(director: Andy Warhol; screenwriters: Ronald Tavel/based on the novel A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess; cinematographer: Bud Wirtschafter; cast: Gerard Malanga (Victor), Tosh Carrillo (The Doctor), John MacDermott (The Detective), Ondine (Scum Baby), Larry Latreille (Pug), Jacques Potin (Extra), Edie Sedgwick (Extra); Runtime: 70; MPAA Rating: NR; Raro Video-PAL format; 1965)
“Irritatingly bad film.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Andy Warhol(“Blowjob”/”My Hustler”/”Chelsea Girls”) is the first filmmaker to attack filming Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange, and shoots the ineptly acted stilted experimental pic, made in the Factory, as a sado-masochistic work on how to treat juvenile delinquents in our corrupt society by taking away their free will using torture to brainwash them. It was later filmed by Stanley Kubrick. The Kubrick film blew me away and the self-indulgent voyeuristic Warhol one left me scratching my balls.
It’s written by Ronald Tavel as an irritatingly bad film, that can be admired as a bad film that makes no pretenses to make the story affecting, to have the actors perform competently or be entertaining except as an oddly comical trashy mood piece with bizarre scenes in a claustrophobic uncinematic mise-en-scène. Its title could relate to the old style rock music vinyl records playing throughout in the background or maybe to the star’s fake leather jacket (vinyl), or whatever.
For a plot it has Victor (Gerard Malanga) go into an opening rant telling how he’s proud to be a juvenile delinquent and gets his kicks hurting others. The cop (John MacDermott) has Victor bound in a seat and places a bag over his head, and the Doctor (Tosh Carrillo) tortures Victor to conform. It concludes with Victor now cured through this fascist therapy and all the zany characters present during the torture exercise take poppers and have an orgy.
It’s good to have choices. For some Warhol is the Man. For others he’s a bore.
REVIEWED ON 5/1/2013 GRADE: D