WINDOWS (1980) */****
One of the all-time worst films I've ever seen. It's been 25 years since I saw this in a tiny theatre and simultaneously watched it vanish from history without a trace. This recent second viewing via a VHS dupe from some unknown source did not improve things much, but I've got a story to tell about this movie and how it's eluded me for such a very long time. This has become almost a "lost" film, and I'll have a theory later as to why nobody's seeing it anymore, aside from the basic fact that it simply stinks.
In 1980 I was 17 and went to see WINDOWS at the movies with my kid sister. It was only one of the two times in my life I ever recall going to a theatre with her, and we were both in shock at just how abysmal the feature before our eyes was. It was boring, badly acted, and by the final act, completely laughable. The whole theatre was in hysterics. It's not the kind of experience you forget when you're a movie fan, even 25 years after the fact.
The movie starts in its New York City setting with lousy actress Talia Shire (who apparently thinks she's still playing the timid Adrian from the first ROCKY film) being assaulted and raped in her own apartment, getting forced at knifepoint to moan and groan into the attacker's tape recorder. We later discover (and since it's not presented as any kind of mystery I'm not ruining anything that hasn't already been ruined) that Shire's got a psychotic and horny lesbian neighbor (Elizabeth Ashley) across the hall who's so in love with her that Ashley actually hired this rapist/goon to pull off the crime - so she can play the tape over and over and get off on it to her heart's content.
When Talia decides to move to a nicer apartment to start anew, Elizabeth and her loose screws aren't very far behind. She'll do anything to make Talia love her, as her ineffective psychiatrist seems to be aware. Enter vapid policeman Joseph Cortese (who's about as interesting as a door stop) to romance Shire (what the hell do Ashley and Cortese see in her insipid character anyway?) and "help" her ... in an unbelievable sequence, Shire is in a cab with a driver whom she recognizes as the rapist; she asks to be let off at a phone booth, calls the police, but is instructed to get back in the car with her attacker till the cops can get to them!
Besides being ineptly acted, WINDOWS is also dull and boring, but there's something curiously watchable about it for fans of bad movies only, for all its incompetence. It was the first and only film (no wonder) to be directed by cinematographer Gordon Willis; it was his photography that graced THE GODFATHER and some of Woody Allen's picturesque movies, so his shots of New York may be the one thing to watch for here, aside from getting a load of Elizabeth Ashley's embarrassing climax with Talia Shire. This film is also notorious as being the very FIRST film to be released in the entire decade of the 1980's, and of course as of this writing it's a movie that is virtually impossible to locate, as it was never released on home video except in France (I believe). It was through the wonders of the Internet that I was able to hunt this thing down and see how bad it still is.
So why has this film been so hard to track down? Well, for starters, it's got to be a humiliation to everyone involved. I'm fairly positive it's owned by Warner Brothers, and my personal opinion is that, in this Politically Correct world of today, we just cannot have a film available that depicts a homicidal maniac when she also happens to be a lesbian. But that in itself has made the movie all the more desirable for a viewing, and it's at the very least a reminder of the type of movies filmmakers used to be allowed to make. Proceed at your own risk -- if you can ever find a copy, that is.
Drama / Thriller
Drama / Thriller
Shire is the subject of a perverse obsession by a Lesbian neighbor, Andrea, who not only is in lust with her but hires a rapist in order to get audio tapes of her moaning. Ashley turns peeping tom and watches Shire with a telescope as she begins an affair with Det. Cortese.
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August 18, 2017 at 11:45 AM