Andy Warhol's Bad
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A possible prelude to "Natural Born Killers," Andy Warhol's "Bad" is as low as it goes. Hazel runs a beauty salon out of her house, but makes extra money by providing ruthless women to do hit jobs. K.T. is a parasite, and contacts Hazel looking for work when he runs out of money. She is reluctant to use him for a hit, since she prefers using women, but decides to try him on a trial basis. Meanwhile, the local cop she pays off wants an arrest to make it look like he's actually doing his job, but she doesn't want to sacrifice any of her "associates." Several other side plots are woven in, populated with characters from the sleazy side of life.
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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!
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".
Most recent customer reviews
It beats anything David Lynch ever made!
the film is best when morals are dispensed with.Read more
Bad is another Warhol classic .
You gotta see it for yourself !
TRASHY FUN !!