HORROR RING (15) 91 mins 00..
Watching some videos may bore you to tears. but you don‘t expect to be bumped off after viewing a tape at home. This is the fate of those who witness a sinister showreel doing the rounds in modern Japan, the contents of which serve as a hint of dark pasts and short futures. From its Scream-like opening with two yOung girls spooking each other out with a tale of terror, Ring has a grip on the senses which never lets up, but acts as the foundation to tighten unbearably during its tremendously chilling final scenes. (Tartan $15.99; $219.99 on DVD) (Brian Donaldson)
COMEDY ROAD TRIP (1_ 5) 95 mins no
You won't be surprised to learn that director Todd Phillips' favourite movie is the classic frat comedy Animal House. That's because Phillips rips off Animal House. replacing inspired moments of admittedly crude comedy with lame. PC-baiting gags. Said gags — skinny white kid shags fat black chic. grandad with an erec- tion, sperm donation - dangle from a scrawny plot about four college pals chasing an incrim- inating videotape across America in an attempt to stop its pornographic contents reaching the girlfriend of one of the randy infidels. Only mad. mad. mad Tom Green. who narrates the tale. impresses - he may yet become the John Belushi of our day. (Universal; $219.99 on DVD) (Miles Fielder)
CLASSIC SALO (7,8) "2 Wi95,9’9',,’,,
Who would have thought it? Pier Paolo Pasolini's long banned
interpretation of the Marquis de Sade‘s 120 Days Of Sodom. avai- lable (to adults) to watch on telly. You do wonder if all the fuss was worth it? It rarely is. but then this is the rarest of films — made in 1975. Sa/o retains the power to shock.
Facist Italy, 1944. Four wealthy libertines gather in an abandoned mansion where they have assembled a group of young men and women whom they subject to a series of sexual tortures. These abominations are depicted in graphic. repetitive and unflinching detail. To what purpose? For the wealthy hosts. because they can. For Pasolini (who was murdered in a tragic. but unrelated incident before his film was released). it's a comment on the nature of Mussolini's Facist state. That's why this film is art, not mere gratuitous exploitation. In fact. it's a milestone in film history. (BFI £15.99; $19.99 on DVD)
WATER DROPS ON BURNING
(18) 82 mins 0...
708 Germany. A Berlin
apartment. Older businessman Leopold (a
positively demonic Bernard Giradeau)
seduces 20-year-old Franz. a bisexual young- ster who falls under his
spell and moves in with him. Leopold soon
shows his true colours
as a sexual and
emotional bully. and
when Franz's erstwhile fiancee returns to save him and Leopold's
transsexual ex Vera.
things come to a nasty putrid head. This vitriolic
little number is an
absolute treat for fans of Werner Rainer
106 THE LIST 15-29 Mar 2001
Fassbinder (it's based on his unstaged play). A canny investigation into sexual politics. Sick. claustrophobic and totally consumptive. Delicious stuff. (Artificial Eye €15.99) (Paul Dale)
COMEDY NURSE BETTY (18) 108 mins .00.
When Betty (Renee Zellweger) receives a life-size cut-out of her soap opera heart throb Dr David Ravell (Greg Kinnear), it's a birthday gift about to become symbolic of her take on the world. When Betty's unpleasant dork husband (Aaron Eckhart) is bumped off after a botched drug deal she flips and goes AWOL in search of her fictional man. Edgy dialogue and wriggly plotline make Neil ‘In The Company Of Men' Labute's third film an enticing prospect. Zellweger is excellent as the deluded Betty and Chris Rock and Morgan Freeman provide blistering support as the hitmen out to silence her. (Fox Pathe’; $319.99 on DVD)
; (Mark Robertson)
Black And White (Columbia) Offbeat look
at black culture in the
US with Robert Downey Jr and Mike Tyson
Dudley 00 Right
comedy with Brendan
i Fraser's Canadian mountie Holy Smoke
(FilmFour/VCI £14.99) Black comedy about
spiritualism and cults
starring Kate Winlset Love's Labour’s Lost
, (Fox £12.99) Kenneth Branagh gives
a musical touch Topsy Turvey (Fox
21299) Mike Leigh goes behind the scenes with
Gilbert and Sullivan
BAD GIRLS Scottish, Thu 22 Mar, 9pm 00.
