HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
1917
Tree House, The
Sputnik
Seducao da Carne
Yes, God, Yes
Five Graves to Cairo
You've Been Trumped Too
Woman in Black, The
Elvis: That's the Way It Is
Man Who Laughs, The
Watch List
Giraffe
Kat and the Band
Echo
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
   
 
Newest Articles
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
   
 
  Iguana Mad At The World
Year: 1988
Director: Monte Hellman
Stars: Everett McGill, Fabio Testi, Michael Madsen, Maru Valdivielso, Joseph Culp, Fernando De Juan, Pierangelo Pozzato, Guillermo Antón, Agustín Guevera, Jack Taylor, Roger Kendall, Fernando Cebrián, Charly Husey, Timothy C. Ryan, Carmelo Reyes, José Álvarez
Genre: Drama, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: It is the 19th Century and aboard this sailing ship the resident harpoonist, known as Iguana (Everett McGill) for his disfigured, scaly face, has gotten himself into trouble thanks to his surly attitude. Throwing a spear at one of his superiors after their idle taunts get too much, he is beaten on deck by way of punishment which only strengthens his resolve to get away, so when everyone else is asleep he takes some belongings and jumps overboard, swimming off to the nearest deserted island. It's an inhospitable place, but that suits him fine and he tries worshipping a pagan god for comfort, but a fat lot of good that does him as his old shipmates land on the island and recapture him. Yet if Iguana could get away, he could tell the world what he really thought of it...

Director Monte Hellman spent most of the eighties crafting second unit photography, something of a comedown after his cult acclaim during the previous decade as now that kudos didn't amount to very much when you were reduced to helming a Silent Night, Deadly Night straight to video sequel. However, he did have the chance to apply himself to projects where ostensibly he was calling the shots, and he came aboard Iguana as a director for hire, in spite of not being entirely convinced this was right for him. It turned out to be what he described as one of the worst experiences of his career, mostly thanks to a producer who refused to step up and actually get them the material and funds they needed.

Therefore it was just as well the film was shot mostly on location in Lanzarote, since sets were not an optimum necessity, but they still had a story to tell and after some rewriting from Hellman he got it into a kind of shape he was more or less happy with. You could tell he didn't get everything he had wanted, however, with a choppy editing technique suggesting the coverage he needed was simply not available, and what with it being a film that built to a climax mixing sympathetic humanity with an act that few would find it possible to forgive, this was going to be a tough sell, even to the arthouse crowd who Hellman's most personal works would be most recommended. Nevertheless, there were those who judged it one of his best films.

It wasn't, but it was interesting in telling a purportedly based on fact tale that refused to sweeten the pill of what happens when an outcast stops trying to fit in with the society which shuns him and decides to pit himself against it instead. Granted there were only so many representatives of Planet Earth Hellman could place in this, so in the main Iguana, or Oberlus as he is really called, terrorises a select group of hapless souls who have arrived on the island he is determined to call home. After escaping a second time, he rounds up three men, including Michael Madsen's Sebastián who loses two fingers thanks to his new boss's strict regime, and sets them to work as his slaves, using force to get them to comply though Sebastián oddly begins to see his point of view and starts to agree willingly.

Most controversially, or would have been if anybody very much had seen it, is when a woman shows up, taking a break with her fiancée on the island before heading off to their wedding. She is a Spaniard with some noble blood, Carmen (Maru Valdivielso), and at first she is horrified at being captured and used for sex by Oberlus, but then in the sort of scene you'd hoped had been left behind in the seventies we get a bit with her being raped then finding herself enjoying the experience against her better judgement, not the sort of sequence that is going to make you many friends. As if that were not bad enough, the natural results of all this intercourse will have the audience balking at the lead character's reactions; he thinks he is humane for possibly the first time in his life, but we cannot agree when his notions of decency and mercy have been so twisted by the punishment meted out to him for being different. Fabio Testi was the Captain who represented the unyeilding prejudice Oberlus has suffered, yet you cannot excuse him his actions in a harsh, spiky work. Music by Franco Campanino.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1686 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Monte Hellman  (1932 - )

"Existential" is a word often used to describe the films of this American director, who after working for Roger Corman on Beast from Haunted Cave, Back Door to Hell and The Terror directed two cult westerns, The Shooting and Ride in the Whirlwind. In the 1970s he continued his cult acclaim with Two Lane Blacktop, Cockfighter and China 9 Liberty 37, but come the 80s the directing work dried up, with only Iguana and Silent Night, Deadly Night 3 to his name. He also worked behind the scenes on The Wild Angels, Robocop and Reservoir Dogs, among others.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: