Killer Tongue

AKA La Lengua Asesina. Good God, was this a letdown. I expected great things, or at least great trash: it has the stellar Melinda Clarke and a suitably absurd premise — a comet lands near Melinda’s house, pieces of it get in her soup, her poodles turn into three drag queens and a gay man, and she gets a massive, deadly tongue that gradually develops claws and starts to talk. This sounds like a godsend for anyone who laughed their way through Re-Animator or Dead Alive, but writer-director Alberto Sciamma never lets the movie chill out for even one second; it’s the Moulin Rouge of horror-comedies, an aggressively over-the-top and incoherent spectacle that almost never makes sense. What’s worse, the American DVD version of this 2.35:1 film is the worst case of clueless cropping I’ve ever seen. I wasn’t especially moved to go find a foreign letterboxed DVD, though. Everyone is coached to overact, especially poor Clarke (who looks terrific in her black bodysuit and black ringlets of hair, but has no character to play) and Robert Englund as a sadistic, crypto-gay prison warden. And nobody else will say it, so I will: the frequent shots of Clarke with the thick, pink, elongated, veiny tongue sticking out of her mouth are nothing if not default oral-sex porno images of her — I was embarrassed for her, and embarrassed for myself for wasting time with this in general. The textbook example of bad trash — trash that tries way too hard to be wild and “outrageous.”

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