Bad Girls, the often ludicrous prison drama, is back for a third series with the usual mix of outlandish plots. entertaining stereotypes and wonderfully corny scripts. As per USual. Larkhall, the women's prison where the action
is set. is awash with
cons and officers (both male and female)
alternater shagging and
beating each other's brains out in some hilariously overblown storylines.
In the first episode we get both. as psychotic blond bombshell Shell shoves a broken bottle into bent (as in dodgy. not gay) officer Jim while they're getting it on. and gets involved in a host- age situation. In the meantime, nice officer
; Helen is attempting to
break her lesbian con girlfriend Nikki back into prison, for some reason, and vindictive screw Sylvia is struggling with an ecstasy comedown after being slipped one by a con at a party. Not
to be confused with a : women's prison docu-
THE REAL CRACKER
Channel 4, Thu 22 Mar,
‘Marvellous show. Marvellous show'. As a reaction to a crime well- solved. Dr Julian Boone's expletives aren‘t quite up to Fitz's exacting standards. But while he may lack Robbie Coltrane‘s sardonic airs and disgraces. this real-life criminal profiler isn‘t what you'd call boring.
The subject of the first of
a five-part series on
investigative psycho logists is a former racing car driver whose dad founded the. Mills & Boon empire.
There are. it emerges. about twenty ‘Offender Profilers' \.'.roikirig in the UK. called up when the police need a projected personality to go With the indentikit face and bagged up clues. lnevrtably. therr role is usually fairly peripheral to the case. supplying analysis and hypotheses rather than confronting crazed Liverpool fans in petrol-doused houses. Their probing into the minds of society's perverts and psycho paths IS undeniably interesting from a scientific perspective: and fascinating for the salacious voyeur who lurks behind all our self righteous exteriors. (James Srnartl
SINGLE [)OCUML NIARY EXCLUDED
BBC2, Thu 22 Mar, 9pm .00
Terms like ‘socral justice and ‘inclusion' have been reduced to cliche by a New Labour government that wants to be seen to be extend- ing its healing hands to the most disaffected in socrety. This docu» rnentary charts the progress of six ‘behaviourally challenged“ teenagers participating in a scheme that aims to prevent their permanent exclusion from school. For certain members of the group. this inter— vention has come too late.
Chris. the film's focus. is a flaming ball of inarticulate rage and
macho. brax ado. seem ingly doomed to permanent t‘\\‘|LIS|OfI. While others respond Positneh to sports. music and cookery the Silt‘t‘l z‘ffttlt It idkt‘S ft‘l teachers to assert am kind of authorit\ in the classroom is exhausting to watch. The usual causes are identified for the boys' \iolerit behaxiour; difficult backgrounds and low SUIT‘USIUUIII at thew poor literacy and numeracy While the piogiariime offers no eas\ solutions. this scheme seems worthwhile. if only for git/ing the boys some sense of ownership in what they are doing. (Allan Radcliffe)
iiOtILIMi NIARY Si fill S SCIENCE AND THE SWASTIKA Channel 4, Mon 19 Mar, 9pm 00
It's assumed that Hitler exploited the medical profession to promote his ideal of the Aryan race. But. as this four parter reveals. a large number of German doctors were advocates of 'racial hygiene" long before it became national policy. The 1930s were a boom time for German scientists, but under the banner of ‘eugeriics‘. many doctors supported sterilisation and eutha~ nasia to eradicate the ‘weak' in German society. The Na/is were only too happy to use this faltering science as a weapon.
To many viewers. this story is familiar. The statistics about the numbers of people killed are shocking. but the programme sheds little new light on a much- covered subject. On the basis of the first
The appliance of science, Nazi-style