Thursday, February 8, 2018

W (1974)

To appreciate Hitchcock’s mastery, one need only watch a few movies that try and fail to emulate his Swiss-watch style. W is a silly mystery/thriller about Katie (Twiggy), a young woman tormented by someone who may or may not be her first husband, who may or may not actually be in jail, and who may or may not have committed a murder, because Katie may or may not have framed him as a means of escaping a troubled marriage. Not only does the plot hinge on so many red herrings that it’s tiresome to sort out which things are cinematic misdirection, but the affronts to logic are countless. Even worse, W is boring, despite a few serviceable suspense scenes and solid production values. (Bing Crosby Productions, the folks behind W, fared better with 1971’s killer-rat epic Ben and 1973’s redneck-vigilante opus Walking Tall.) Penned by a cabal of writers including Ronald Shusett, who later co-created the Alien franchise, W follows Katie and her second husband, Ben (Michael Witney), through several episodes of bedevilment—cars rigged to crash, pets brutally murdered, and so on. Eventually, the couple hires a shifty PI, Charles (Eugene Roche), only to discover he’s more of a problem than a solution. As the movie reaches its dippy climax, Katie’s twisted ex shows up in the form of William (Dirk Benedict), a bug-eyed psychopath personifying every cliché associated with bug-eyed psychopaths. It’s all quite leaden, despite sly supporting turns by Roche, Michael Conrad, and John Vernon. Oh, and if you’ve ever wondered why British model-turned-actress Twiggy never did more with the goodwill she earned by starring in Ken Russell’s The Boy Friend (1971), look no further than this flick for an explanation.



top_cat_james said...

Hey, Twiggy's a treasure - she's buried under a big 'W'.

redeyespy said...

Twiggy did have that cameo in THE BLUES BROTHERS.