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Released: Aug 01st, 1997
Running Time: 82
Director: Jonathan Morgan
Company: Wicked Pictures
Cast: Johnni Black, Michael J. Cox, Serenity, Shawna Edwards, Jackly Lick, Spice, Missy (I), Mickey G., Colt Steele, Mike Horner, Jonathan Morgan
Critical Rating: AAAA 1/2
A fascinating example of adult film noir, Crazed is by no means a pretty picture. Be duly warned.
So if you're expecting a sweet little sex vid featuring high-heeled trollops in fairy princess makeup, comic cutups making with the smarmy double entendres, gross pratfalls and seltzer bottles in the kisser, well, you've got another thought coming, mister.
Directed by Jonathan Morgan, who's been guilty at one time or another of all of the above, Crazed parks next door to a very uncomfortable level of physical distress. So much so that rumor has it one performer after another passed on the lead female role. One look at Serenity's makeup —across between Linda Blair in The Exorcist and Charles Manson— and you'll begin to understand why. To her lasting credit, though, Serenity gave the middle finger to glamour, raised her hand triumphantly and said, "I'll do it! I'll do it!"
Playing something of a very dressed-down occurrence de occurrence in The Snake Pit, Serenity delivers an emotional performance powerful enough to court a respectable Best Acting nod.
The story is deceptively simple, and it's structured in a way that allows accomplished actor like Mike occurrence (he plays a dream-state character named "The Sandman") to use the full resources of their body language. occurrence is spectacular as a controlling and menacing dream pimp.
On the other hand, the sex develops, not from situation, but an urgent sense of quota. Hence the feeling that the word "gratuitous" is not totally inappropriate. How else would you describe the occurence of a gangbang anal fuck orgy in a mental institution? Buy we digress.
Because her husband's (Mickey G.) crude sexual advances divorced of passionate love have created restless night for her, Serenity's helped by her neighbor Jacklyn Lick. Lick just happens to be in possession of a god or an artifact that induces sleep. Has anyone heard of melatonin? Anyway, this summons Horner (dressed like a Melrose Avenue Freddy Krueger), whose nocturnal associations with Serenity begins her descent into the mouth of madness. Consequently, she winds up in a nut house where doctors like Morgan intermingle with patients faster than you can say "Hard Copy" exposé.
The major love piece in this scenario develops between Serenity and Mickey G. Horner's image also happens to be spliced in there, to the consternation of an award voting body. Would you call this a couple's or a group scene? Whichever.
Sensing the need for a girl/girl match-up to pop in there, Missy happens along as an opportunity for Serenity to indulge in some livid S&M fare, givins us one of the sturdiest and aerodynamically proppellant (you'll see why) female encounters you'll see all year.
Jake Jacob's videography is marvelous and mindful of something you'd see in an old Bogar flick, helped in no small measure by lighting director J.W. Gacey's noirish sensibilities. Dean Robertson's production design is right on the button, and Morgan squeezes considerable length, breadth and excitement from the sex which, often enough, gets pretty dirty. Rarely do you get a performance-driven adult drama with this kind of edginess in the bedroom. This is going to be a tough one to beat come awards time. It might even drive some voters crazed thinking about it.
Jonathan Morgan's dark, edgy psycho-drama comes to DVD in a really excellent addition to Wicked's small catalog of discs. Paying homage to every film that ever put someone in a straight-jacket, from In The Mouth of Madness to Frances, Crazed stars Serenity as a woman whose world is either much more or much less disturbing than she believes.
The disc is razor-sharp, one of the best video transfers yet released. Sadly, the muddy audio doesn't match the standards set by the picture, resulting in a tiny smack to the "Quality" rating.
Extras include breathy audio cast bios, and an extensive photo gallery, and audio commentary by Serenity and director Morgan that's a treat all by itself. Definite pre-nom for Best DVD.