Saturday, 30 January 2010


We start this absurdist comedy in the bedroom of Gert Hammond. Heavily inebriated, Gert potters about her room in a state, talking to herself. When a woman named Willene knocks on the door asking for help, Gert tearfully rushes through her make-up and lets her in. Despite her apparently panicked state before entering, Willene decides that she simply must bathe the tousled Gert, and winds up masturbating her in the process. These events set a precedent for the rest of the evening, as several other strange guests invite themselves into the house. The group’s conversation quickly turns to sexual matters, as one man discusses his wife’s horrific death while being fellated by another guest. As some of the guests venture around Gert’s house, they uncover secrets from her past, and the evening takes a turn for the more sinister.

While quite unique in several respects, combining aimless non sequiturs with hardcore scenes, Thundercrack! is not as valuable as it should be. Whereas other underground films transcend their technical shortcomings with charm and character, this one struggles to engage its audience beyond voyeurism. Though the first act sets a promising tone, the film quickly transforms into a brain-dead version of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. There are rare flashes of brilliance, but the film is so technically inept as to erase any doubt that they were unintentional. Sterile and unimaginative, this jagged sex comedy misses the camp idiosyncrasies of George Kuchar’s other works, and is far too long at 158 minutes.

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