Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
Spain, 1982. Alphaville S.A.. Story by Pedro Almodovar, Screenplay by Pedro Almodovar, Terry Lennox. Cinematography by Angel Luis Fernandez. Produced by Pedro Almodovar. Music by Bernardo Bonezzi, Fabio McNamara. Production Design by Pedro Almodovar, Andres Santana. Costume Design by Alfredo Caral, Marina Rodriguez. Film Editing by Miguel Fernandez, Pablo Perez Minguez, José Salcedo.
This campy comedy by Pedro Almodovar isn’t as boring as Dark Habits would be a year later, but is still a far cry from the much better films that would come later in the eighties. Cecilia Roth is a hoot as the nymphomaniac who is fending off her incestuous father, then gets caught up in a plot to murder the prince of Tiran when militant terrorists come to Spain looking for him. On the run and needing to hide, the prince meets Roth and falls in love with her (the first woman he’s ever felt this way for), and she helps him while also trying to be there for all her friends. Some of the plot twists, including a scatological accident and a plastic surgery operation that provides the father with the answer to his solutions, are absolutely outrageous, but with Almodovar keeping his tongue firmly in his cheek there’s really no being offended by it. Considering the lack of filmmaking finesse that it involves, there’s also really no being thoroughly entertained by it either, but devotees of the auteur will find it worthwhile all the same. Antonio Banderas appears in an early career role as one of the terrorists.