The first time I watched this movie, it was on VHS right after it came out, and I had invited my mom to watch it with me. Well, she stopped watching shortly after the love scene where Kevin Bacon had visions of fingernails falling off and then going to the bathroom to pull his own teeth out. To be honest, I didn’t really remember much from the film, other than it involved “Paint it Black” by the Rolling Stones. Realizing I didn’t remember much of it, and after seeing that it was actually filmed in my neighborhood, I decided to give it another shot. Not only that, but I got that shit on BLU-RAY. So I was pretty excited.
Knowing Kevin Bacon, he’d probably still fuck her.
Kevin Bacon plays a (supposedly) typical Chicago utility worker who regrets where he ended up in life, who’s also quite close-minded. At a party one night, his sister-in-law hypnotizes him and leaves a subconscious suggestion to be more open. This results in visions of a young girl in his house, involving broken fingernails, the feeling of suffocation, an orange jacket, and a song he can’t quite put his finger on. Clearly there is something supernatural going on, and not only that, but his young son is the only person who claims to share these visions. By constantly fluctuating between the real world and these visions, his wife gets alienated and his job is at risk, yet he feels this is the most important thing he has done with his life. After receiving the vision of the words “DIG”, he begins tearing up his house, and eventually finds a body, covered in an orange jacket. After touching the body, he sees the rape and murder of the girl, which turns out to be committed by two boys in the neighborhood. Their parents were in on the cover-up, so they attempt to silence him, but one parent turns on the other parent. This family moves out of their house, and the film ends with the little boy still hearing visions wherever he goes.
Look at him tear into that lawn with the physique of Iggy Pop!
This viewing of the film was far more enjoyable, and slightly less awkward. It is based on a short story, and it shows. There are scenes that seem a little hokey and almost silly, that would work fine in a book, but on-screen doesn’t translate as well. Kevin Bacon did a pretty decent job walking the line of someone who is crazed because of the importance of what he is doing while not just being “crazy”. There were a few vague references to the premonitions that tied to the story in an enjoyable way, for example, the reason he kept hearing “Paint it Black” was because that was the song playing while she was being raped. And the fact that the son refused to go home during the final confrontation, claiming to be afraid of “the feathers”, only to have the gun of one of the parents fire through the child’s pillow and send feathers everywhere, right where his head would have been had he gone home. Although this film was quickly forgotten, it stands out against a lot of other films I’d just as soon forget.
Wolfman Moon Scale