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August 28, 2015

Movie Review: Sometimes Aunt Martha Does Dreadful Things

Review By: James DePaolo

1971 was a weird time in film, you had so many studios just putting out films at a rapid rate that if you blinked you missed at least four new films. For better or worst this film sort of hid under the cracks until just recently when they re-released it. This film centers around two criminals who decide to hang low in a small town in Florida. Which if you know Florida, there are a million places to hang low in. Paul and Stanley, (Maybe that is where we got the name for the Kiss vocalist) hatch this idiotic plan for Paul to pretend to be Stanley’s Aunt Martha. The whole while it seems that a local woman takes a liking to Stanley and invites him to go out with her and the friends. Paul on the other hand seems to be the brains and in his disillusionment decides that the only way they can maintain their cover is by murdering people that the paranoia would have them believe are catching on to them.

This film covers sexual confusion, dysfunction and sleaze fairly well in its oddness. Paul as we learn is a homosexual and Stanley is a teenage lover of his that really comes across as a generation clash of sorts. You have the restless youth who does what all teens do, and the older man who is possessive to the point of over controlling. We watch as one starts to blossom on the world outside of them and the other becomes desperate. This film has some scenes that are set up for shock value and at times works decently.

I really felt the pacing of this film was really odd, and that the acting as good as it was really benefited from a film that you really can sit back and not know what will happen one scene to the other. The negatives about this film are that it really does not seem to know how to keep things flowing and watchable for the viewer. I am not saying this film is horrible but at times this film really just seems to not know what to do next. I liked that this film really felt to be on the verge of what was coming out of the early 70’s in terms of the freedoms behind the camera, but I feel that this film can be seen as a bad excuse at times and at others a funny laugh at where this society has evolved from.

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