I Love Livin’ In The City

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Here’s one of the best of the infamous “video nasties” banned in England during the vhs era. It originally played on a double bill with Drive-In Massacre. Writer/Director Abel Ferrara (Ms. 45, Bad Lieutenant) is Reno, a floundering surrealist painter slowly losing his mind, marble by marble. It’s hard to say what’s the most maddening to him: his artistic block…his struggle to get noticed and appreciated in the art world…trying to pay the rent with no help from his two spaced out groupie roomies who do nothing but watch t.v., make long distance phone calls, hang out with the obnoxiously loud punk band (Tony Coca Cola And The Roosters) constantly practicing in the apartment above him…and occasionally make it with each other in the shower. It’s all of the above really. So what does he do to unwind? Kill homeless guys with a big power drill. There’s plenty of splatter for you gorehounds out there (if you manage to score the uncut version. There are myriad versions that have been floating around since the vhs days, since the movie is public domain) but at heart it’s a New York underground film, with characters that wouldn’t look out of place in a Paul Morrissey picture…which further illustrates my belief that the only thing separating the arthouse from the grindhouse is a wafer-thin wall of “respectability”…

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