Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Clockwork Blue (1972), by Eric Jeffrey Haims

I shoulda known what I was getting into. As soon as I opened up the case for the Vinegar Syndrome DVD of Eric Jeffrey Haims' twin wonders, A Clockwork Blue and The Jekyll and Hyde Portfolio, I noticed that the lefthand side of the case contained a brochure on how to activate a free trial for Skinaflix, a site which apparently contains "the finest and rarest classic erotica, in beautiful 1080p"! I'm sure someone out there will be greatly pleased by it, but unfortunately I think even the mighty Skinaflix has been reduced to naught but a mote of dust besides the other guest of the clamshell its brochure lives in. A Clockwork Blue, this little-known '70s sci-fi sex comedy, will satisfy any fan of anything for eternity, whether they like trash cinema or not. It is a shocking display of pure insanity that neither Kubrick nor Burgess could've ever hoped to keep up with.

Of course, that may send the impression that A Clockwork Blue is a ripoff of A Clockwork Orange. There are no droogs or milk bars on display here, however. Instead, there is a time-traveling Jerry Lewis clone named Homer who goes on an epic quest to avoid sex with historical figures as much as possible. Said quest specifically begins in Heaven, where we are introduced to a character who will appear often in a variety of unrelated inserts, a black man named, what else, Blacky. He spies on Homer and his misadventures using a TV made out of a watermelon. Yes, it's true, this movie is rather offensive. God gives Homer and Blacky each one wish. Homer wishes for a time-machine watch, whereas Blacky makes the mistake of wishing for a million dollars. It's hinted that Blacky wants to take revenge on Homer, as his useless wish is apparently his fault, but never pursues this revenge so I guess not.

Homer's great-great-grandson, also named Homer, is a lab assistant for a pretentious bearded professor whose actor seems unaware that he is in a comedy, and similarly unaware that his voice is often drowned by the soundtrack (no less than "Thus Spoke Zarathustra"). Homer stares at a girl's panties for what seems like eternity, but eventually he travels back to the American Revolution, finding himself having become George Washington. And that's when the madness begins...

A Clockwork Blue is always riveting, even during some of the sex scenes, which is a rare feat in a lot of movies having to do with sex. It reveals a handful of startling truths about our universe, including the fact that Heaven is full of pot-smoke, Louis XVI dated a man named Bitch, and the truth behind the Father of Our Country worded so eloquently put by Blacky: "For the intellectuals in the audience, if there are any, let it be known that the Founding Fathers frequently indulged in cuh-NAW-bis sativa." It's bizarrely historical, featuring factoids about presently-obscure figures like Madame du Barry, while also warping realism and reality in the wildest ways possible. The fact that it's not that poorly written of a film (the race humor is pretty lame, but, well, duh) and that it's a well-acted film heavily builds this effect.

The movie is a lot like The Tony Blair Witch Project, in that its random attempts to educate make it seem like a school project gone off the deep end, and in that the intoxicating substances shown on screen were really consumed by those actors. Specifically, as Betsy Ross entices "George Washington" with a fresh bowl, he says to her in wheezy stoner voice, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." When she replies, "And how do the Romans do it?" he simply shoots back, "I don't know!" And...scene. We cut back to Paul Revere screwing a girl. I assume this part was still scripted, by certain chemicals got in the way of remembering the lines. What a sight. God fucking bless America.

But in a more significant parallel to Tony Blair, Clockwork is made by no less or more than a group of friends clowning around. It wasn't intended to make a lot of money, and no money was spent on it. It becomes similar to Nosferatu in Brazil by Ivan Cardoso--a way to fill time, and doing so unprofessionally but memorably. It's something of look into the time it was made to boot, because it's very '70s. Watch it, and you'll know what I mean. You want to know what I mean, right? So watch it.

This movie has two cuts available right now, both from Vinegar Syndrome: the DVD has some (but not most) nudity cut, whereas the Blu-Ray apparently has some hardcore sequences. I reviewed this from the DVD because I owe a lot of money to some loan companies, and if I fail to pay they will remove my teeth (I assume). As such, I can only buy a couple of Blu-Rays per year or risk having to have aspic for the rest of my life.

It's a see-it-ta-believe-it sort of thing--the movie, that is, not me being forced to eat aspic. I've given some glimpses into its heart (even if I didn't tell you about the jarring dub work they do for Paris and Helen of Troy...oops). And I'll give just one more, in case you're not convinced: the words "By Odin" are spoken not once, not twice, but three times in this movie.

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