Who’s Watching Oliver?
It’s request time again! Paul asked us to check out this take on a modern Norman Bates-style serial killer. This film divided us and is not to everyone’s taste. But with fantastic acting and cinematography, we did agree that the film had merit. If you wanna check it out, it’s on a couple streaming services right now.
Who’s Watching Oliver? (2017)
Episode 262, 2 Guys and a Chainsaw podcast
Craig: Hello, and welcome to another episode of Two Guys and a Chainsaw. I’m Craig
Todd: And I’m Todd.
Craig: And this week we are taking on a request. This is a recent request from, uh, our listener, Paul, uh, and he texted us to commend us on our Rosemary’s baby episode, I believe. And he said, by the way, If you want to see the most messed up movie I’ve ever seen, you should check this out.
And, and his review was, it sucks, but I think it would be fun for you to talk about glowing, which you can’t wait to jump into a movie like that.
Todd: No, sometimes movies suck and they’re really fun to talk about because that’s true.
Craig: Yeah. Yeah. But honestly, I went, okay, so you may have heard this backstory before, and I’m not going to get too much into it.
Cause I don’t want to divulge that. Secrets publicly, but, um, I’m a school teacher. Um, but I only teach seniors in high school where I live and where I work, seniors get out of school a week before all the other students so that teachers will have the opportunity to get their grading done. Um, in time for graduation.
Which happens right after everybody else leaves this year as has happened some previous years, I was able to get all migrating and stuff done a little bit early. So I had some free time. And so I was just kind of searching around, um, Free streaming services that weren’t blocked by my school server and to be was one of those.
And I came across this title and I remembered that Paul had recommended it. And so I thought, you know, why not? I’ll give it a shot. And I watched it and I was intrigued. Um, it’s, it’s not the type of movie that I would’ve ever expected to like, and I know. I would go so far as to say I liked it, but I disagreed with Paul.
I did find it disturbing. I did think that it was pretty messed up in a lot of ways, but I didn’t think it sucked. And the whole time that I was watching it, I just kept thinking I. Am desperate to know what Todd would do cause it’s, it’s different. It’s out of my wheelhouse. It’s a little bit, I mean, we’ve done some weird, you know, darker types of films like may and the woman, and I’m sure others that I’m forgetting. But it’s not necessarily our standard fare. Nonetheless. I did think that it was very interesting and I did want to talk about it.
Um, so that, that really is my history with it came out in 2017. I had never even heard of it. And it was kind of a little bit of a challenge to find much information about it. Um, if, uh, you dig deep enough into Google, you can find some interesting reviews and some interesting commentary. I don’t really know a whole lot about the production because there’s just not a lot out there to be found.
Um, but I did think that it would be an interesting movie to talk about. So, um, what are your thoughts,
Todd: huh? Well, I have a few thoughts of right out the gate. Um, first of all, Who’s Watching Oliver, I guess we have to… We don’t shy away from doing difficult movies, pretty much anything is on the table for us in this podcast.
And so, you know, the, the world of horror is a pretty wide open book and it, Roy ranges from the silly and stupid to the really dark, to the really thoughtful to the plain out. Um, exploitative, uh, that sometimes just, I think for you and me both just really pisses us off in a lot of times, you know, we, we are not big fans of sexual violence.
Um, we’re not big fans of gratuitous violence. We don’t. It’s probably hard for people to believe, right. Especially people who aren’t horror fans, but I think most of our listeners are horror fans. And so they get it. They get the difference between, you know, watching somebody get caught up, uh, watching somebody gets slashed and like a Friday, the 13th kind of movie.
And then a movie say like hostel, which is a little more realistic and a little more brutal and a little more like, oh, this could actually happen. And it’s extremely unsafe. Then there are the movies, like just about serial killers and murderers, and God knows this, this exists in our world. So it’s a different.
Kind of it’s, it’s not as escapist. It’s not the escapist fantasy that you get with, uh, just some supernatural, you know, person who’s terrorizing people or a ghost story or something like that. This is definitely far far in that latter camp. So this movie has a lot of sexual violence in it. It’s very disturbing.
I thought of it as a cross between maniac and mother’s day. I kind of felt like those are two movies. Are very Grindhouse. Um, they came out much, much earlier than this in the late seventies, I believe for each of those maniac was redone fairly recently, I think, as a big budget movie with, um, what’s his name from Lord of the rings, Elijah wood.
And it was a done in a slightly different style too. I think it was done kind of first person kind of interesting, but that movie was following a serial killer throughout his day. It was a character study really. And. Cool. I mean, the movie’s brutal for its time anyway. And, uh, it’s a little, it’s pretty disturbing as well, but there’s something about it.
It’s a character study and you kind of are intrigued by this man. What makes him tick and what’s going on and why is he doing the things he’s doing? It’s not that there are any big reveals. It’s. A character study of a really disturbed person who kills people is like what this movie is too. And then mother’s day was a movie that we thought we were going to hate because we knew it had a reputation for having some really disturbing rape scenes in it.
And that movie was about some guys who torture and kill women for their mothers entertainment. But yeah, we watched it and we thought, Hey, you know what, actually, a. As bad as we thought it w as its reputation had. Yeah. Women are getting the subject is disturbing. You say it out loud. And of course it’s, it’s terrible, but the actual way it was filmed wasn’t as brutal.
And as disturbing as some of the stuff we’ve seen. So at least we were spared that, but this movie, um, it doesn’t spare that it is just shy of pornography, really. And it’s very. Unsettling that way. And it’s in your face. And I guess, you know, when we, when you talk about what he said about and what you disagree, you know, about the movie sucking, I guess we have to define what sock is, right?
What is suck? I mean, did the story sock, did the idea suck? Did the acting suck? Was it poorly made? And I would tell you the acting was pretty. I, yeah, I liked it. Yeah, the mother’s acting. Um, but maybe that’s really just what they were going for, but I’ll set her aside and say that the rest of the acting and the movie was very.
And then I’ll say the movie was extremely well-made as in the cinematography was good. Uh, the shots were interesting. This transitions, the lighting, there were, there were definitely major artistic choices being made as far as the tone of the colors, schemes of the movie. Like it seemed like when he was happy and things were kind of going well, the movie was a little more colorful.
You know when bad things were happening or he was in his dark place. The movie got very gray and almost black and white. What I did manage to find about the movie is the director. Richie Moore is mostly, uh, has been a camera operator for some decent size, big budget, Hollywood movies. Yeah. It seems like he might’ve ended up in Thai in Thailand and it’s still there because a lot of the movies, more recent movies in his including this one take place in Thailand.
And it seems like a, the main actor in this film was traveling to Thailand and got involved in some movie productions down there. He was a stand in for Bradley Cooper when they filmed part of one of the hanger move movie, hangover movies down there. And then according to his biography on INDB. Stick around and got involved with, it seems like maybe a little circle of filmmakers doing these movies.
I’ve just bouncing back and forth. And this actor is in a couple of these other directors, movies. This director’s written a movie that the main actress is in also, and they all kind of take place in Thailand. The other actress in this movie, um, Sarah molecule lane who played Sophia. The other one of the three main characters and she’s half Thai, half Irish and has been involved in apparently a number of, of productions.
Craig: Well, and she’s been in some other big things. I think she was in it follows. And I don’t remember, there was another movie on her resume that I
Todd: recognized, sorry, I’m a roundabout way of getting to my point. Um, I did not enjoy watching this movie. At the end of the day, I, when I say did I like it? No, I don’t.
I didn’t like watching the movie. It turned my stomach by the end of it, I felt like, kind of what’s the point, especially when the end credit scene came up, uh, the scene after the end credits. And then that really kept it for me. Like I thought, okay, this is, this is trying to be artistic. And it is an artistic character study.
That’s well acted, but. I didn’t get anything out of it. I felt like it was putting me through some really uncomfortable paces with no payoff. And especially with the end credit scene, I felt like, oh, okay. So. It diminished the film in my eyes even more. Um, we’ll, we’ll talk about that later, but, uh, I did the movie suck.
I mean, that’s really hard to say some people might enjoy this. Some people might get something out of it. Some people might’ve liked it. I didn’t find it a pleasant viewing experience. I’m going to have a really hard time finding things to say about it. And I just want to say sometimes you can piss me off too.
Todd: at your brother. You remember this the next time I make you watch a giallo movie or some Italian zombie film that I did watch this movie.
Craig: All right.
Todd: You didn’t know Sarah enough, you didn’t know anything about it, but going in. So I
Craig: did though, because I watched it and then I wanted to talk to you about it. And it’s because I was, I was surprised and you set a lot in there. So many things that I want to respond to, one of them is that I do think that the cinematography is really good.
Todd: Exceptionally good. This
Craig: guy who. You know, who has done, you know, first unit camera work on a ton of stuff. He’s current, you know, he’s, he’s working for Marvel right now. He’s shooting miss Marvel. He’s good. And it does feel a little artsy, but it feels like a different it’s shot, like a different type of movie.
And I think that that adds to the overall feel of it. Like it feels. Less like a horror movie in most parts or like, um, something like an Ethan Hawke, like before sunset kind of movie, like, you know, people walking around in foreign places with, you know, like you said, the light and the saturation and, um, and everything kind of comes from.
It’s not first person, like we’re not seeing things through Oliver’s eyes, but it’s all from his perspective basically. And it does get dark and, and there is, uh, it is graphic and graphically violent. I have said over and over again that I am averse to sexual violence. It really makes me uncomfortable. I don’t like it at all.
And I don’t, and I don’t like it here, but the more that I thought about this movie and then watching it a second time, it is really not. Graphic compared to a lot of the things that we have seen. So Oliver is this nerdy guy, you know, in the beginning, you don’t know what’s going on. He’s just this nerdy kind of odd guy who.
Seems to be just kind of aimlessly wandering around in Thailand. It appears that he’s either just moved there or maybe he’s just on vacation there. And he has a very specific routine every morning and he dressed, you know, he wears these big nerdy glasses and he wears nerdy clothes, you know, uh, short sleeve collared shirts.
