By Trotsky’s beard it’s Burl, here to review a movie about the death of revolution! That’s right, I’m talking about Sweet Movie! Ha ha, have you seen this picture? It’s a wild and weird one, but nothing in it will come as any great shock to those who’ve seen WR: Mysteries of the Organism, the previous film from director Dušan Makavejev!
Well, a few things might be a little shocking, ha ha! Like WR, Sweet Movie is a sort of pastiche or collage film, with revolution as its general subject and the naturally, if regrettably, ephemeral nature of same!
But much of the movie demonstrates the need for it, too: revolution is not futile; in fact is necessary, so long as there are people like Mr. Dollars, the world’s richest man, a Howard Hughes-style clean freak who assumes he can buy and sell people as he pleases! This entity is played by none other than John Vernon, well known from Herbie Goes Bananas, Fraternity Vacation, and Curtains! Ha ha, Herbie fans in particular will be taken aback when Vernon gets his kit off to reveal that he has a solid gold willis! (Vernon too was reportedly taken aback when he saw this at the film’s premiere screening!)
Another person taken aback by this is Miss Canada, played by the comely Carole Laure, whom we of course know from Get Out Your Handkerchiefs and Naked Massacre! She, who had won the Crazy Daisy Show contest to marry Mr. Dollars, is packed away in a suitcase by a big bodybuilder and sent to the Eiffel Tower, where she makes sweet love with El Macho, played by Sami Frey from Band of Outsiders and Black Widow, and emergency attention is soon required, ha ha!
Meanwhile a boat, the Survival, with the head of Marx on the prow, captained by the homicidally revolutionary Anna Planeta, glides down the canals of Amsterdam! It picks up a sailor called Potemkin played by Pierre Clémenti from The Conformist, and pretty soon, after affixing a single tear to the giant Marx head, Anna and Potemkin are rolling around in the big box of sugar, making sweet love, ha ha, but a couple of gory bites and a knife-poking later, the sugar is bubbling with blood! There’s also a very queasy scene in the ship’s sweet shoppe, in which a group of young boys are “seduced” by the lingerie-wearing Planeta!
Miss Canada has by now hooked up with Otto Muehl’s Vienna Aktionists, who are doing their thing in a warehouse somewhere! Ha ha, these bits of the movie might cause viewers some little disquiet: there is all manner of gross foodeating, rank upchuckery, regression to babyhood, and of course a notorious scene of platform pooping! Miss Canada, and indeed Carole Laure, doesn't seem to be enjoying her experience very much! Even worse than all of this, for me, was the German documentary footage of unearthing corpses in the Katyin Forest, which I wish Makavejev had resisted putting in his movie! It’s really awful, gruesome stuff! I didn’t care much for the baby gymnastics either, ha ha!
However, after a friendly reappearance from Mrs. Alplanalpe, played by Jane Mallett from Nothing Personal, the old painted lady whom we’d seen earlier on the Crazy Daisy Show, the sugary theme of the picture reasserts itself! Miss Canada immerses herself in a vat of chocolate and rolls around in it nude for a while, and that’s a pretty good scene! But it’s a sad scene, too - it seems to represent a surrender of some kind, a drowning of ideals in crass, confectionary-excreta!
But the final image offers hope: a row of apparently murdered children, wrapped in plastic, who slowly shuffle out of their wrappings and reveal themselves as an alive, alert new generation, ready, we hope, to continue the struggle! Workers unite, ha ha, you have nothing to lose but your plastic wrap! Anyway, Sweet Movie is an intriguing blumpkin, a relic of a sadly bygone age, and beyond all question an earnestly felt combunction! I give it two and a half strips of yellow suckers!