Monday, February 10, 2014

405. Flaming Creatures (1963)

Running Time: 42 minutes
Directed By: Jack Smith
Main Cast: Joel Markman, Mario Montez, Sheila Black, Arnold Rockwood, Judith Malina


If I wanted to reach my goal of finishing up this 100 tomorrow, then I needed something short to knock out after work today, which is where "Flaming Creatures" came in handy. I believe this is the last really short movie from THE BOOK, as I've used up the rest of them. Anyway, let's talk about this train wreck and get it over with.

There is no plot. Apparently Jack Smith just set up his camera, called up a few of his friends and let them express themselves, primarily their perversions. The film's opening segment plays like a lipstick advertisement, as a man (who sounds like he's talking in an empty warehouse - lots of echo) sells us on a new indelible lipstick, while we watch various people (men & women) apply it. It's pretty pointless, but you'd have to see it for yourself, because to simply read from THE BOOK, you'd think it was Bergman filming human suffering. Seriously, THE BOOK just gushes about this movie and it's borderline ridiculous how hard they try to sell this as a "must see". Anyway, from there we get a simulated rape, which turns into a simulated orgy, as a group of cross dressing men sexually assault a woman (Black). That takes us to about the twenty-five minute mark and from there, the rest is just hoopla and nonsense.

This is kind of a "pee on my leg and tell me it's raining" type of situation. I can't stress enough how embellished the write-up in THE BOOK is. It's as if Jack Smith himself actually wrote it. I'd say for about 90% of the movies in THE BOOK that I didn't like, I can still say, "Yeah, I didn't like it, but I get it". I get "Casablanca", I get "Satantango", I even get "The Mad Masters", but it's stuff like this that really makes me scratch me head and say, "what were they thinking?". It's far from boring and I really didn't have a problem watching the clock with this one, but I still just can't condone this movie. It's just a series of nonsense and really, it's pretty filthy too - for the sake of being filthy and no other reason.

RATING: 1.5/10  That's that. I can't go '1', because there was some interest there. However, anything higher than a '2' and I'd really feel like I was condoning this garbage.


February 10, 2014  6:47pm


  1. Oh lucky Andrew, another experimental for you.. I KNOW how much you like them...
    I've been known to defend some of them in my replies, but I'm happy to make an exception in this case.
    Experimental films, abstract art.. I will not put a blanket 'this is rubbish' lablel on them, however weird.. someone is usually trying to tell us something, trying to make us look at something in a fresh light.. BUT at times i feel someone just takes the piss. "How much, what, can I do to annoy/upset or just baffle people"
    Methinks this is one.
    Perhaps I'm just narked with it because it included a rape sequence presented as entertainment. Even, maybe "if we carry on the victim starts to like it and it becomes an orgy"
    No, not happy.

    1. Like you said, I just can't buy that this has any sort of meaning or importance behind it. It was just a man playing around with his friends and one of the biggest outrages to appear in THE BOOK, in my opinion.


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