Friday, 16 September 2016

Crazy As Hell (2002)

I'm totally up for this.

La Salle is great in this. Honestly.

This film could have gone a second way. It's a shame it didn't.

Ty Adams, played by Michael Beach (The Abyss / True Romance), is a psychologist with a problematical background - his daughter perhaps - and is relocating to a new hospital where he is going to be making a documentary focusing on his life and work. Beach is an advocate of touchy-feely psychological help, the hospital specializes in drug-induced help, and the documentary team are there to record one way or the other. The doctor in charge (administrator or whatever), played by Ronnie cox (Robocop), is a firm believer in meds.

We have conflict.

The young doctor Beach is introduced to his ward, all admirably playing the unstable, and he goes about his business.

Then Satan checks himself in. Allegedly.

Eriq La Salle (ER) plays a man calling himself Satan, who wishes to seek enlightenment and refreshment of human accuse. A troubled man looking for solace.

Directed by La Salle himself, the film has a few issues. Not to say it is not interesting, or well-made, but conceptually it doesn't seem to know it's place. Part horror, part drama, it sways unevenly from humor ridden horror silliness (which is excellent) to bonkers madness driven drama (which is also excellent).

But it is unsure of which it wants to be.

The scenes with Satan and Adams are great. This should have been the film. Beach takes care with his roll as the assuming and clever doctor, La Salle equally fighting his corner as the alleged Satan. The two of them play off of each other wonderfully. The direction of these sections work.

Never thought you'd see Dr. Benton like this, did you?


The other, and most predominant parts of the film where Adams is fighting his own deamons is well done. Beach is a good actor.

But the two intersecting stories don't ever seem to really meet. It's a shame. With a running time rolling towards 2 hours there was plenty of time for it. The film wants to concentrate on too many things. Adams work, which involves character growth of at least four patients (not including "Satan") bulks the movie terribly. The Satan story (by far the most interesting) ends up in the back seat.

The acting is totally solid. La Salle, Adams, and John C. McGinley (Scrubs) are faultless. There is just too much going on.

And the twist ending is somewhat ridiculous.

If you want to watch a movie with great potential, but not much pay off, this is worth your time.

Oh, and Sinbad is in it too.

See. Sinbad.


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