Ties all in very muted, dull tans and rounds. Yellows. Yeah. He’s almost
Todd: like an artifact out of time. He dresses like a 1940s middle-aged businessman, like Disney wear suspenders and he has these ties and he slicks his hair back with like old fashioned, like Brylcreem type stuff. It’s really? Yeah.
Grease. Like he greases his hair back. Yeah. It’s weird. And he’s white. Now I hesitate to get into this because I am not a medical professional, but I feel like they were going be because it is also becomes apparent that he is medicated. We find out later that if he does not take his medications, his mental stability, Slips badly.
I think that he’s meant to perhaps be on the autism spectrum or something like that. Again, please don’t come at me. I’m not a doctor. I do work with people with various. Mental health issues, but I am certainly not a professional, but based on my experience and my observation, I would say probably on the autism spectrum.
And, and that’s important to the story because he’s so meticulous about everything. The first time we meet his mother, his mother only exists on a computer screen. Um, he Skypes with her basically every day. Every single day at the same time, which appears to be late for him, but maybe they’re in different time zones.
I don’t know. It’s like 1:00 AM for him. I
Todd: did the calculation. It’s 1:00 PM for him,
Craig: right? Oh, is it? I don’t
Todd: know. Depending on where I assume she’s living somewhere, either in, in the us or Britain could be anywhere between 11:00 AM and like 9:00 AM, probably something
Craig: like that. And she’s this boozy. I don’t know, late,
Todd: late Betty Davis.
Craig: Yeah. Betty Davis type. Right. That’s that’s a good description. Brassy and kind of an off pudding mean way. Really she’s really
Craig: that the first time you meet her, how are you, how was your trip? I’m fine. Very happy to know. You’re safe.
Have you met anyone yet? No, not yet. How about the house? Is everything set up? Do we have everything we need? There’s no, everything’s fine. Don’t worry. Good. Because it’s time. And remember darling, next time dress
Craig: Well, I don’t want to keep you.
Talk to you later, that’s in the morning. And then his alarm goes off at 10:00 AM and he wakes up in the morning and there’s this just fun jazzy score as he gets ready for the day. And the score for the movie throughout is so antithetical. To the contents of the movie. Yeah. That it’s just jarring. Like it’s, you’re like, what am I
Happy jazzy, big band type stuff. Which, which, which also see, this is the mystery that I was hoping maybe you could help me solve it. He is, he’s not old enough to be stuck in an era that he grew up in. He wasn’t born in the forties or whatever we’re talking modern times. Cause he’s, he’s Skyping with his, with his mother.
Maybe this is his mother’s era, but it’s, it’s not just as clothes and the way that he does his hair and his glasses, it’s also like his apart. Like his apartment has these old fashioned picture frames in it. And he has an old style, a desk with a desk lamp and everything. For a moment, I thought I was in a period piece until I remembered that he Skyping with his mom.
And then he goes out into the street. No,
Craig: it’s no it’s modern day modern day Thailand.
Todd: So I, um, I can only think that maybe mom, this is sort of her era. I mean, I think every time he dials in with her, she’s got this kind of music playing in the back.
Craig: So I think that’s what it is. I think that he is so influenced, you know, everything in his life is.
The influence of his mother and, or his mother and his father, which comes in later, but it’s like, that’s what he was brought up with. And he hasn’t been able to break away from that. Fits with everything else too. Okay. So after he gets himself already, he goes out walking. He sneaks, I believe, into an amusement park.
Todd: Mm oh. Through the tunnel. You think that’s what that was? Yeah. Like
Craig: through a train tunnel. Yeah. It doesn’t seem to be a public entrance. And this is it’s, it’s an amusement park now. I’ve never been to Thailand. So I don’t know if it works the same way as it works in the United States, but the United States, you pay a whole bunch of money for admission, but he’s just hanging out.
There. Um, and he’s got his camera and he’s taking some pictures. He’s very awkward, very awkward, but I’ve worked with young people. Who are awkward in the way that he is? Uh, it’s not so strange, bizarre, you know, he’s just an awkward guy, but then at night he goes to the CD club and he very, very nervously, like he has to talk himself into it and like out loud and how he’s going to do it.
Picks up this girl who’s obviously strung out. And so he lures her home back to his apartment with a promise of drugs. When he gets her there, he gives her drugs. It seems to be cocaine because she snorts it. I don’t know my understanding of hard drugs. It is very limited, but she’s sitting there cutting her drugs.
A photograph of framed photograph of his mother behind her. He takes off all of his clothes except for his boxer shorts, which are. You know, something that a 70 year old man would wear. Yeah. And I also noticed, I don’t think I noticed it right away, uh, the first time, but this time I did, he, he has something scars on his upper back and nothing is made of it.
But I did notice this time. And while this girl is taking drugs, he sets up the video chat. He said, Mama wants to watch. And the mother aside from just being an old bitch is just nasty and she talks super, super nasty to this girl who I, if that was cocaine, I guess it was cut with something or something because she.
Virtually incapacitated while mama watches and gives instructions, Oliver, rapes, and tortures this woman. And I wrote down the things that she says while this is happening, but they’re so vulgar that I. I can’t even bring myself to say them. I mean, it’s just the most nasty, misogynistic, horrible things that she says and that she tells Oliver to do to her, which he does.
