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October 15, 1996 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-10-15

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Uelw I~a ~

Another big visitor
Kathlen Han , a University graduate and former recipient of this
school's cherished Hopwood Award, returns to Ann Arbor today to
share some of her celebrated poetry. The reading begins at 5 p.m. at
Rackham Auditorium.

Tuesday
October 15, 1996

9

Perverse

Tarantino style bleeds into crazy 'Curdled'

Julia Shih
For the Daily
!Curdled. And I'm not talking about milk. I'm talk-
,ing about the blood that congeals after an outline has
been drawn and the body has been taken away by the
goner. As the newest Tarantino-istic offering from
movie industry, "Curdled" comes packaged with
all the blood, gore and perversion you can handle.
- -But be warned: This is not a dinner-and-date movie.
(Skip dinner unless you want to risk having your date
see gnce again what you ate.) In fact, this is a come-
on-an-empty-stomach-and-don't-eat-for-the-next-
three-days type of movie. In _ _ _
order to fully appreciate this
dark comedy, a strong stomach R
and a warped sense of humor is
dA y recommended.
Gabriela (Angela Jones), is a
young Colombian woman liv-
ing in Miami who has a strange
penchant for murders and serial killers. She is
intrigued with the act of killing and keeps a large
scrapbook containing newspaper articles about vari-
ous murders from around the world. Her current
obsession follows the works of a Miami serial killer
'dubbed The Blue Blood Killer, played by William
Baldwin. The killer's signature involves torturously
stabbing his victims multiple times, before finally
*capitating them.
While watching television, Gabriela spies an ad for
th PF.C.S. (Post-Forensic Cleaning Service). She
immediately quits her job and eagerly joins their
ranks. As a member of PF.C.S., her job is to enter a
crime scene after the *forensics team is through and
clean up the mess. This includes the disposal of skull
f'ragments and scrubbing off the "curdled" blood. For
every one else, it is only a gruesome job. For Gabriela,


G

it is a fantasy come true. Filled with wide-eyed ques-
tions and ponderings of the details of the murders, she
makes her co-workers uneasy, as she spends much of
her time discussing why or how the murders were
committed.
When the job of cleaning up a murder scene left by
The Blue Blood Killer is up for grabs, Gabriela jumps
at the chance, to the dismay of her partner.
Unfortunately, it is also this crime scene that contains
a clue which will reveal the identity of the killer, if
found. With Gabriela at the scene to clean up and the
killer returning to destroy the evidence, the plot leads
inevitably to the meeting of the
two.
VIE£ W "Curdled" is the remake of a
CUrded 1991 short film of the same
name, written by Reb Braddock
and John Maass, and directed
At the State Theater by Braddock. Executive pro-
duced by Quentin Tarantino, it
shows definite signs of his influence, from the warped
sense of humor to the multiple scenes of bloodbaths.
This movie is another one which makes a person won-
der: How many gallons of fake blood does a produc-
tion team have to go through when Mr. Tarantino is
involved?
"Curdled" can be best compared to a "Tales From
the Crypt" movie - it is thin on plot but extremely
twisted. The film is fairly quick-paced, though the
first hour seems to be devoted to an attempt at some
sort of character development. Despite that, in the end,
nobody really understands the motives of any of the
characters. The cinematography is excellent: One
highlight is a sequence in which Gabriela dances out
a reenactment of a murder to the beat of festive Latino
music, as Baldwin watches in the shadows.
Jones, best known for her role in "Pulp Fiction" as

