Saturday, 31 May 2014

We Await (1996) Charles Pinion

Three years after Red Spirit Lake, We Awaits is the last and least of Charles Pinion's films (so far that is, he apparently has a new one called American Mummy due this year but I'll believe that only when I'm watching it). It's punk cinema running on fumes, it really seems like it could have been hashed out by enthusiastically imaginative but less than astute students in between bong hits. But at least for Pinion it changes things up again, the plot has a kind of urban Texas Chainsaw/drug trip/religious commentary thing going on, events are the most coherent yet, there are more actual songs back on the soundtrack and everything wraps up in a sprightly under fifty five minutes. 

Things open amusingly, different biblical channels playing too loudly on multiple TV's watched by the director on a couch, with a devil mask hanging on the wall behind him. Then we get to the meat of crooked Robert Tipple who tries to fleece a couple of religious types but winds up imprisoned by a family of loons. One son is a psychopath, the other is a human dog (by choice!), no one else is normal either and they all eat green goo derived from a fungus fed by glowing crystals, causing them to hallucinate and follow a strange religion. It all seems like it should be pretty awesome, but unfortunately is just kinda watchable. The main problem is that while it sounds pretty promisingly bonkers from an outline such as above, it actually isn't. Early on some genuine cock and ball clamping is pretty cool but then things rather slack off, there are people acting goofy, a wee bit of sloppy and choppy grue, blurry hallucinations of the dime a dozen kind, green and red filters and that's about it until some memorably mental near finale shenanigans that I won't spoil. And while the idea of religious belief and ritual as a kind of fungal freak out is interesting given real reports from takers of peyote/DMT/ayahuasca etc. (and some academic suggestion that Revelations may not have come from entirely spiritual inspiration) it isn't given much weight. Still, for fans of this sort of thing that are still on the trail it moves along nicely with some amusing moments, Neurosis and Unsane are in the soundtrack and there's atmosphere that is quite effective in the moment even if the whole thing falls apart soon after viewing. So if you're still here, you should probably watch this. Only after having watched Twisted Issues and Red Spirit Lake that is, as both are better. But yeah...

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