And ultimately he grabs a giant. The mother object’s like, no, no, no, not yet. But he slits the girl’s throat and the mom’s kind of upset that he killed her so quickly, but she says something like, well, at least she’s still twitching. At least I get to watch her Twitch. And then she says, just so in such a cavalier way.
Well, it was short, but fun could have been better now clean up and go to bed. Sweet dreams. Mama loves you. Closes out and after she closes out all over the girls did. But he apologizes to her and he keeps saying, and he’s obviously visibly upset, like on the verge of tears, he says to her, I’m sorry, I don’t hate you.
I don’t hate you. I did it really fast a lot quicker than she wanted me to do it. And then he ends up hacking her up in a very meticulous fashion. Everything’s very clean and orderly. Um, and he takes her body parts and dissolves them in some kind of chemicals. Big industrial tub in the alley, which is kind of stupid realistically, but whatever.
Now, the point that I’ve been trying to get to all along is that is very gratuitous and violent. But you said in the beginning, there’s lots of sexual violence. There’s not that’s it.
Todd: Now there’s one other one.
Craig: Is there, I mean, there’s violence, but I don’t remember there being another one. I mean it’s implied.
Todd: Well, I guess it cuts away just before it happens. Yeah. Because
Craig: I, I talked to my partner about this and I said, I don’t like that. I don’t like sexual violence. And here in this first scene, it is violent. It is gratuitous. There’s no question what’s happening. It’s not as gratuitous as some of the sexual violence that we’ve seen, but it’s very bloody.
It’s very violent, but I feel like. The director, the filmmaker chose to make that scene so violent and so gratuitous so that he wouldn’t have to do it again. From that point on you understand what’s happening, you don’t need to explicitly see it now. Yes, there are still a lot of carnage. And blood throughout the rest of the movie, but mostly what you’re seeing throughout the rest of the movie is aftermath.
And yes, there are a lot of naked ladies covered in blood with various, uh, injuries. You do see a lot of that, but you don’t see. That explicit sexual violence again, and maybe it was seeing it a second time and kind of having that in my mind that made me realize, yeah, it, it doesn’t really happen so much again.
Um, I mean you’re right. Personally, I kind of appreciate that. I appreciate the establishment. This is the horror that you are dealing with, but I’m not going to make you watch it again. You just understand that that is what is happening and, and what it comes down to is he’s doing this repeatedly, but he’s doing it at the behest of his mother.
And really, he doesn’t want to be doing it. But he is so under her thumb that he can’t break away from it. And beyond that violence and that gore, it’s really just a very sad story of a man who is a product of horrible abuse, who is unable to break free of his abuser. I don’t know. I thought it was.
Todd: Uh, I mean, I get you, there is one other scene and you’re right.
We don’t see the rape happen, but we do have a woman tied up in a similar position she’s conscious and screaming. And the mother is saying nasty things about her again and is saying, I want to see her asshole and flip her around so I can see. Which he does. And she’s like, oh, that’s so tight. You know, she’s never been, uh, you know, had it done there.
And so this is going to be really fun. Now turn her around. I mean, uh, okay. You know, it cuts away before he does the deed, which you know, is a little bit better than before. Hack the, the buildup to it was even worse. I mean, it, it’s, it’s very degrading, very debasing, very horrifying stuff,
Craig: but it’s, and she, but as degrading and debating as it is to these women and these women are.
Certainly objectified by the mother and one could argue by the filmmaker. I mean, all of, all of these women are very large busted and you know, he’s in Thailand. So it would make sense that these women would be. Persuasion, but you could also argue that it’s very sort of Asian fetishism. Kind of stuff going on here too.
Um, it’s also implied that most of them are prostitutes through which I, which I think Oliver justifies his own actions in that way. In fact, the first girl, when he’s apologizing to her after she’s already dead, he says. If I hadn’t done it, meaning killing her, the drugs would have done it only slow her so slower.
So I think that he tries to justify it to himself, but it’s not only degrading and debasing to the women, but it’s so degrading. Oliver too. Like she just says the most horrible insulting, degrading things to him all the time in these moments. And there’s another important part is eventually he meets a girl in the amusement park that he hangs out with.
And, and that’s important that I want to talk about it, but when he finally confesses. Mother. Well, he doesn’t even confess at first, but she kind of picks up that something’s going on. And I think, um, that she suspects that he may be seeing somebody. And so on one of their video chats, she forces him. To jerk off for her.
And it’s like, show mama, how much you love her then? I mean, it’s just, it’s so gross. Like it’s so disgusting. Um, and it’s, you know, he’s crying. And he doesn’t want to do it. And he’s saying he doesn’t want to, and he’s tried, he’s rehearsed in the mirror. How he’s going to tell her, I don’t wanna do this anymore.
You, you, you know what I mean? The Kaelin, it’s not who I am. It’s who you are. I’m sorry, but, but I don’t want to do this anymore. You, you, you can’t tell me what to do. I’m not, I’m not a little boy anymore. I’m a man. I met someone. I like her and she
Todd: likes me.
Craig: Th this has to stop. I, I still live here, but . It’s wrong. What you make me do?
