Andrew reviews the bizarre cult favorite The Visitor.
Is there a film out there in the world weirder than Menahem Golan's 1980 gonzo musical freak out The Apple. To my amazement, the answer is yes and stranger still, it has quite the cast starring in it! Enter Italian director Giulio Paradisi (credited as Michael J. Paradise) and his perversely bizarre 1979 science fiction horror flick The Visitor.
Recently acquired and released by Drafthouse Films in 2013, the film is a near incoherent head trip that loosely remakes The Bad Seed with imitation Alejandro Jodorowsky and just so happens to star Mel Ferrer, Glenn Ford, Lance Henriksen, John Huston, Sam Peckinpah, Shelly Winters, Franco Nero and even Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. What makes this bona fide chunk of celluloid madness so intriguing to watch is, like Richard Kelly's Southland Tales, you wonder how such a solid cast was assembled for something that made little to no logical sense to the actors. The curious thing about the film's eclectic cast is despite how much onscreen footage there is, no one really seems to be there or know what's going on. Years later Henriksen would state in an interview included on the Drafthouse blu-ray he and his friends went to a screening and couldn't help but laugh up the lunacy that unspooled. The plot goes something like this: space Satan fights space God with an armada of birds, space God draws Close Encounters of the Third Kind lights from the sky, a demon child blows up basketballs and knocks over ice skaters in a rink, Sam Peckinpah plays a gynecologist, Franco Nero is a bright blond space Christ, and a plush toy repeats over and over 'I'm a pretty bird'.
|Hey pal!!! Are you Obi-Wan?|
|Yes, I am Jesus. And yes, I did build|
your hot rod.
I just don't know what.
- Andrew Kotwicki