on March 9, 2014
First, I LOVE this movie. It's an underrated piece of genius. I pray to the gods that they release it on Blu-ray someday. But I was excited to see that a DVD was available.....but I was wrong.
The case cover looks like it was printed on a cheap home printer. The picture quality looks like it was recorded on a flip phone off a 1986 tv set. Dark, muddy, grainy, and distorted.
It's "BAD" alright. But for all the wrong reasons
on February 14, 2010
This is one of the funniest films ever made -- clever script, fine performances by all, but esp. by Carroll Baker, Susan Tyrell & Perry King, and extremely quotable dialogue:
Hazel Aiken: I won't have that kind of toilet talk in my kitchen.
Hazel Aiken: When your ship comes in, I'm waiting at the pier.
L.T.: Don't fall off.
Estelle: People make me sick. All they do is eat, f--k and watch TV.
Estelle: I want you to kill a dog -- and you've got to kill it VICIOUSLY!
Mother to Bratty Child (after seeing a baby thrown out a window): That's what I'll do to YOU, if you don't shut up!
Mary Aiken: I remember once I saw this French movie and I didn't understand it. But I liked it!
Caroll Baker is Mrs. Aiken, a ruthless and enterprising Queens housewife running two businesses: hair removal and people removal (aka murder-for-hire). It's like an early-70s John Waters film, but with better production values. Warhol himself had little to do with the actual production of this film -- it probably explains why the direction, photography and cast are so great. Director Jed Johnson, and writers Pat Hackett & George Abagnalo, deserve credit.
I urge you to see it -- and recommend it to everyone you know...except possibly your parents.
on August 8, 2000
Very John Waters-esque, darkly funny comedy about a housewife (Carroll Baker) who supplements her income as a hair remover by running a murder racket, specializing in hit ladies who take out kids and animals. Sick and bizarre, but very straight-faced: if you have the sense of humor for this sort of thing, it's loads of fun. And probably the best mainstream feature to carry Warhol's name.
(Although, despite what the previous review says, the film is not directed by longtime Warhol associate Paul Morrissey -- it was Jed Johnson this time around -- and there is no South African surfer bedding anyone. Perry King doesn't sleep with any guys this time around, and Baker vents her sexual frustration in abject cruelty towards everyone around her.)
on July 27, 2015
This is my favorite movie of all time. I don't know why. It's really hard-core, examines the ugliness of humans. This movie would not be made today. It is too violent But the acting is the best. My favorite actor, Susan Tyrell, is a joy to watch here, as she delivers my favorite line in all of filmdom, "I just can relate to smoking. It's the only thing that's always there." Or when Brigid Polk says "People stink." And one of the two girls says, "Yeah and the more you smell 'em the more they stink." To which Brigid says, "What's that supposed to mean?"
Perry King is great in one of his early roles, as the only one of the crew of "revenge for hire" gang that has a conscience. But he's no saint. This movie is cheap enough - so buy it!
on March 27, 2011
Carroll Baker plays Hazel Aiken, a middle-class suburban housewife living in Queens, NY who runs an electrolysis business out of her home. To supplement her income, she rents rooms out to "her girls", whom she also pimps out when her various clients need some unpleasant deed taken care of. Be it amputating an enemy's legs to avenge a one-armed boyfriend, having an autistic child suffocated, or butchering the dog of a pesky neighbour, if the price is right, no task's too unpleasant for one of Hazel's girls.
As Hazel, Baker spends half the film in curlers or hairnets and platform wedgies; the other in demure '50s-styled dresses and pearls. She comes across as a combination of June Cleaver and Nurse Ratchet. It's quite a revelation for those who only remember her from prestige roles in "Giant" and "Baby Doll" or as the titular movie queen of 1965's "Harlow". I've never enjoyed Baker as much as I did here. Though it seems her tone never wavers throughout the film, every line reading is perfect.
Hazel's girls include bickering sister-act Marsha and Glenda, [...]Italian P.G.; and R.C., an odd, retro-looking bleach blonde. Hazel's homely, snivelling, insecure daughter-in-law Mary (Susan Tyrell) spends the movie tending to her equally homely baby (She spoon-feeds the infant with a cigarette between her fingers). It was a surprise to see Tyrell in such a thankless part. Considering the colorful roles she'd essay in the future (a murderous maniac in 1982's "Night Warning", an obnoxious ultra-butch lesbian in 1984's "Angel", and Johnny Depp's Aunt Ramona in 1990's "Cry Baby"), she seems wasted here in such a one-note part.
Into this mix swaggers drifter L.T. (Perry King), "hitchhiking" into town on the bumper of a bus, whom Hazel is reluctant to hire and give lodgings, but she acquieses when he snags a $10K job, with her taking fifty per-cent of the cut. She barely tolerates him, and the two antagonize each other; him swiping her expensive perfume, and her purposely spreading broken glass on the floor when she knows he walks around barefoot.
You know you're in for a sleazy treat when the opening scene has an oddly attractive blonde trash a greasy-spoon diner by dumping a burger and fries--plate and all--into the crapper, vandalizing the latrine with toilet paper and ketchup and tipping over various fixtures, all punctuated with a funky '70s score.
Things get even more bizarre from there, when the sisters (one of whom looks like--and sounds like--Fran Drescher with a page-boy) set fire to both a cheap movie theatre and later the car they stole for a joyride.
