Tuesday, June 18, 2013
"The Ghastly Love of Johnny X": musical comedy to mock the "Man of Steel", the Grindhouse, and all other 50s genres
“The Ghastly Love of Johnny X”, by Paul Bunnell, releases as a DVD today from Strand. I got to the vimeo private screener yesterday. Indeed, there aren’t many films that mock so many old movie genres as this one. The "love" is singular, so it is hard to spread around.
The film says it is in “Ghastlyscope”, and indeed is in CineamScope, with sharp black-and-white, for a “Hud” effect. So the first genre to be mocked is the 1950s black and white sci-fi horror, particularly for the Drive-Ins. Then there is the musical comedy. The songs in this film, apparently by Ego Plum, carry some of the lilt and substance of similar numbers fro, Broadway’s “The Book of Mormon” (drama blog, Feb. 26), even with a hint of poking fun at the LDS religion. And the mock comedy tone of the film reminds one of the 2002 makeover by Doug Miles, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: Killers from Space: Attack of the Gay Space Invaders”, again in BW. There’s also some mockery of Quentin Tarantino, with his Grindhouse style – both the “Kill Bill” series (3 films) and “Pulp Fiction” , particularly in the “over-simplified” diner scenes (the outdoor look, so barren, is interesting in black and white).
The “story” concerns the phantom desert disappearance of rock star Johnny X (NYU pedigree Will Keenan, who has quite a bit of physical charisma for dramatic roles), and his girl friend Bliss (De Anna Joy Brooks) who has deserted him and stolen his secret “Resurrection Suit” which can give him Clark Kent-like powers. And some juvenile delinquents have been sentences to Earth from another planet (Krypton, before it dies) and seem to get a good deal of their supervised probation, with their song and dance. Perhaps they all turn 21 on Earth and can drink legally.
The official site is here.
Is it a coincidence that Strand is releasing this right after “Man of Steel” appeared, to make fun of it?