Another review from that fiend Daniel XIII. Check him out over at good old Famous Monsters.
• RELEASE DATE: Available April 26th on DVD
• WRITTEN BY: Gérard Brach, Roman Polanski
• DIRECTED BY: Roman Polanski
• STARRING: Marcello Mastroianni, Sydne Rome, Hugh Griffith
Reviewing a film by a reviled sexual deviant is never going to be an easy thing; just separating the art from the artist can be tricky enough, but when said film revolves around the sexual misadventures of a young woman abroad…well, let’s just say there’s going to be an element of “squick” involved. So with that lil’ disclaimer, let’s dive into the new Blu-ray release of Roman Polanski’s WHAT?
WHAT?, besides having a truly ludicrous title, is a film about an American woman named Nancy (Rome) who gets stranded at a bizarre Mediterranean villa after an attempted gang-rape. Upon arrival, she is immediately dry humped by a massive dog. How much longer does this film have to go? Nearly two more hours? Fuck me.
Anyway, as the nonsense train keeps a rollin’ down the tracks you get a rando collection of horny characters that make absolutely no sense, random piano duets, a buried treasure containing some sort of Napoleon costume, massive bush that resembles a face-planting Crite…and on and on it goes,
Is WHAT? A bad film? No; it’s crazy, disjointed, filled with Alice in Wonderland allegories… but it’s entertaining enough if you love tits and absurdity in equal measure. And, since it’s filmed by a competent director there are some gorgeous shots not to mention the cast seem to be enjoying themselves.
As for the actual release itself, Severin provides a pretty damn sharp looking transfer for the feature that makes those island locales really pop. Also included in the package are interviews with star Sydne Rome, Composer Claudio Gizzi, and Cinematographer Marcello Gatti. The theatrical trailer and a presentation of the film with its Italian soundtrack round out the package.
So there you go; while this film wasn’t one hundred percent my bag baby, and while I find Polanski a turd of a human being (a talented turd, but a turd all the same), I still found this release had plenty to offer for fans of off-kilter, surrealist sin-ema!