Halfway through, one of Hazel's clients decides to forgo her services, skip payment and perform the job herself. Said job being dropping her baby from a 12-story apartment balcony to splatter on the sidewalk below. That being said, the movie contains multiple instances of unspeakable child abuse, but it's quite obvious no real kids were hurt. Those with a sick sense of humor will find it hilarious; those with tender sensibilities will be absolutely appalled.
The best scene involves a zaftig, bitter woman named Estelle (Warhol superstar Brigid Berlin) who wants a dog murdered because its owner embarrassed her at the local watering hole by publicly ridiculing the way she looked wearing shorts.
Everything comes to a head when Hazel enrages the black cop she pays for police protection by calling him the "N" word.
I found this much more entertaining than the Paul Morrissey Trash/Flesh/Heat trilogy and almost as good as John Waters '70s trash trio of Pink Flamingos/Female Trouble/Desperate Living. The acting is actually quite good for something with Andy Warhol's name on it.
The DVD itself is not remastered and looks something like a VHS transfer. The night scenes are especially hazy but considering the content, it actually makes the film seem even grungier than it is. A deliciously sleazy descent into depravity, circa 1977. I have been looking for something like this for a long time; the best ten bucks I've spent in ages! Fans of early John Waters or '70s exploitation will be in their glory.
Just a sampling of memorable quotes:
Garbageman (while admiring a woman's derriere): "Hey blondie, you got the best can I seen all day".
Hazel: "If you decide to get your legs cleaned up, remember I can do 650 hairs an hour".
"You're always over-thinking and you're getting lines all over your face from it".
"Cathy, take Susie's bag off the table. She may have had it in a urinal or something".
"I don't like toilet talk in my kitchen. You girls are colorful. A lot of girls today are".
Marsha: "You know, you're wearing my panties".
Glenda: "So what, they're dirty!".
Cop: "It must be wonderful to be laid off, and get paid off every week from the city".
Cop: "How's the hairy leg business doing? You must be making a lot of money off that, too?"
Hazel: "Enough to get by. Nobody likes hair. Everybody today wants to be more feminine".
Cop: "Yeah, even some women are getting into that, too".
Estelle (to Marsha and Glenda): "You gotta kill a dog, and you gotta kill it viciously. I mean, it can't be something painless or ouchless".
"I'm telling you--people stink! They all do! All they do is eat, [...] and watch TV!".
"I've got a lot of gas in me. My doctor says I'm an air swallower".
P.G. (to Mary): "You should buy yourself a nice plastic suit to take some pounds off. So that way, you lose weight and you keep your dirty smell inside".
on January 4, 2016
I loved watching this film, but then I'm a hard-core Warhol-Morrissey fan. Unfortunately, by crossing over into mainstream movie making with a different director, name cast and slicker production values "Bad" sets itself up to fail when compared with Hollywood productions.
Although the campiness and perverse sensibility of earlier Warhol films still appear from time to time, the film is a sharp break from the days of transvestite stars and improvised dialogue. Because most of the things that make titles like "Women in Revolt" or "Heat" so special are missing, in the end "Bad" can only be classified as a weird B movie. If only Paul Morrissey had stuck around to cast and direct, "Bad" might have been another classic.
Let me add that watching the great Carol Baker and Susan Tyrrell is worth the price of admission alone.
Shame on the distributors for using such a dreadful quality transfer and low audio. If you aren't professional enough to do it properly, please pass the rights to someone who can.
on March 6, 2006
This is an outstanding film if you like black humour; if you don't,you won't like it at all. The script - by long-time Warhol anamuensis Pat Hackett - is good enough you really have to wonder why she didn't continue writing screenplays. It was not,however,directed by Paul Morrissey,who left his partnership with Warhol after the completion of FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN and BLOOD FOR DRACULA in 1973. BAD was directed by Morrissey's protege and sound-man,Jed Johnson,Warhol's long-time lover,who died in an aircraft accident in the late 90's. BAD is a very well-made film but it does admittedly take a strong stomach; one controversial scene shows a woman abruptly tossing her crying baby out of a high window. This is not for everyone. Notwithstanding this scene,the film got surprisingly good reviews but still lost out with follow-up publicity consisting of feminist diatribes accusing it of sexism in that the villains are all women. Since it was authored by a woman,the accusation obviously has little credibility; besides which Ms. Hackett is probably the last word when it comes to being an independent woman,besides being - strangely,given the film's wickedness - an extremely nice person. BAD is a forgotten classic,rather like Polanski's WHAT?manother black humour film that was really outstanding but execrated on grounds of bad taste. Somehow nobody minds bad taste with John Waters,but coming from anyone else it's just Absolutely Unforgivable. If you like beyond-the-pale humour you will thoroughly enjoy BAD. It was not the last Warhol-produced film,unless you want to stretch a point and include Ulli Lommell's COCAINE COWBOYS. But for serious Warhol fans,BAD was the end of an era. As for Pat Hackett,she edited the Warhol Diaries in 1989 and still works for INTERVIEW. She has never written another film,which seems a pity. She was probably the only person (other than his mom) who ever really loved and understood Andy. And BAD is the best-scripted (sorry Mr. Morrissey) of all the Warhol production. A must for all committed Warhol fans.
on September 6, 2011
According to our Facebook fan page " /bad movie" there simply isn't a wasted line of dialog in the entire movie. Every word and scene can be enjoyed time after time again, and the more you watch it, the more the dialog will slip into your day to day life. Unlike Warhol's artier movies, this was a real Hollywood movie with real Hollywood stars, and a linear plot...but there's so many sick and funny twists and turns it was destined for box office failure. Certainly a movie for acquire tastes.