“It’s a blessing to love my country, even when it gives me ulcers.”
Samuel Fuller may not be subtle, but he sure is daring. He throws in so many bizarre details and formalistic gambits that, for what’s clearly a small low budget film, this feels BIG. Sudden inserts of colour shots – MENTIONED BY THE CHARACTERS AS BEING IN COLOUR – strange musical motifs, hallucinatory sequences . . . David Lynch must have watched these films, and they must have imprinted on his brain.
This may tell the story of a journalist who goes undercover in a mental hospital to solve a murder case, but it’s really about the way madness spreads, about what happens when you go so deep into a lie that the lie becomes the truth. Combine all this with the racial politics, and I swear this movie could be about Donald Fucking Trump, who John Oliver recently described as “either a racist or pretending to be, and, at some point, there is no difference there.” The world is clusterfuck of lies and violence, and every day it feels like the disease has spread a little bit more.
‘Shock Corridor’ is weird and blunt and wild, but it also feels prescient and truthful in a way few films are. I just bought Samuel Fuller’s 600 page autobiography, and I can’t wait to hear what else he has to say.
“I’ll tell you what, Doc; you level me off, and I’ll share all my dreams with you.”