Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Mutilates

There was this boy named Sean that I had the biggest crush on in high school. He was perfect. We had a friend in common so on a couple of occasions I got to go and watch him play basketball in the park and he was always skins - he was the type of guy that the skins team was created for; the fates would fall around him in the skins formation without it ever being a consideration. It was like a damn Bod commercial. But what was worse than the fact that he was a god strutting around out there that I would never ever have the chance to touch just once was the fact that he was so goddamn nice! I hated him for smiling at me and saying hello. Why couldn't he have just been a dick like the rest of them? No, he had to be friendly. Asshole.

I bring all that up because I wish that The Loved Ones had been around when I was in high school staring at Sean with little cartoon pink hearts instead of eyeballs so I'd have known there was another option. I didn't have to suffer! I could've kidnapped Sean and dressed him in a tux and tied him to a chair and injected him with a magical serum that made him unable to scream and we could've danced and laughed and had all kinds of magical fun. I could've made him suck my finger, or I could've taken out his penis and made it cry, or I could've gone down to the garage and gotten out my father's toolbox and discovered all sorts of ways to play. Oh but to dream!

Looking at the 2009 Aussie horror film's IMDb page you kind of know a lot of all you need to know about where the movie's going by looking at the top three credits:

First off, Xavier Samuel of the Twilight movies plays Brent. Brent. My Sean probably should have been named Brent. If he'd been a character in a horror movie and not a real person, the screenwriter would have named him Brent. And then there's "Lola aka Princess" and "Daddy" which, well I think you've got the tone right there. Kind of triggering an itch at the back of your throat that could be vomit or could be a laugh. Just right, in other words.

There were parts of The Loved Ones that I didn't think would work. There's a B story involving Brent's friend taking a girl to the school dance that seems as if it'll hit all the school dance notes we've seen a million times before, but somehow it keeps itself low-key when all the cards seem stacked against it. And where it goes matters, only not the way you think it might. The film wobbled a couple of times, but director Sean Byrne kept righting it with a pitch-perfect punchline or an unexpected touch of humanity. It's a frisky lil' thing, only 84 minutes long and packed with verve.

And Robin McLeavy gives a gloriously unhinged turn as Lola, that only gets better the crazier it goes (the same could be said of the film itself). Lola (aka Princess) and Daddy make for a deranged tag-team, slapping each other into the ring at the most icky and uncomfortable of moments. It's a treat! Plus it's a beautifully made film. This shot for the win:

A couple of notes: a huge shout-out to TrG over at Post-Mortem Depression for hooking me up with the movie. He's the man - that's right, not just a man, but the man - and if y'all don't read his fantastic site then y'all don't read.

And secondly, if you haven't seen the movie yet don't watch the trailer. It gives away too much. Too much! I understand if impatience wears you down - the movie still doesn't seem to have a US release date - but patience is rewarded. With stabbings! Surprise movie stabbings, I mean. I am not going to come and stab you if you are pateint and follow my advice. That wouldn't make any sense. Stab! Got ya! Hahaha!


RJ said...

LOVED this movie. So frikkin crazy. Especially the end.



Jason Adams said...

The last 10 minutes are just glorious. It actually got me screaming at the screen, which is not something I'm prone to do. Once they're out of the house and on the road... YES SO GOOD.

timothy grant said...

Lola (both as a character and in terms of McLeavy's performance) is 100% commitment.

And BrightEyes. Oh, BrightEyes how I loved you.

And yes, Those Who Read the Comments, please come to my blog. Even though I feel like a big fat FAIL for not having my Loved Ones post up before JA. (I mean how can I top the deliciousness that is Sean of the Skins? Bar so high ... must ... reach ...)

Glenn Dunks said...

She's my #1 performance of 2010. Brilliant work. And the movie is pretty darn great, too.

timothy grant said...

Better late than never...

Jesse said...

I just watched this with your recommendation.

holy hell.

I literally had 8 of 10 fingers in my mouth at one point. The last time a movie got this reaction out of me was Misery. Phew...I think horror has a new icon in Princess Lola. And it was a good length. A lot of movies tend to drag on because they feel they need to make it last an hour and a half or more. So it was nice that a movie actually ended when it was supposed to.