Esmarelda Villalobos, plays the naively curious
Gabriela well. Because we never really understand the
reasoning behind her fascination with murder, we feel
uneasy toward her character. She is a beautiful, seem-
ingly innocent young woman who possesses some
hidden yet extreme psychological derangement. One
hysterical scene occurs when she passes out cookies to
her co-workers, and one cookie, a headless ginger-
bread man, catches a co-worker off-guard. Gabriela is
a person who truly sees nothing wrong with her fasci-
nation with gore, and Jones is able to play this intrigu-
ing character convincingly.
Baldwin's Blue Blood Killer is one that relies on
(surprise, surprise) charm. He is the sexy yet danger-
ous killer who enjoys the act of slaughtering
socialites. The makers of this movie apparently
believed that if they focused on Baldwin's good looks,
the audience would forget to pay attention to his lack
of acting skills. Nonetheless, Baldwin doesn't do
much in this film except look seductive and occasion-
ally butcher someone.
MTV's Daisy Fuentes debuts in the film as a co-
worker at P.F.C.S. Fuentes' acting is something
straight out of a "Sweet Valley High" movie: forced
and worthy of a good laugh.
The whole premise of this film is to explore psy-
chosis. The question is never who's crazy, but who's
crazier. And from beginning to end, "Curdled" has a
surreal quality about it. The opening credits are
accompanied by festive music and various drawings
of shootings and decapitations, foreshadowing the
psychotic romp to come in the perverse final scene.
Overall, this film is well-crafted and nicely shot, if the
audience is able to see past the disgusting components
to notice. As Baldwin exclaims after catching
Gabriela dancing out the murder, "That's just about
the sickest thing I've ever seen!"

Billy Baldwin tangoes in "Curdled." He wants to be just like Al Pacino In "Scent of
a Woman," but he never will, he never will.

tiants' new
'Sowroo
misses the mark
hey Might Be Giants
Factory Showroom
Elektra
"John Henry" started off as a bit of a disappointment to
They Might Be Giants fans. The addition of an entire band at
first seemed to detract from the Giants' original use of accor-
dions, quirky lyrics and other strange fare. But, after seeing
the album performed live, many unsure listeners were con-
need that the album wasn't all bad. One can only hope that
seeing the material performed live will work the same magic
for "Factory Showroom," the Giants' latest album.
Though they do retain the band, "Factory Showroom"
seems to lose many of the distinctive traits of previous
albums. The lyrics aren't as funny, the songs aren't as catchy
and nearly all of them sound like what the Giants would for-
iierly have put in the bin marked "B-Sides." Not surprising-
ly, two of the songs have been culled from that exact place.
But true fans need not fear. While "Factory Showroom" may
be disheartening at first listen, it does have some standouts
which are worthy of a second glance.
@"Factory Showroom" begins with "S-E-X-X-
Y"a clever funk parody with a disco flavor.
Covering more uncharted territory, the
Giants continue with "Till My Head Falls
Off," a surf-style ditty that will leave you
huimming long after the CD stops its rota-
tibn. Unfortunately, this is where the fun
stops, for the time being. Though the Giants
get a boost from covering the Cub's "New
York City," they lose for ridding the song of its
riginal sexy appeal. "XTC vs. Adam Ant"'s title
unds like it would be a winner, but the song is surpris-
ingly unfunny. Fortunately, the Giants are redeemed by "I
Can Hear You." Recorded on Thomas Edison's wax-cylinder
equipment, the song pokes fun at to-fi voice transmitting
devices through the ages. It is in this song that They Might Be
Giants' true humor shines through with lines like, "I can
'supersize that, please bring your car around," and "You can
hear a buzz, that I'm buzzing you in." This is the one song
thaf'manages to be both elegant and witty and, unfortunately,
'urider two minutes. "The Bells Are Ringing" is another
Giants classic with rapid lyrics, melody and a well-suited

Network's 'Radiation' glows bright

It is entirely possible that they are giants, just look at 'em!
snare drum. As you can see, "Factory Showroom" is not with-
out charm, but this charm is too little too late.
Fortunately, They Might Be Giants will soon begin touring
for this album and its quite possible that these songs will sur-
prise listeners live. Unfortunately, for now, this album can be
put at the bottom of the heap of the Giants' previously out-
standing recordings.
- Lise Harwin
Sammy
Tales of Great Neck Glory
q DCG
Sort of like New Coke to good old regu-
lar, Sammy is to Pavement - a smoother,
blander version of a classic. Sammy distills
the half-mumbled, half sung vocals, loopy
guitars, off-kilter percussion and sunny pop
hooks that Pavement made their own, and slav-
ish imitators that they are, Sammy can't chart the
heights that Pavement reach.
That said, Sammy's major-label debut "Tales of Great
Neck Glory" is a fun, if derivative album. Singer Jesse
Hartman has a cheeky, knowing style on songs like "Neptune
Ave. (Ortho Hi Rise)" and "Blue Oyster Bay" that makes the
group's five-finger discount style of song writing enjoyable
as a sort of in-joke between Sammy and its audience. While
it may not be the real thing yet, "Tales of Great Neck Glory"
provides some entertaining listening.
- Heather Phares
See RECORDS, Page 11