Todd: I have a cat
Craig: and a girlfriend. She, she might even love me. Why she can, she could, she could, I could be like everyone else. I couldn’t. I couldn’t be like everyone else. No, no, no. I don’t have to listen to your bad anymore. Mama. No goodbye.
Mama. Goodbye mama. But in front of her, he just has absolutely no. Power at all. Um, and as much as he’s rehearsed it, as soon as she starts making demands, he does what she demands. And it’s first of all, I mean, it’s just the whole notion of a mother forcing her son to jerk off. Like a cam girl, you know, it’s gross, but you feel bad for him.
Like, and isn’t, that’s weird. Like, I think that that’s something that makes the movie interesting to me. I think that we are supposed to feel bad for Oliver and almost maybe be rooting for him in some way. He’s a
Todd: pathetic character. Yeah, you’re right. We are supposed to be rooting for him. I mean, You know, all the tap dancing that we did around, what, what might be his actual affliction?
He’s clearly mentally unwell. I mean, it’s not just that his mom controls him, but her, his mom probably controls him because he is mentally unwell. He’s got some mental issues that have to be controlled by medication. And it’s mom uses that because she’s a nasty person to just make him do things. I thought mom, Here’s the thing like, okay, you can say that this movie is really trying to paint a more sympathetic portrait and it is of Oliver.
It’s a portrait of a person. Who’s a product of abuse. And, um, you know, this happens in the world. And so the knowledge of this, we can be more sensitive towards it and things like that. I mean, I can get on board with a movie like that again, this kind of characteristic. But it’s offset by the mother.
Character is just so unbelievable. I mean she’s so over the top and I don’t just mean the nasty thing she sang, but the, her delivery and her heavy makeup and sitting in front of that thing, I mean, every time she comes on the camera, it’s like a, it’s like a very poised, posed, um, what’s the same scene, but it looks like a, it doesn’t look like just somebody logging in from their web.
She’s in front of a wall with pictures on it, and she’s sitting there. She sometimes has a drink in her hand, often has a drink. In her hand. I felt that the mother character was so over the top that it stopped being an interesting realistic character study of a person in this horrible in insane extravagant situation to being kind of dumb exploitive horror.
I mean that, that killed the, that feeling for me. And you’re right. That we don’t have to see a lot of the sexual violence over and over again, but we’re seeing it in different forms. We’re seeing the aftermath, we’re seeing the dead bodies, that the camera, Lears a lot over these bodies of women and their, and, and it’s not just.
Hey, we’re trying to show you how horrible death is and, and, and make it realistic. But it’s like over their curves and their legs. And it’s sometimes you do this full frontal female nudity, and here you can say yes, these women have been debased. And so it’s showing that yeah. Where is the line where the filmmaker themselves is kind of debasing these women as well.
And I felt like it just crept a little too much into that territory for my liking, you know, it’s a line, there’s a line there and it gets some, maybe it’s a little different for all of us, what we’re willing to tolerate. But my interpretation of the film was that at that point where the mom character was just so extreme and over the top, it reminded me a lot more of a seventies, exploitive Grindhouse movie.
Than what the movie was purporting to be otherwise, which like you said, and you’ve got it. You have a very good description of it. It’s very artistic, personal. It’s very in your face with this guy and you are supposed to feel sympathy for him, but I just couldn’t in those circumstances because it didn’t feel like the filmmaker was all in on giving us a sensitive portrayal of him when the mother characters, just this way.
Craig: I don’t disagree. That she’s over the top. She is, I bought it. Um, I don’t know if it was the actress or something about the performance, or I think that maybe it was the way that she and Oliver interacted because she was so domineering and he was so. Submissive, he’s a broken person. And she, I think played a big part in breaking him.
And I think that he is just helpless in front of her. And I think that she wields that power maniacally. She enjoys it. She enjoys the power that she has over him and she relishes in it. And, and so I kind of bought it. The other thing is. She’s a monster and that’s how we’re supposed to view her as a monster.
One of my favorite parts of the movie. And I think that other people would argue that it’s cliched and stupid. I totally disagree. There’s one thing. This cat just shows up at his apartment. And at first he tries to shoo it away, but eventually he embraces it and it’s kind of nice. Like he kind of has a relationship with something other than his mother.
Um, and there’s just this one brief scene where. Sitting on the floor, surrounded by these drawings that look like illustrations out of a children’s book. And he’s talking to the cat and he says, this is my story. And you can see the title page. And it’s called raised by monsters. And he tells the story. He says, little Oliver was happy and brave, but he was raised by monsters.
He didn’t want to be a monster one day, daddy monster. Hurt all over and it burned him. Right. Which explains the scars on his back. But mama monster saved him and killed daddy and they lived happily ever after. And then he pauses for a second. And then he just very quietly says, no, they didn’t. And that’s the end like this kid.
Clearly, you know, both of his parents apparently were horrible and horribly abusive, and he has these scars apparently from his father burning him. And then, you know, just the mere fact that his mother murdered his father and he knows about this and I buy her as a monster. Uh, and so her over the top performance doesn’t bother me.
