Crazy Love

Crazy Love

If I'm to be completely honest when Mondo Macabro's release of 'Crazy Love' arrived, after perusing the cover I was less then enthusiastic about checking this Belgian oddity out. Emblazoned across the front cover (which shows what looks like some sort of mummy in a suit embracing a blond lady) is the worrying quote "the most astonishing film debut since David Lynch's Eraserhead'…now no doubt I'll be alienating myself here but between us I always felt Eraserhead to be one big pretentious film student wank fest so the comparison with Crazy Love was somewhat worrying. Thankfully the fact that this release also claimed to be 'based on the works of Charles Bukowski' helped encourage me to give the film a spin…so was 'Crazy Love' to be a disappointment of egotistical art house indulgence…or a Bukowkskiesque alcohol fuelled sleaze fest? Perhaps thankfully neither.

'Crazy Love' is a film of three segments, each one covering one specific moment in a growing lads journey into adulthood. The first covering his introduction to 'sexual thoughts' and masturbation, the next his acne riddled teenage rejection years before rounding things off in his manhood as a homeless alcoholic. Now before folk grump at me for sounding off the basics of the poor guys life route it must be pointed out that it is the detail contained within this journey that makes it all the more special…and with director Dominique Deruddere's handling of this we are treated to what is without doubt one of the greatest (albeit very dark) 'coming of age' movies to hit the screen in a long time.

Much has been made of the attention received for the film by folk like Francis Ford Coppola and rightly they so that he should embrace it so much as this is exactly the sort of dark and enriching drama that someone like Coppola would no doubt have loved to have produced himself. The film kicks off like a twisted downbeat version of the much beloved Lemon Popsicle series and ends up entrenched in the twisted world of Charles Bukowski - in the early stages heartwarming at times but by the time the final reel rolls round you'll find nothing but tragedy.

A good reason why 'Crazy Love' works so well is that it is that rare beast that is the sum total of all involved in the production deliver in spades - whether it is the lighting, photography, the cast (especially so the lead in each carnation) and Deruddere's work overseeing it all you'll find little to fault in this delightful movie. In fact, if I was to dig deep and try find criticism of any form then it would probably be only the slightly disjointed last segment - though this would be doubly pointless to comment on as it is this segment (the only one actually based on Bukowski's work 'The Copulating Mermaid of Venice, CA') that is the whole reason for 'Crazy Love' being made in the first place (this finished film was built round the short film that became the films final segment!)

All said though, 'Crazy Love' is a fantastic movie, it makes a welcome change to see a film so rich and at times heartwarming whilst at the same time so dark, downbeat and seedy.

This DVD presentation from Mondo Macabro is likewise a winner. The film is presented in a rich and colourful anamorphic widescreen with the original two channel (Flemish language) stereo soundtrack with optional clear English subtitles; in an perfect world a 5.1 surround audio track would have been very welcome but the original stereo track is very much adequate.

With the extras, as always Mondo Macabro bloom; first up (and best of all) is a lengthy documentary on the creation and making of the movie with not only contributions from the cast and crew but some input from the great Charles Bukowski also. This is not just your usual on set making of filler but a fascinating insight into the background of this delightful movie. As back up to the documentary is a separate onscreen interview with director Dominique Deruddere that whilst goes over some similar ground still makes for interesting viewing for fans of the film. Rounding of the extra features is one of the ever-popular text pieces on the genre scene by Mondo main man Pete Tombs.

Whilst some may wonder just how 'Crazy Love' falls into the Mondo Macabro category, you'll not fully appreciate just why it does until you take the opportunity to kick back and enjoy what is without doubt one of the finest rounded movie moments you're likely to ever see. More than just a 'genre' movie, so much more; check it out!

Review by Alan Simpson

For ordering info visit the Mondo Macabro website by clicking here.

Released by Mondo Macabro
Not Rated - Region All (NTSC)
Extras :
see main review