By Angela Walker
Daily Arts Writer
If one were to have walked in on the
middle of Nelson Smith's "Human
Radiation" they would probably have
walked right back out. The sight of a
psychotic-looking guy in a suit using a
bicycle pump to
blow up a foot-
ball-shaped bal- RI
loon that is
wedged in «7 Humi
between two Perfor
pages of a book is
strange enough.
Add to that
chaotic background music and Smith
chanting over and over again, "I can be
a part of something;' followed by, "I'll
just fill in the blanks." Not to mention
that he was surrounded by crazy tech-
nological devices that were strewn
about on stage. At a glance, this could
be really scary!
"Human Radiation" used abstract
means to explore the energy of human
consciousness and to illustrate the idea
that thought is an entity in itself. The set
included a variety of small appliances
and household objects that were
designed to appear like a mysterious
broadcasting station, an experiment lab
and a ceremony space, simultaneously.
Smith was the lone performer, the
writer, the artist and the director, all
wrapped into one.
Smith's movement for the duration of
the performance was consistently done
in a slow, deliberate, robotic manner:
This correlated well with the music,
which was an eerie, rhythmic beat inter-
spersed with disorderly background
interfere~, e. It gave the performance a
sort of surreal quality, a slight detach-
ment from reality. Smith set off elec-
tronics by flipping switches on the floor
of the stage; with the absence of shoes
this was easily accomplished by using
his feet. However, it was not done sub-
tly enough for the audience to fail to
take notice.

arrr

Smith completely changed his visual
image at two different points in the
show. He first appeared dressed in a
sophisticated dark-colored suit, then
while on stage removed that outfit to
reveal a pair of gray coveralls under-
neath. Later, he stripped for the audi-
ence again
changing into a
VIE W black body suit
with various
an Radiation earthy colored
Trance Network .materials woven
around it. This
Oct. 10,'1996 was an interest-
ing and efficient
way to illustrate turning points in the
show.
A number of innovative things were
done with the set itself. At the start of
the performance the audience was
greeted by a New-Age display of tech-
nology. More than 40 suspended radios,
numerous speakers, record turntables

and a brain in a jar, among other things,
contributed to this atmosphere.
As the show moved along, doors in
the floor of the stage were lifted and
objects such as wooden logs, tele-
phones and electric fans were revealed
and used as part of the performance.
Smith shocked the audience by setting
three cordless telephones on fire with a
book of matches. Objects on stage were
constantly changing positions, and one
object was often pulled from the depths
of another, such as a tiny tape recorder
from the heart of a fresh loaf of bread.
The script was poetic and repetitive.
Many times key phrases were empha-
sized again and again in chant-like out-
bursts. Sometimes such language was
overdone and unnecessary and could
easily have been shortened consider-
ably without losing its meaning. The
entire performance lasted a little over
an hour, but might have been more
See RADIATION, Page 10

Do You Miss8 Your Dog?*1
THEN 6O HOME
&SEE HIM!

Put an ad in the
Homeward Bound section of
unit eudrtN mNuu
It's just $10 to find a ride or find
riders to help split the Gas!

, am

I _________

READ
Weekend
M A G AY I N E
EVERY THURSDA Y

"f

Wonder What Jobs Math Majors Get?
Find out! Come to the Math Department's Career Day on
Friday, October 18
and speak with Math alumni from a variety of career fields!
PANEL DISCUSSIONS
Fact o ro o wam RRA±

o Best Prices

rAAwjdl

Dell and Vegetarian Sandwiches

* Largest Men's & Women
Selection on Campus

aI __ u I

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