved debutant, a sorority girl who is trapped in an all planned out high society future. She tries to crash out. There's something about her that doesn't quite jive, she looks a bit off as a blonde, but that is rectified when we find out that her carpet doesn't quite match her drapes. How Noir of her?
As the carny with a chick magnet, Tyson is quite convincing. He sort of vaguely looks like a weird hyper sexier version of Carl Spackler from Caddyshack, lol. Burl Ives, provides some genuine corn pone cinematic memory (Big Daddy from Cat On A Hot Tin Roof) to the film, as the good ol' boy Sherriff. 7-7.5/10.