HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  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 2590 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: