KEYHOLE is what happens if you imagine
mixing a supernatural film noir with a gangster film and mix in David Lynch’s Eraserhead and the novel Naked Lunch. You get the idea of what to expect out of this black and white dreamscape. You wonder what is going on with the dead old naked guy chained to his daughter’s
bed. Ulysses (Jason Patric), a gangster, has come home on a very rainy and stormy
night with a wet woman over his shoulder. His gang is waiting for him and a young
man is bound and gagged too. Ulysses has come home to make a journey through
a house full of ghosts to see his wife Hyacinth (Isabella Rossellini). Nothing
is as it seems as the lines between the living and the dead are blurred as Ulysses seeks forgiveness and Hyacinth’s
father (the naked guy chained to the bed) seeks freedom from this house.
KEYHOLE is a screwed up dreamscape
up for your own interpretation. Guy Maddin’s supernatural gangster film
would fit in with movies like David Lynch’s LOST HIGHWAY and MULHOLLAND DRIVE. You
find out something isn’t right with the soaking wet girl he needs to contact his wife in the house where he used to
live. The naked father-in-law if generally a WTF as you wonder what the
heck is going on and why he sees pleasure in whipping the gangsters with his ever ending chain while wearing no clothes (then
again ghosts probably don’t care about clothes and maybe madness runs in the family since his daughter is just as crazy). I also wonder if Ulysses is racked with guilt for something he did or for his
wife did. It isn’t really clear as Hyacinth is making out with some other
dude during the course of KEYHOLE more than once. If I was Ulysses, I would just
get away from my gang and never come back to that house. He clearly has been
whipped by his own guilt for not being there often enough for the woman he loves and wishes for forgiveness more than anything
else even if others see it as irrational.
KEYHOLE is a movie of mystique filmed mostly
in black and white (with a couple of surprise bursts of color). It is more
on the abstract dreamscape side of things and you will either love or hate this film.
SEND ME TO THE ‘LETRIC’ CHAIR
is one of director Guy Maddin’s short films that were made as a way to explore the universe that KEYHOLE exists in. His original idea was to make the movie made up of many short films, but ultimately
none of the short films were used for KEYHOLE and only served as the starting point for the movie. I wish the other work study shorts were included on this disc. Isabella
Rossellini and the guy who plays her father are in this short film.
F~HOLE- a bizarre short film on the
making of music (composed by Jason Staczek) for the film
Also included on the disc is the theatrical
trailer for KEYHOLE and trailers for other releases from Monterey Media.
I wish the disc included an audio commentary
or some real behind-the-scenes extras (or interviews).
FINAL ANALYSIS: KEYHOLE is a bizarre supernatural noir in the tradition of David Lynch mixed in with old gangster films
and old 1930s supernatural films and some influences from the novel Naked Lunch. It
is best watched as a dreamscape to interpret. Too bad Guy Maddin didn’t
include all of his work study films and included some real behind-the-scenes material on the DVD.
This DVD review is (c)6-22-2012 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to firstname.lastname@example.org