Sunday, July 11, 2010
Forbidden Love Games
Eloy de Iglesia's lost rarity `Forbidden Love Game' would sit comfortably next to `Salo: 120 Days Of Sodom' as being a foreign, art house flick that borders on exploitation. When looking at Eloy de Iglesia's other works though, this hardly comes as a surprise. Subsequently, Iglesia had made `Cannibal Man' and `Murder In A Blue World' (also known as `Clockwork Terror'), which were both exploitative B movies, hiding intelligent political ideas. His films tend to be meditations on characters that do warped and horrible things, yet we care about the characters, because you feel that they are politically (and irrationally) motivated through their poor economic circumstances. It is no surprise to me that Iglesia would choose to create a Spanish version of `A Clockwork Orange' through his film `Murder In A Blue World', because that very film is about a protagonist who does horrible things, yet. we're sympathetic to what happens to him. Though the two films that were just mentioned are lesser known Spanish cult films, `Forbidden Love Game' is even more obscure (I'm not sure the film was even released in the U.S.?). The film begins with a school teacher played by Javier Escriva bidding farewell to his students, who are leaving for the summer. As he is heading home he notices two of his students are hitch-hiking (a boy and a girl, played by John Moulder-Brown and Inma de Santis), and picks them up. He invites them over for dinner and lodging, which they accept.. The majority of the film from this point on is set at the mansion, where the two students turn from guests to prisoners under the teacher's command. The teacher has a thuggish (yet sensitive) henchman played by Simon Andreu, who enforces the teacher's wishes. The teacher begins to sexually humiliate and torture the two students until he has mentally brainwashed them into his way of thinking. What is really interesting about the movie from this point on, is that the scenes are relatively tame compared to a movie as notorious as `Salo', but the viewer is put on edge through out, because you think something worse is in store for the students. The film needs to be seen to recognize the political ideal logy, but it's just as evident as the other two films mentioned. Eventually there is a reversal of roles, and the girl (Inma de Santis) is not as innocent or sweet as she looks! This film really benefits from the great cast that seems perfectly handpicked. Javier Escriva is perfect as the fascist teacher, who looks like an aristocrat born from wealth. Simon Andreu who was a favorite among Italian and Spanish exploitation films (he's great in the `Bloodspattered Bride' and `Forbidden Photos Of A Lady Above Suspicion') was perfect as the henchman who has bi-sexual leanings. His rugged and unique appearance makes him an intriguing character, who has different faces at different times. John Moulder Brown as the boy student is great as well, he's such an interesting lost actor, who'd played in numerous cult films in the 70's (I quite love `Deep End', `The House That Screamed', and `First Love'). His androgynous youthful looks, and egocentric behavior fits a cocky teenager who has the rug pulled out from underneath him. He becomes a ruthless, self centered survivor as expected. The beautiful Inma de Santis is wonderful as well. This extremely attractive girl metamorphosis' from victim to controller with amazing ease! The film is by no means perfect (I could have done without the jarring classical music), but it did have an amazing hold on me, though I've only seen it once it quite often pops up in my mind as being memorable.