Cast Iron Chaos RecentChanges

LoginLogoutRegisterContact the WebmasterPayPal Me

The Frau Plastic Chicken Show

The Frau Plastic Chicken Show (a/k/a Nexxt) was OK, but flawed. The basic plot is that it's an episode of a TV News Magazine Show called Nexxt looking at the Serial Killer phenomenon, featuring the person A Clockwork Orange was based on, and culminating in the capture of a Real Life Serial Killer. Since this film's so obscure, here's a more in-depth synopsis that's, regrettably, SPOILER-LADEN:

Alex isn't really let in on the type of show, and so he's confused as they recreate the events in the book in a cheezy sort of News Magazine Show manner, from his crimes to the Ludovico Technique.

As for the murderer-catching plot, they're reporting live from the restaurant where he's about to be caught. Their proof: He videotaped his recent murder of a couple prostitutes – which is what's used for the Ludovico Technique in the film. As promised by Frau Plastic Chicken, the host of Nexxt, and Sony Double, Jr., the on-site correspondent, soon the murderer (Rex Madison) is caught by the authorities, and brought to the studio for an exclusive interview as well as a game where Alex and Rex have to repent for their sins, and the person who repents more sins in 60 seconds wins Clemency. Rex wins, and in the excitement, he obtains guns; mayhem ensues and he and Alex escape.

Then we get a teaser for next week's episode, where Frau Plastic Chicken is in Space Gear, as they're going to do the episode from the new lunar colony! Then credits.

It's not really clear whether or not we're supposed to think the whole thing with Rex is staged, if FPC is somehow alive again (after all, they DO mention when Sony's killed, that he'll be OK, despite the fact that he was shot not-quite-point-blank in the forehead) or if it's a pre-recorded thing that was just timed to roll at the end of the episode. Of course, this folds into the fiction of the Film As Episode, because while the bit with Alex and Rex boarding the helicopter is shot as if it's still part of the show, it's also shot the most filmicly (The rest of the film is shot in the TV style).

Anyway – as I said, it was a Very OK film. It showed a few points, though.

1. Don't Make Your Title Cooler Than The Movie. Because, say what you will, The Frau Plastic Chicken Show a/k/a Nexxt is one of the coolest titles ever. So, you're gonna have to work extra-hard to make something that fits it.

2. Hey, Other People Like Chris Morris Too! I know that the whole Fake-News-Magazine thing isn't new, but there seemed to be a lot borrowed from Chris Morris' style, including a few Visual Tricks. Even in the best bits of this movie, I thought "Wouldn't it be cool if there was an episode of Brass Eye shot as a film?". During the worst bits, it was replaced with "Ew, oh, ew!" which can be translated as "Chris Morris would have made this so much better." Which sort of leads into Lesson 3:

3. When Doing A Film On Violence It's Better If You Don't Show All The Violence.' This is actually the Number One Major Failing Of This Film. Even A Clockwork Orange isn't THAT violent – or rather, it's very violent, it's just that not a whole lot of it makes it on screen. I'm pretty squeamish, and the only bit in A Clockwork Orange that gave me any problems was the contraption holding Alex's eyes open – the worst violence takes place inside your head. The problem, though, is that the filmmakers now KNOW that what you're thinking is worse than what they'd put on film – so they try to out-do it. So, not only is what you're thinking's happening STILL worse than what they're actually showing, what they're actually showing's pretty grotesque as well. Also, pointless. Especially in this film. Examples:

a) The show logo and segment titles were metal outlines of the logo collapsing over and squeezing and cutting flesh until it bled.

b) As mentioned, the serial killer videotaped his murders. While not quite as graphic as they could be (just barely…) they were pretty dang graphic, and were pretty much watched through eyes-not-quite-shut-so-everything-is-blurry-vision, with me cursing and going "ew" whenever my eyes would open.

It doesn't sound like much, but this stuff kept popping up (especially A), so it's actually more than it seems.

4. The Bad Punk Band Music Video Rule. I've seen a bunch of indie-type neo-Punk Videos, and there are a lot of good ones, but the Bad Videos all seem to have one thing in common: They feature the band playing surrounded by t-shirts and posters of better bands. The effect is, presumably, to make you think you're listening to those bands. Or, perhaps make you go, "Hey, remember that time when I listened to Weezer and I felt all good cause I was listening to an awesome band! I should buy these guys' record cause it reminds me of that!" Sadly, it never works. Having Alex in this movie is sort of the same effect. To the director and writer's credit, they pull it off about the best it CAN be pulled off, but they still should have used their own character. While Alex does bring along a lot of weight, it wouldn't be too terribly difficult to write a character that the audience would connect with being an Alex-like – just swap out the Ludovico Technique for some horrible rehabilitation. Still, when I wasn't reminiscing about Brass Eye, I kept thinking about how much I enjoyed the book and film of A Clockwork Orange, but also how I enjoyed those much more than this film here. Had they not said "HEY! BURGESS NOVEL!!! KUBRICK FILM!!!!" I probably wouldn't have really thought of A Clockwork Orange. At least, not strongly.

All in all, it's probably worth seeing, but if you can't, it's not really worth getting worked up over.