Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Currently in London for a conference - I am mightily sick of hotels at the moment and just want to be at home. So I will pretend I am and talk instead about the film Thundercrack (1975) which I saw recently. This is one of those films which gets talked about a lot (usually in hushed tones) but is really difficult to get hold of. I found it in Kim's Videos in St Marks, New York (on the site of what used to be a famous gay bath-house). Thundercrack is a cult horror film, along very similar lines to the Rocky Horror Show. But it's much more experimental and hardcore. In an early scene, the film's star, played by Marion Eaton (the only "serious" actress in the film), bends over a toilet bowl to vomit. Unfortunately her wig falls off while she's in mid-throw-up. Never mind, she just fishes it out and puts it back on. The story involves a group of strangers who take shelter at a spooky old house during a thunderstorm. But once Ms Eaton tells them all to change out of their wet clothes in what used to be her son's bedroom at the far end of the passage - and we see that it's full of porn and sex toys - we realise that this is going to be a bit of an odd fim. Soon there's sex of every kind going on - with close-ups of penetration and ejaculations. Lesbian, gay, hetero, voyeurism, sex-doll, (peeled) cucumber, vaccum pump, dildo and ape are all featured. Someone even unwittingly eats the cucumber at one point. There's also some gothic stuff about Mrs Eaton's suspiciously missing son and husband, as well as a subplot involving a travelling circus. Most bizarre of all, two of the male characters are called Chandler and Bing. Who knew that the writers of Friends were so playfully cinema-literate? See this if you get the chance.

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