In fact, I think. Adds something to the movie, you compared it to mother’s day, which I hadn’t even really considered, but it is like that in a way the mother and mother’s day is very over the top. I mean, that movie is very over the top. Call that movie, a very black comedy. And
Todd: that’s what made that one work in that circumstances that we never took mother’s day that seriously.
Right. Because the mother was so over the top and that performance was, was that it was the right performance for that movie. And that. Tampered down the sexual violence, because you couldn’t really take it that seriously. And so you’re right. It became a black comedy. This movie was listed on, I watched an Amazon prime and it was listed there as a horror comedy.
That I got no, I mean, there is a little bit of dark humor in here, but you cannot classify this as a comedy. And, um, and I MDB doesn’t classify it as a comedy, so I don’t, I don’t know what’s going on over there at Amazon, but, uh, I mean, the other thing that I, that, that just didn’t, it didn’t land for me either was the introduction of the love.
It. He’s sitting in. In fact it happened in such an odd way that I thought maybe there was going to be a twist coming up. He’s sitting in the park on his bench. Like he normally does as part of his routine. It’s just to go and sit. He has a camera with him, but he never seems to actually use it. And he just sits there on the bench and is looking at things and suddenly a woman in a dress very Hollywood, like kind of creeps around behind.
It seems to take interest in him from behind then kind of sweeps around the front and kind of sits down and strikes up a conversation with. This very unlikely conversation with this random stranger. Who’s not saying or doing anything who’s completely awkward who can’t even have. Talk to her, but she seems struck by him.
And at first I thought this must be like a figment of his imagination. This is like his other ed or something chatting with him. And that’s what’s going on here. I mean, I guess it still could be, I don’t know. I don’t think the movie’s really arguing that, but I could be one yeah. Interpretation.
Craig: Uh, it’s possible.
You never see her interact with anybody else. Really. It’s very true. The intro, the introduction of her. I mean, she just sits down next to him. Now, first of all, she’s a beautiful woman and she’s dressed, you know, I don’t know, I’m not a fashion kind of guy, but she’s dressed really cute. Very put together. I mean, she does not look like the kind of girl who would be approaching weird guys on park benches now, to be fair, he plays the role so very awkwardly, but like you said, he was a stand in for Bradley Cooper.
You know, in some movie or whatever, if he were to present himself in his natural way, I can only imagine that he’s actually a very handsome man. Um, but he just plays the awkward so crazy. She sits down to him. And the first thing she says is. I had the craziest dream last night. And, um, she tells the whole story of this dream.
And I think that it’s, I didn’t think anything of it the first time
Todd: around sounds a lot like his story.
Craig: Right. She’s like, okay. So I was on this ship was like a cruise ship, but it wasn’t really that fancy. So maybe it wasn’t a push, but everybody was dressed really fancy. And I was dressed in rags. The only way I knew how to get off the ship.
Jump over board. So I did anyway, I was in the water. I was so happy. And then the craziest thing happened. My, my tooth fell out. It’s really strange. And then I saw a piano at the bottom of the ocean playing the most beautiful music. I just, I felt like. In, in a nutshell, what the story is is that she was very out of place somewhere and had to escape.
And yes, that’s very similar to his situation. And according to her now they just have, I mean, it’s very much a meat cue. He’s very awkward at first. But he keeps coming back every day and she keeps coming back every day and it blossoms into what is obviously a very innocent romance. They do cute stuff together.
They ride the paddle boats together and they go on the amusement park rides together. He does use his camera to take pictures of her and take pictures of them together and silly, cute coupling kind of situations. I mean, he’s always awkward that never goes away. But there’s clearly a shift where he seems to be opening up and having an actual fun and making a connection with somebody over the course of that time.
She, I think she tells him before she finds out what’s going on. Um, but she says that, um, she comes from a place where. She just says she didn’t have a normal upbringing. She didn’t go to school. She didn’t have friends. And he says, where you in a cult? And she says, yes, but I didn’t know it. And he says something like, well, what was it like?
And, and she says something like they made children do things that children should never have to do. It’s it’s all very vague. Yeah, eventually he is conflicted, I think because he wants to be with her, but he’s still, the mother is an anchor for him. Like he she’s the albatross around his neck that he can’t get rid of.
And he tells his mom that he’s met somebody and he thinks that he can be happy and it’s just pride. Manipulation from this mom. Oh, you met somebody. Oh, you think she loves you? Well, if she loves you, she must know everything about you. Right? She must know about all those poor innocent girls that you beaten, tortured and raped and killed.
Poor sweet girls. Like, you know, nobody can never love you. Nobody. Mama loves you. Mama protects you. You know, mama’s the only one who will always be here for you. And then she tells him, go get this girl. Uh, and bring her to me. And he says he will now I think knowing that he was going to be confronting his mother, he was very nervous.
So he had cut that day short with Sophia, Sophia being curious, had followed him and is continued to follow him. And so she sees when he comes. Out of his apartment goes back to that same CD bar, picks up another girl and brings her back and tells the mother, this is her. This is the girlfriend, but gosh, I’m sorry.
I’m, I’m getting long winded, but I keep thinking of it. Also apparently in this instance, whether it be because he’s nervous or what he’s forgotten to take his medication. Yeah. And so when he gets back with this girl, he loses it and he’s very violent with her, but the mom can tell that he’s not taking his medication.
