Friday, April 15, 2011

The Electric Chair DVD

(MVD) In this strange, beautifully shot oddball of a movie a painfully unfunny aging Jewish would-be comic finds himself  in a weird dive club, populated by cryptic characters (including a praying hassid and a man forcibly ejected for laughing) where he shares the stage with a rimshotting drummer and an electric chair. As his hack one liners morph into the kind of dire, ugly truthtelling that Lenny Bruce thought he was doing the crowd remains stonefaced but the death seat becomes more and more appealing to the sad clown. Obviously adapted from a theater piece (a one man show, I'd venture) this doesn't suffer from the stagey awkwardness that plagues other screen adaptations like Short Eyes, because this dialogue is all supposed to awkward and stilted. Victor Argo is pretty amazing in the lead, and this lost mid-80s black and white art film is really worth watching.

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