Archive for November 20, 2008

Open Letter to Outside The Cinema Podcast

Please explain Episode #42 Underrated Zombie Pieces with a Touch of Evil.

No. Let me Explain. Explanation number 1. You thought the title “Touch of Evil” had something to do with Zombies.

Explanation number 2. You are really praying for some hate mail. Here’s that hate mail you ordered. Touch of Evil gets a grade of B? “If you’re into crime or noir films, it might be for you.”?

On one hand it was refreshing to listen to a review of Touch of Evil that ignores the opening crane/tracking shot, which is de rigor for any mention of the film. Unfortunately, that deficit is only the brightest highlight revealing your ignorance.

The more intelligent of the pair of you at least uttered the word “layers”. You should maybe crack a book and learn something about a film before you open your yaps. Or better yet, stick to what you do best: making lists. You shallow youngsters.

When I was a youngster, this film always hypnotized me. I would usually catch the end of it on TV. Charlton Heston wading in the dark, with a tape recorder, in the water and under a bridge. It would end and I would be left curious about the rest of the film. You mentioned the very different kind of role this was for Heston. This might have been the initial source of my curiosity. I disagree that the movie is unclear about the nationality of Heston’s character. It is made very clear. You weren’t paying attention.

The movie is so meta and a code book for Orson’s career and the movie-making process, if we didn’t know that Orson did not choose Heston (it was the reverse) then it might seem like an intentional casting stunt to make Heston’s Vargas a key unlocking the legacy of this masterpiece. Remember that there is also Marlene Dietrich established as a chili-slinging gypsy fortuneteller in a Mexican border town. That casting was all Welles and to a lesser degree should similarly create a need to understand there be subtext here. And the cane left behind? Did you see that you goobs?

I can’t believe you tools actually suggest that any would-be-viewer of Touch of Evil might want to refrain from simultaneously playing a damn video game because the film demands a bit more from a youngster. To me it sounded like you put this idea to the test. You tried to do both, found the film too powerful a distraction from Gears of Stupidity and decided to just speed-read the DVD packaging.

You should look forward to growing up and really enjoying Touch of Evil.

P.S. More Veruca Salt please.