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Dr. Caligari

Dr. Caligari

Released May 01st, 1991
Running Time 79
Director Stephen Sayadian
Company Shapiro Glickenhouse Video
Cast Laura Albert, David Parry, John Durbin, Jennifer Balgobin
Critical Rating Not Yet Rated
Genre Film



This is the third filmed version of the Caligari story, and by far the weirdest … so let me say right away, I LOVED IT!!! The doc is a woman this time who apparently works for – what else? – the CIA, and the asylum looks like it was designed by one of the inmates. Instead of a male somnambulist, this time there’s a female “nympholeptic”. Near as I can tell, the plot has agents Adrian and Ramona trying to save Les and Eleanor Van Houten from Caligari’s clutches … perhaps while she’s distracted, giving electroconvulsive therapy to the cannibalistic Mr. Pratt. Or maybe not. Who the hell knows? Not only is this flick chock full of quotable lines – “Doctor, one look at those earlobes and I knew I had to nibble”; Caligari: “Describe your life in three words or less” Patient: “Un Ending Torment” – but you can make a regular party game out of trying to figure out which ad campaigns some of the phrases come from. A few tips about watching this one: Don’t even try to figure out what’s “real” and what’s illusory or someone’s demented fantasy; just let the ambiance wash over you: The running sores, the rampant sex, the surrealistic landscapes. “Better Living Through Chemistry”, indeed! Jeez, maybe this director should try something X-rated.

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