So she’s trying to calm him down and it’s very strange. Sings a song to him. I looked it up. It’s a German song. It’s a song that’s meant to be sung when you’re bouncing a baby on your knee. It’s a song about a guy riding a horse and he falls off and he hits his head. Something, I, I doubt there’s any real significance, but it’s very repetitive and she sings it over and over and over again.
And eventually he starts singing it with her and she starts substituting the words for the song. Oliver take your pills. And he finally does. So she thinks that he’s killed the girlfriend. Cause that’s who he said this girl was. Um, but as it turns out, he goes to the park the next day. And Sophia says I had another dream last night, but it was a nightmare.
I dreamed that you had another girl and he says, no, no, I don’t have another girl. And she says, I know. Because I saw you dumped the body. And I was very taken aback by that the first time I saw the movie and it is weird because she’s just okay with it because in her mind, they’re both broken. He does things she even says, he he’s like, I don’t want to do these things.
I don’t want to do it, but my mama makes me there. There is another woman in my life. It’s my mother. And she makes me do these things. And she says, I understand that’s what childhood is all about. Being forced to do things that you don’t want to do. So obviously she comes from. An abusive background as well.
So they have this kinship and this understanding of with one another, where she’s willing to accept that he does these things. Because she gets it. I don’t know. It’s weird. It doesn’t make any sense to a logical mind, you know, but maybe if you are such a broken person, you could empathize. With another person who’s broken in that way.
Sure. And it’s sad. It’s sad for both of them. And like, it makes you root for them. You want them to get to be there for each other. You want them to rescue each other? Yeah. It’s so weird. It’s so weird to be rooting for the. Broken sad characters.
Todd: I agree with you. I just, I just, it just wasn’t convincing enough for me.
The relationship was just really rushed and the meeting was very sudden and she just instantly starts talking about stuff that he can suddenly relate to. Like what did she just see something in his eyes or something from the back of his head and she’s so not. Okay. So she’s beautiful. It’s not a big deal.
Right? Okay. So she’s beautiful. But she’s too pretty. She’s too accepting. She’s too. I mean, there’s no. Conflict there where there’s no personality there. We don’t see her struggle with this at all. We’re just supposed to accept well, because she told a couple stories about how broken she is. Now. We were going to have to understand that she also must come from a broken home and that’s why she is willing to accept this and forgive it.
It was much better, easier for her to, to believe that he, you know, could kill these women rather than you know, that he had another woman or could cheat on her. It all makes sense. When you try to argue it out, I just felt like the way it played on the screen, wasn’t convincing enough for me
Craig: when they do establish this connection, he does confront his mother finally, and he seems happy.
He seems like a different
Todd: person. Was he, did he stop taking one of his pills at the same time? It seemed like he was only taking the yellow. He was taking pills, but only one of them. I don’t know. It was a small detail. I wondered if a significant,
Craig: but he does tell his mother I’ve met this girl I’m in love with her.
And she’s like, what are you talking about? I thought we killed her. Um, but he says, I’m not doing this anymore. I can’t do it. And he closes his computer screen and there’s like just a very brief montage where you see that. Joyful, like, you know, he’s laying in his bed playing with the cat, he’s smiling and laughing, but coincidentally and simultaneously, he goes back to the park the next day and Sophia doesn’t show up.
Yep. And he keeps going back seemingly day after day, looking for her and she doesn’t show up. It, it, it destroys him and eventually, and not unexpectedly when he hits rock bottom, because she’s abandoned him. He goes back to mama and he talks to her and says, She left me and the mom’s like, of course she left you, you know, nobody loves you, but mama.
And he, it goes right back to routine. In fact, it seems like he starts killing on a more frequent basis and, and it’s right back to it, like steps right back into the, the role that he was initially. The exact same routine. Um, but yes, then, and we see this is where it’s very gratuitous with the nudity. I mean, we just see naked woman after naked woman.
Getting hacked up or laying in pools of blood or whatever, but eventually he’s, uh, just killed this one woman and mama’s still on the screen watching this, but he is hacking up this woman and Sophia shows up and
Todd: she walks in and he kind of looks up and she looks down at him and he’s just happy to see her, I think.
But, but you know, it doesn’t quite register on the.
Craig: Right. But, but where were you? You know
Todd: what happened? Yeah. Yeah. And she, her excuse is just, it’s very vague, but it’s like, it’s almost like people were coming for her and they couldn’t let her out. I wondered if the whole
Craig: family, her family, her and she she’s.
Yeah. She said that her family found her and, and kept her and wouldn’t let her leave. They kept her. Captive, I guess. And she’s only now been able to get away.
Todd: I thought maybe it was, they were implying like a mental hospital or something like that. And that could
Craig: be, but she does say it was her first. Oh, okay.
Todd: Okay. Um, so you know, the mother kind of comes on and she starts taunting him and anti antagonizing him and they both go to the computer. Right. Close it on mom, then they’re both undressed and there’s a dead body on the floor between them all bloody and gross. And they have this kind of awkward bit of walking towards each other slowly approaching each other.
