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True Love Means Crazy and Doomed <i>Together</i>…

Greetings and salutations* film nerds and nerdettes. To all the sympathetic souls who volunteered to spring me from my weekend incarceration in the debutante’s damask-drenched dungeon, I’m proud to report Poppa H. finally escaped the clutches of his nymph suitor after nearly 36 hours in velvet-cuffed captivity. All I can say is thank heavens for narcolepsy. I thought she would never sleep …

If you’ve been paying attention to Hooker’s Reel, you know this week we’ve been examining the poetic, destructive force of the romantic sub-genre: Lunatics in love. Oh, we all may say we’re crazy but some of us really are and thank the movie gods for that as crazy love makes for stellar cinema, right, right?? Tuesday, I touched on William Friedkin’s paranoid freakshow-of-a-film called Bug (2007). Today, let’s talk reality, sick twisted acid-in-the-face kind of crazy love.


courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

Crazy Love

As all master ironists know, truth is more freakish than fiction so the documentary Crazy Love (2006), opening Friday at the Embarcadero, should come as no surprise to lovers who fight like cats and dogs only to reunite, then do it all over again, and again, and again.  With the cooperation of the two real-life lovers, Crazy Love recounts the obsessive relationship of Burt and Linda Pugach that shocked the nation in the summer of 1959. Outrageous, horrific and surprisingly funny, novice directors Dan Klores (and co-director Fisher Stevens) do a good job chronicling an erotic obsession so bizarre it could only come from real-life New Yorkers.

In the 1950s, swingin’ (and married) New York attorney Burt Pugach fell for Linda Riss, a Bronx beauty. Burt takes Linda for a Big Apple twirl then, after finding out Burt had a wife and disabled daughter, Linda splits. That’s around the time when Burt hires a couple of thugs to disfigure Linda by throwing lye in her face.  After fourteen years in the slammer, Burt was released and (in a reality series turn of events) married the nearly blind Linda. Crazy Love uses archival footage and current interviews to get to the heart of darkness that fuels their crazy love affair.  Needless to say, this sick freak loved it, so if you’re licking your wounds from a recent romantic burn this weekend, try checking out Crazy Love and feel sick and sane again. Until next week, this is Poppa H signing off. Be bad and get into trouble baby*.

Film Happenings Round Town

•    Thursday (6/7) – Double Feature at the Castro Theatre
•    Psycho?: Dir. Hitchcock - ?Quintessential horror flic by the Master of the Medium. A perfect movie. Performances are outstanding and Herrmann’s score is legendary.
•    Marnie?: Dir. Hitchcock – A compulsive thief, Tippie Hedren, is blackmailed into marriage by James Bond (Sean Connery). One of Hitchcock’s most underrated films, with a compelling mix of mystery, psychology, dysfunction and crime. Sadly, Herrmann and Hitch teamed here for the last time.

Volume 16 Footnotes
•    “Greetings and salutations.” – Heathers (1991): Christian Slater (channeling Jack Nicholson) to Winona Ryder.
•    “Let’s get into trouble baby.” – Tapeheads (1988): Soul Train host Don Cornelius (as Hollywood Producer Mo Fuzz) to upstart filmmakers Tim Robbins and John Cusack.