Film Flashback: Anguish

Anguish (1988), dir. Bigas Luna, Luna Films

An overweight man (Michael Lerner) is driven to madness by his overbearing mother (Zelda Rubenstein). Acting at her whim, he goes to a movie theater and unleashes his plot. He must have eyes you see, and he isn’t picky on how he gets them.

Except that is just a story. A film entitled The Mommy, to be exact. To two people watching in the theater, however, it is more than just a film. To Patty, the film is far more horrifying than the people in the theater realize, as Patty sees actions in the film being acted out in the theater. To an unnamed man, the film is a blueprint, telling him exactly what to do. With his .357 at the ready, the nameless man is going to turn the theater into a real horror show.

This is a real trip of a film. As one audience member quipped, “I had no idea David Lynch and Jess Franco made a movie together.” The Mommy scenes and Anguish blend together in such a way that it is very easy to confuse the two. Surreal and violent, this is a film that constantly plays with your senses. Indeed, the VHS was tagged with a warning on how the film could hypnotize the viewer. Worth a glance if you find it.

The eyes of the city are mine

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