Released: May 01st, 1991
Running Time: 79
Director: Stephen Sayadian
Company: Shapiro Glickenhouse Video
Cast: Laura Albert, David Parry, John Durbin, Jennifer Balgobin
Critical Rating: Not Yet Rated
This is the third filmed version of the Caligari story, and by far the weirdest … so let me say right away, I LOVED IT!!! The doc is a woman this time who apparently works for – what else? – the CIA, and the asylum looks like it was designed by one of the inmates. Instead of a male somnambulist, this time there’s a female “nympholeptic”. Near as I can tell, the plot has agents Adrian and Ramona trying to save Les and Eleanor Van Houten from Caligari’s clutches … perhaps while she’s distracted, giving electroconvulsive therapy to the cannibalistic Mr. Pratt. Or maybe not. Who the hell knows? Not only is this flick chock full of quotable lines – “Doctor, one look at those earlobes and I knew I had to nibble”; Caligari: “Describe your life in three words or less” Patient: “Un Ending Torment” – but you can make a regular party game out of trying to figure out which ad campaigns some of the phrases come from. A few tips about watching this one: Don’t even try to figure out what’s “real” and what’s illusory or someone’s demented fantasy; just let the ambiance wash over you: The running sores, the rampant sex, the surrealistic landscapes. “Better Living Through Chemistry”, indeed! Jeez, maybe this director should try something X-rated.