Anguish

Anguish

Director: J.J. Bigas Luna

Cast: J.J. Bigas Luna, Zelda Rubinstein, Michael Lerner, Talia Paul

     
 

Poltergeist-purger Zelda Rubinstein toplines this interesting, twisty psycho-thriller from Spain, which makes clever (though repetitive) use of its movie-within-a-movie premise. As the star of the horror film "The Mommy," Rubinstein plays a mother who hypnotizes her son (Michael Lerner) into seeking more victims to supply her growing collection of human…  See more details below

Overview

Poltergeist-purger Zelda Rubinstein toplines this interesting, twisty psycho-thriller from Spain, which makes clever (though repetitive) use of its movie-within-a-movie premise. As the star of the horror film "The Mommy," Rubinstein plays a mother who hypnotizes her son (Michael Lerner) into seeking more victims to supply her growing collection of human eyeballs. "The Mommy" seems also to exert a weird hypnotic effect on the audience watching it, particularly one impressionable fellow who mirrors Lerner's actions by stalking fellow movie patrons... just as the onscreen murderer is entering a movie theater to do the same thing. If this sounds confusing, that's probably because it is. The interesting premise wears thin about halfway through, with the relentless attempts at viewer disorientation becoming more tiresome than frightening.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Anguish is the kind of film that manages to be exciting and frustrating all at once: exciting because it is packed to the brim with style and interesting ideas but frustrating because it never takes these elements far enough. The script's film-within-a-film conceit is an intriguing one but it takes too long for the plot within the theater to get going once this framing device is revealed and its elements are too hastily-drawn to be truly effective (no explanation is ever given for the origin or motivations of the copycat psycho in the theater). Quality of the characterizations varies wildly: the main characters in the theater's film are much more colorful and interesting than either of the teenage heroines or the copycat killer in the "real" story: Michael Lerner and Zelda Rubinstein both make larger-than-life impressions as the wild son-mother murderous duo but the other characters blend into the background. As a result, the second half of the film is much less interesting than the first half. Director Bigas Luna keeps the film's events rolling at a steady pace and shows great visual flair throughout (especially in the clever finale, where the events in the theater mimic those on the movie screen) but no amount of style or wit can make up for the story's inability to emotionally involve the viewer - which is the key to creating a truly scary horror film. Because of this, Anguish comes off as a little more than a visually ambitious slasher movie. The end result is clever and stylish enough to amuse veteran horror buffs but is likely to leave casual viewers cold.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/20/2008
UPC:
0827058112499
Original Release:
1988
Rating:
R
Source:
Blue Underground
Region Code:
0
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:28:00
Sales rank:
44,559

Special Features

Spanish theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Zelda Rubinstein Mother
Michael Lerner John
Talia Paul Polly
Angel Jové Killer
Clara Pastor Linda
Isabel García Lorca Caroline
Marc Auba Jack
Rick Azulay Police Captain
Nat Baker Teaching Doctor
Joy Blackburn Concession Girl
Josephine Borchaca Concession Girl
Steven Brown Swat Team
Michael Chandler Projectionist
Jose M. Chucarro Boyfriend
Frank Craven Sleepy
Elisa Crehvet Ann
Javier Ducan Moe, Cast of New Movie
Mario Fernandez Black Boy
John A. Garcia Policeman
Merche Gascon Nurse At Clinic
Vince Gil Taxi Driver
Gustavo Guarino Hysterical Husband
victor Guillen Sleepy
Eva Heald Granny
Michael Heat Inspector
Craig Hill Doctor At Hospital
Kit Kincannon Salesman
Edward Ledden Doctor
Robert Long Actor
Marc Maloney Elderly Man
Patricia Manget Nurse At clinic
Maribel Martinez Hysterical Woman
Fabia Matas Swat Team
Emi Matias Hairy Woman
Antonella Murgia Ticket Girl
Fiacre O'Rafferty Projectionist
Jasmine Parker Elderly Woman
Mark Parker Swat Team
Diane Pinkley Popcorn Woman
Georgie Pinkley Laura
Benito Pocino Popcorn Husband
Janet Porter Laboratory Nurse
Francesco Rabella Don
Mingo Rafols Chicano
Maria Ricard Patty's Mother
Evelyn Rosenka Bathroom Woman
John Shelly Patty's Father
Anita Shemanski Nurse at Hospital
Rose Sherpac Granny's Friend
Jean Paul Soto Manny
Randall Stewart First Murder
Tatiana Thaliven Ticket Girl
Pedro Vidal Actor
May Vives Blonde Girl
Joe Wolberg Swat Commander

Technical Credits
J.J. Bigas Luna Director,Screenwriter
George Ayoub Executive Producer
Jose Maria Civit Cinematographer
Agfa-Gevaert Color Cinematographer
Andreu Coromina Production Designer
Pepón Coromina Executive Producer
Andres Coromina Executive Producer
Felipe de Paco Set Decoration/Design
Matilde Fabregat Makeup
Jose Manuel Pagan Score Composer
Tom Sabin Editor
Paco Teres Special Effects
Consol Tura Casting,Costumes/Costume Designer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Anguish
1. Program Start/ Main Titles [1:16]
2. Bad Tommy [5:09]
3. The Clinic [4:02]
4. The Spiral [3:48]
5. House Call [6:04]
6. Only a Movie [5:08]
7. Eyes of the City [1:05]
8. Mass Hypnosis [7:29]
9. Reel Horror [5:33]
10. The Ladies Room [10:18]
11. Murder [3:42]
12. Anguish [7:13]
13. No Exit [3:13]
14. Stalking [3:43]
15. Hostage [3:47]
16. Panic [3:19]
17. Police Close In [2:53]
18. Terror in the Dark [3:35]
19. All in the Imagination [2:50]
20. End Credits [3:31]

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