Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Last Horror Film, The (1982, David Winters)

"The Last Horror Film" was Joe Spinell's triumphant return to serial killing after his quasi-slasher masterpiece "Maniac" two years prior. Whereas "Maniac" delineated the the delusions of a mentally ill loner with a compulsory drive for murder - "The Last Horror Film" is a much less absorbing look at obsessive psychosis and focuses more on satire. Spinell is pretty much playing the same Frank Zito character again, though with a lighter "edge" that wraps around a handful of mediocre death scenes and redundant though opportune film references from '81.

Spinell plays a New York cabbie whose fixation on an extremely attractive scream queen sends him to the Cannes Film Festival where he convinces himself he is going to make a brilliant film starring his unknowing love-interest. One thing the infatuated buffoon didn't count on was the virtual inaccessibility of such a top-rated starlet so it only seems necessary for those keeping him from meeting her to die horribly... while being filmed.

The film is rife with stupid humor and the annoyingly repetitive fantasies of the whacked out, aspiring film maker. Spinell rocks it, however, but what would you expect? His tweaky, bug-eyed ramblings are so genuine that they simply never get old. Another thing that I decided I loved about 10 minutes after the movie had ended was the ending. It's so fucking retarded and makes absolutely no sense with approximately a dozen "twists", yet it punctuates the film perfectly and left me with a smirk which hadn't happened throughout the entire movie.

A few other things that I found mildly interesting was the way they tied in Scorsese's "Taxi Driver" (which, most know, Spinell appeared in) into the film by mentioning the John Hinkley assassination attempt (another prime case of celebrity obsession taking an ugly turn) and the fact that Joe Spinell prances around in drag on one point. Witnessing that nightmarish display, I didn't know whether to laugh, scream, look away, or throw acid in my eyes.

"The Last Horror Film" is worth watching for Joe Spinell and a pretty constant stream of tits popping up (namely within the first thirty seconds!!) Still, I'd advise anyone to just watch William Lustig's "Maniac" again instead...

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