Ugh, shit, okay, so. Christ, what is this.
Scarlett Johansson’s in this – you like her – and she’s wearing a fur coat, and she’s all over the damn place: in the ocean, in the forest, in a car, way up above someone, where it’s white, where it’s black, where it’s gold, where it’s red, in the club, in her skivvies, and it all amounts to some kind of goofed-out creepazoid bugfest. Everything in this trailer screams “spooky-ooky weirdo junk for frightfreaks and boobastanks.” It’s all upside-down or on fire, and there’s eyeballs and elephantmen and black goop that sucks down a whole guy. The whole maroney gives me the jeebie macgreebies, I can’t make asses or elbows of it, and Apple Trailers has “no synopsis available.” What’s a boy to do?
Mostly, all this nutso hoodaloo brings to mind another surreal romp I saw just the other night, Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain, which is very roughly about a gaggle of folks trying to get to the top of a holy mountain where wise men live in order to overthrow them and become immortal (I know, aren’t we all). Under The Skin has a mountain, too, but Tron is on it. Excelsior, Tron.
Like the two minutes of Under The Skin up there, The Holy Mountain is packed choc-a-bloc with the most heinously left field imagery that’ll make you stand up and go, “ah jeez what the.” Like Under The Skin, The Holy Mountain's got plenty of eyeballs, goop, deformed individuals, meaningless babbling, and all the copulation and fluids you could ever want.
Where The Holy Mountain distinguishes itself, as big budget bafflements go, is that just about every mind-nuking thing you see actually took place somewhere at some point so someone could film it. In the Under The Skin trailer, all we get is a lot of trick bunko and computer hokum and somebody maybe actually on fire. Pardon me for yawning. Meanwhile, inThe Holy Mountain, somebody partially buried like sixteen horses so they could film the part of the movie where there’s landscape with a bunch of partially buried horses. Under The Skin is supposedly “a grand statement on what it means to be a human being,” but for all its shudder-butter sounds and images, nothing in the trailer suggests that anyone partially buried even one horse to make it. You can just tell.
(Sidebar: does the amount of blatant animal cruelty on display in The Holy Mountain [a lot - like fifty toads and lizards wearing intricate pre-Columbian outfits get full-on blown up by explosives] detract from the experience? Sure, but remember, they euthanized every Air Bud in front of the cast and crew after filming wrapped, and nobody raised a goddamn word of protest, so get down off your high horse and partially bury it.)
Does all that automatically make The Holy Mountain a better movie than Under The Skin's gonna be? Nah, but dollars to doughnuts, nothing ScarJorough Country does all dead-eyed in her perky fur coat will be in and of itself more interesting than a green-haired middle-aged woman cradling a python wearing a knit rainbow python cozy, because somebody put in a lot of time knitting that cozy for the python and then the python wore it. I know I'm comparing apples and oranges here, but the apple's all wrinkled and throbbing and hissing somehow, this apple's really freaking me out, whereas the orange has LSD in it, which might be why the apple's doing what it's doing.
Look: when I got done watching Holy Mountain, I misread the credit for a sound guy named “C. ROBERT FINE,” as “CROBERT FINE,” and so thoroughly zonked was I by what I’d just seen that it made perfect sense to me that a guy would be named Crobert, like he would write “CROBERT” on his nametag so it would say “MY NAME IS CROBERT” and people would say to him, “Hey, Crobert, how’s the wife?” Can Under The Skin make me think that Crobert is a regular name for a normal guy? Somehow I doubt it.
TWO STARS DUE TO I GOOGLED IT AND I GUESS SHE’S AN ALIEN BUT THAT CLARIFIES PRETTY MUCH NOTHING.