Thursday, April 16, 2009

Movie: The Twonky (1953)

I believe the critical term I’m searching for is: yeesh.

Arch Oboler’s satire is, to quote Blackadder, about as subtle as a rhinoceros horn up the backside. Oboler abandons the good qualities present in Bewitched and embraces the lousy ones. Professor Hans Conreid gets a new TV that takes over his life. (Actually, the set contains a visitor from the future, but it’s not like there’s any evidence of this. A football coach offers it as a theory, and it’s accepted as gospel truth.)

This boob tube walks, it talks, it juliennes. It counterfeits money and tries to score Conreid hookers. Sure, it doesn’t call them hookers, but the worldly among us know the score. It forces Conreid to drop his copy of John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty, and to edit a lecture on the power of the individual. Thus explaining why ads during The Twonky’s brief theatrical run featured a quote from Ayn Rand calling it “the feel-good comedy of the season!”

The only thing worse than The Twonky’s concept is its execution. The only thing worse than its execution is its score. At least Oboler knew it was a dog. I can’t remember the last movie I saw that was this awful, this strange. Oh, wait, yes I can ...

Movie: The World’s Greatest Sinner (1962)

It was this one. And TCM is showing it again Friday (OK, Saturday) at 2:15AM Eastern, 11:15PM Pacific. Consider yourselves warned.