Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Black Lizard

My fella has glandular fever and has been signed off work for a month. Poor him - he's tired all the time, has no appetite (he's lost half a stone already) and alternatively hot and cold. It's no fun for him being stuck inside for a month. Fortunately, I am on hand to provide painkillers and cups of tea, and the cat seems to be strangely aware that something is amiss and refuses to leave his side. I think I had glandular fever when I was 18 (I vaguely recall feeling rotten in my first year at university for weeks but not really knowing why). I don't seem to have caught anything from him yet anyway.

We watched The Black Lizard last night (on youtube).

It's a 1968 Japanese cult film about a drag queen night-club singer who is also a jewel thief and kidnapper. She kidnaps beautiful people in order to get jewels, then kills them anyway and spirits them away to her Pacific island lair where she turns them into sex-dolls. The screen play was written by Yukio Mishima, a prolific bisexual Japanese writer who became infamous for a failed coup in 1970. He then committed ritual suicide. He has a brief cameo in the film as a body-building sex-doll (he was also in a relationship with the drag queen black lizard in real life). The film is strange enough, but the off-screen lives of those involves sounds even weirder.

The film doesn't seem to be easily available on DVD, and the youtube version is rather dark (though watchable). A great version of the theme tune is available from Itunes, by Pink Martini. The Black Lizard herself (Akihiro Maruyama) is the best thing in the film. She's completely mad and a slave to overwhelming campy emotions (it doesn't help matters when you fall in love with the detective who is trying to capture you). And she manages to evade capture by simply switching gender when she has to.

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