Directed by Mark Manos. 1991.

Talking Pictures alias







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Oh, how utterly unfair to compare this with Videodrome. Oh, how utterly incomparable they are. Whereas Cronenberg's ambiguous masterwork stood up for close scrutiny in the psychiatrist's chair, this is some tawdry casting couch affair. Doubtlessly a protege of Paul Bartel's, Manos fails to exhibit any of the talent that the same opportunity gave Michael Schroeder with the stylised and sexy Out of the Dark. Bartel himself muscles in on the action in 'actor' mode (can he not make anything anymore?) and brings Tracey Walter and now Bride of Frankenstein look-a-like, Mink Stole, with him. 

Out of a tired story in which Eve decides to investigate her sister's death at S&M satellite station Neurovid by becoming a star herself, Manos creates a Nancy Drew Investigates re-run without the sex. Undercover Eve is in her element when ear-wigging at doors or dodging guards with intellect and cunning from the Scooby Doo school of detection. This is heartening for she spends most of the movie doing this. Petty and unconvincing titillation peppered amongst the constant flow of illogicality allows for Eve's not-so-reluctant writhings (at which this amateur is a natural) under the Neurovid ‘Muze‘, a sonic libido enhancer. But not before she has a chance to emit some protestation of her manipulation ("I don't like being a robot") or coy double entendre ( 'I've got to see it all the way") can the dastardly plot continue. 

Hormones are being suitably extracted painfully from the neck at moments of heightened pleasure to provide sex for The Major, Neurovid's Big Cheese who may not be the All Man he appears to be. And as boredom turns to that variety that is Farce, it is The Major's genitalia that hold the greatest narrative intrigue. "The Major has the biggest balls alive" offers one supporter, but Frank the detective - as ourselves - is not convinced: "Wait a minute, she's got me curious. Let's see the goods ," Ho hum. 

Embarrassingly, Manos attempts a non-committal stab at Lynchian homage in some shallow Wizard of Oz theme: Eve is lumbered with her stage-name of 'Dorothy', she is from Kansas and has some red shoes. Er, there are also some scarecrows in the Wonderful World of Neurovid. If one looks any further than this superficiality, then a brief Cinderella sub-theme blurrs but there is nothing else in this pitiful tripe. A liquid dream? Pah, forty winks with incontinence. 

Ed Cooper

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