The Day of the Locust is Unmitigated Insanity of the Highest Sort
May 4, 2009

It’s no secret that I’ve a penchant for movies that movies that are curious and over the top.  I’m an ardent obsessive of camp, and I revel in movies that flaunt their mad visions and embrace their craziest whims.  I love the movies that have never said “no” to a bad idea or considered that they might be crossing a line.  Hell, I’ve practically made it my quest to mine the coal of film’s expansive history in order to find the most glittering diamonds of batshit insanity.  Well, ladies and gentleman, I’ve already found what may the Hope Diamond of this journey.  I give you The Day of the Locust, a movie somehow far stranger than this surreal, French poster for the film:

rr_0008day-of-the-locust-posters

 

Oh, and it’s infinitely more garish than the America poster would imply:

day_of_the_locust

Still unconvinced?  Let me just give you a taste of the craze.  Let’s go watch aspiring starlet Faye Greener (Karen Black) get in a fight with her sickly father (Burgess Meredith):

I don’t know whether to laugh at the garish campiness of the performances or have nightmares for the rest of my life, but it’s captivatingly bizarre no matter your reaction, and believe me when I say that this scene is merely the tip of iceberge that is John Schlessinger’s epic, gonzo vision of Hollywood as the festering epicenter of failed dreams and a society in rapid decline.  There’s also (for example, yet impressively enough not limited to) the sublimely grotesque yet perversely compelling pleasures of Burgess Meredith’s heart attack at Donald Sutherland’s house, the church scene, Karen Black doing tequila shots (itself one of the profoundly ridiculous moments in cinema), and the cock fighting scene.  Seriously, I don’t know why you’d even bother finishing this reviews before putting it at the top of your Netflix queue.  Trust me.

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