Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Guernica Tree (1975)

The Guernica Tree. Directed By Fernando Arrabal, Starring Mariangela Melato (1975).

Fernando Arrabal is one of the most insane surrealistic filmmakers out there, he almost upstages Jodorowsky! He really pushes the sacrilegious aspect over the cliff and is one of my new favorite directors. I recommend watching his earlier film "I Will Walk Like A Crazy Horse" first though. 
Maybe I missed an issue of Deep Red that celebrated his career (I'm not sure why he wasn't included), but at any rate he belongs among other controversial figures like Dali, Nagisa Oshima, Pasolini and Dusan Makavejev. Arrabal, along with Roland "Marquis" Topor and Jodorowsky were in a hostile performance art group called The Panic Movement together.
In the Guernica Tree we're in the midst of anarchy and rebirth as people of villa Ramiro (a fictional Basque village) have lost their shit in the streets. My only reference before watching this mind blowing, sacrilegious histori-spoitation movie was the Picasso painting "Guernica". The Picasso picture like this piece of artwork was a reaction to Franco Nationalists and Nazis bombing women and children, striking at the core of human civility. If you're Catholic, avoid this film like the plague, it's very confrontational and sickening. It doesn't really count as a Nazisploitation even though there are Third Reich style shenanigans.

some newspaper elmers glue ghost picture you've seen in Italian exploiation films
Arrabal at times is like a pornographic Luis Bunel, showing dwarfs having sex or cuming on religious statues all in the name of equality? Ok, sure I'll buy that for a dollar. When you break it all down, it just doesn't gel as much as you organically experience the rampant debauchery and weirdness that unfolds like a rancid intestinal track! That's surrealism for you, it can't really be captured on paper. I swear, one of the naked dwarfs looks suspiciously like Louis Ecclesia, or Shorty from 2019: After The Fall Of New York. The half sized bearded actor Hachemi Marzouk who plays Marvel in Crazy Horse also makes an appearance (and isn't even credited on stupid IMDB).

these new Japanese toilets are sweet!

The metaphors about the Spanish Civil War are all so repulsively in your face, if you hadn't guessed this movie is very confrontational, but also hilarious. Cult Epics put out this disc, they are braver than Criterion who plan to release Guillermo Del Toro's own Spanish Civil War masterpiece.

One disgusting scene shows Goya, a perverted criminal played by Ron Faber shooting his sperm into a glass of Count Cerralbo a fascist aristocrat's wine to express his animosity. Perhaps he's just expressing his affection and just doesn't know it yet. They show a painting Goya (Faber) created of Jesus getting blown on the cross crucified next to Frankenstein! Serious go watch this movie, I didn't believe it myself (maybe I was too wasted)! The actor who plays this anarchist maniac or hero of this film is impossible to identify with. Faber appeared in a brief scene for The Exorcist a few years before and provided one of the demon voices.

This reminds me of a Dead Kennedys album, hmm. . . Plastic Surgery Disasters, right that's it!

The Catholic Franco fascists fight against the pitchfork carrying peasants/populists who're Republican (hard to fathom aye,well unless you count the ultra-retarded Tea baggers). The ugliness against Judeo Christian idolatry is even more repugnant than Ken Russell's film The Devils. I mean people literally piss on Christ statues and dwarfs smear semen on the lips of The Virgin Mary statue, while real children clap, it's total madness. I was kind of shocked at its offensiveness and wonder why the Ken Russell film in still not properly released! 

One burnt weenie sandwich flamed broiled coming up!

The fascist Franco regime wants to keep Spain pure and they show real corpses and people bound to firing squad posts while Nazi soldiers melt captives dicks off using a torch. This movie is beyond unsettling and obviously very political. GUTS readers will appreciate its demented style even if you're confused by the historical elements.  

Yellow Dolphin Man, how long has it been, we need to hang out more 

It's important to see however because it could easily happen again, think about it, a crumbling Republic combined with a narcissistic demagogue rising to power, historical moves like a snake eating its own tale even faster than before with every receiving up to the second info.

is it scrumdiddly-umptious?

Led by Vandale (played by the attractive Lina Wertmuller regular Mariangela Melato), the poor citizens organize and fight back. Goya the Perv (Faber) who's in lust with Vandale, assists in making the people think they're safe, but who in their right mind would trust that creep? She ends up in a bamboo cage and the overly decorated General's slaughter the people and take back control. The poor once again take the brunt, while fascists dominate and get really creative with the frequent death toll, carrying it to an inquisitional level of theatrical cruelty (one midget is strapped to a fake bull as a matador rams colorful spears into his flesh). I discovered this filmmaker through Fandor, I've mentioned them a lot over the years and they consistently deliver the most vital movies out there, for a week I saw everything by Arrabal thanks to them. Check this one out, if you want to see your friend's jaws fall to the floor and whatever you do don't warn them--make it a total ambush experience. Just tell them Oh yeah there's this director who had Spike Lee in one of his movies.


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