Basically, this is the consummation of this relationship over a dead body. In the middle of the room, which none of them care, but neither of them care about. Right. In fact there, yeah, there’s a big to-do made of it where they’re stepping on the floor and it’s sticky and they’re kind of finding the right way to stand over the body and they kiss and they embrace.
Then that’s the end, right? The credit credits credits and the credits roll. And they’re pretty short credits actually. Um, not a lot of people worked on this. Right. Uh, and then, uh, there’s an end credit scene. It’s, it’s the same shot of morning again with the clock and Sophie, uh, is in bed and she kind of wakes up and she looks down and he is back on the line with mother and she looks a little alarmed and he turns around with a knife and lunges at her, and then it goes
Craig: well, and, and it shows the mother on the screen with like, Demonize.
Oh yeah. And that’s, that’s not like, I don’t mean like Rosemary’s baby demonized. Just like, like black, like her eyes are just black and she says something, I think in a different language, but I couldn’t tell, but in a very, uh, demon voice that we’ve never. Heard before she has a very kind of high grading voice really.
Um, and I thought that that was a weird and interesting choice to suggest perhaps something demonic or supernatural at the end, because there had been no suggestion of that before I actually, you know, I, I liked the end credit scene because it was fun and tonally. It was, it kept things really dark. I kind of think that if you in.
With the, the scene that comes before the credits roll. That seems almost more in keeping with the trajectory of the movie. It’s almost as disgusting as it is as disgusting it as it is for them to be consummating their relationship over this mutilated body. It feels like. The happy ending, you know, they, they have each other and they’ve shut mama out and it feels like the happy ending, the end cap takes that away from you.
And that’s okay. I mean, that’s, it’s fine. I don’t know if it’s a choice that I would have made, but
Todd: whatever. No, the end credit for me just kind of confirmed. I felt like, okay, this movie all along was just exploitative again, really well made. Like, what is he now? Freddy Krueger, you know, like, ah, you know, I thought everything was fine, but now, you know, I’m never going to be freed.
Mom’s turning into some monster now. Right? I’m going to get you to like, it just, I mean, you can argue, well, it’s going to take a lot for this guy to break free of the grip of his mother. Right. But wasn’t the whole point of that last scene like that this woman could be his salvation. They closed the computer together.
I mean, I thought that. Significant and purposeful. And then you throw, oh, this thing at the end and it’s like a ha gotcha. Kind of back to it. Friday, the 13th ish type horror movie, I thought it did the movie a huge disservice, and it just kind of kept my feelings, like I said before that if they were going for a character study, but they also had too many elements in there that, that made it unrealistic.
And just like an exploitive horror movie. Was off-putting to me. And it made all of the stuff that I think was supposed to shock me with a purpose. Feel like it just shocked me too.
Craig: Yeah. The supernatural elements of that law. That very, very last scene I could certainly do without. However, I do think that the movie or the filmmakers, however you want to phrase it were intentionally nihilistic.
No, you don’t get a happy ending people. Don’t just. Miraculously escape, their team wins for lack of a better way of saying it as much as you wanted to believe that Oliver could break free from his mother. No, he’s not going to know. And I’m okay. Uh, with that overall, I just, I don’t know. I was surprised by this movie.
It was very different. I thought that it was skillfully made. Like you said, this guy has a lot of, uh, camera experience, but this is his only full. Um, film that he’s directed and I think shows a lot of promise. I also, the guy who played all over his name’s Russell, excuse me, Russell, Jeffrey Banks. Um, he co-wrote.
The script and he plays Oliver. And I thought his performance was really, really strong. It was very, very nuanced, very believable, not exploitative. You know, when you have people playing. Individuals with mental health issues or disabilities, you walk a very fine line because it can fall into exploitation and that’s not good, but I didn’t feel like I thought this.
Very well played and no, you know, I watched it that one time kind of casually. Like I wasn’t, you know, I put it on just to have something on, I was doing other things, but I found myself being pulled into it, watching it the second time and watching it closely. I really appreciated what was going on. I’ll never watch it again.
There’s no reason to watch it again. For people who, you know, are interested in interesting filmmaking, interesting storytelling. I think it’s, I don’t think it’s a,
Todd: I think I can get on board with that too.
Craig: All right. We appreciate the recommendation. Um, from Paul Saint Paul, you know, it’s not going to be everybody’s cup of tea, but it’s definitely something that is interesting and that I was excited to talk about. So thank you for that. Um, if you enjoyed this episode, well, first of all, if you have anything to share with us about this, because we were, uh, you know, I read several reviews.
It did pretty well critically for the most part, the critics liked it, the critics that didn’t like, it hated it, but a lot of critics, I really liked it. But other than that, I wasn’t really able to find out a lot about it. If you’ve got any insight into this movie that you’d like to share. Please leave a comment either on our webpage or on our Facebook page.
If you liked this episode, of course, you can find us wherever you can find a podcast streaming, just Google search. Two Guys and a Chainsaw podcast, our webpage, our Facebook page, everything will pop up for you. You can find us there until next time. I’m Craig and I’m Todd with Two Guys and a Chainsaw.
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