Thanks to the wonderful and very offbeat Mondo Macabro I’ve seen more Greek films this year than all the years in my life combined. That is to say until this year I had never seen a Greek film, at least not that I can recall. At any rate I’ve seen a number of this year on DVD from Mondo Macabro and each one has been fascinating. My latest trip to Greece came in the from of George Lazopoulos’ Medousa.
The movie opens up with a little boy lying in bed watching his mom through the mirror as she gets ready for what appears would be a date. They have some pretty standard mother-child conversation but at one point she mentions to him out it isn’t nice to stare. The boy thinks it’s ok though because he’s looking through the mirror and not directly at her. We soon find out that the mother is worried that her son is fascinated with violence because he is obsessed with knives. The boy really isn’t obsessed with knives but rather impalement arts, which is the performing art where a dude with a blindfold throws knives at a girl strapped to a target.
Flash forward a number of years and this little boy is all grown up, looking a lot like young Ewan McGregor, and a performing artist who happens to be a wizard with knives. But that’s not all! He’s also part of a 4-person crime ring with a very interesting operation. One guy in the circle is some sort of realtor, at least that was my takeaway. A mysterious woman comes to visit him about selling her house. She advises that she’ll be out of town for a certain period of time but wants to sell when she returns. That’s when the realtor takes this information back to the group of 4, which includes the knife kid, and they set up a plan to rob the woman’s house while she’s away. And from the look of things this is a pretty normal, like this is the scheme they run all the time. Seems a little elaborate if you ask me, but hey if it works, it works.
Now that is just one part of the story. The next part involves a group of cops that are tracking down some sort of big time criminal. We don’t get all the details but we can tell they’ve been tracking this guy for a while. They set up a stake out outside his hotel room and wait. Once they send a maid in they realize the criminal is gone and the only thing in the room is a statue that looks like the man they’re looking for. This is very confusing because they never saw him leave the hotel room. They did, however, see a woman leave the room and it’s the same that wants to sell her house.
The cops begin to investigate this strange statue and the further they dive the weirder things get. They realize similar statues have popped up all over town. Each time the statue looks like a missing person and is wearing the clothes of said missing person. Once they investigate the material the statues are made out of, they realize the minerals aren’t what you typically find in rocks and are more closely related to humans. As they further investigate the statues the trail leads them to the house that the woman is trying to sell that our cronies from earlier are attempting to rob!
Take a moment and take it all in.
Go ahead, take another minute.
Is this movie not the craziest thing you’ve ever heard of? As I was watching it I remember thinking it was a little different, but the more I’ve thought about it since the more I realize that it’s truly bizarre. If you’re familiar with Medusa you can kind of figure out what is going and where the statues are coming from. If you’re not familiar with Medusa get to Googling!
I fully recommended checking out Medousa. It’s super weird, but very fascinating. The story has a lot going on but still manages to be pretty easy to figure out. What really makes this interesting though is the different roads taken to get to the finish line. They could have made a straight forward, modern take on Medusa but instead worked in all these different elements. What’s impressive is that they left no loose ends. Everything ties back into the finale, even the stuff with the little boy having a conversation with his mom.
The film is available on DVD now from Mondo Macabro. I believe there were no HD elements available which is why the release is DVD instead of Blu-ray, but it’s a good looking DVD. It’s not a pristine picture of anything, but it’s very solid and considering this is a pretty obscure film as far as I can tell and likely one of the only DVD options available anywhere in the world you really can’t complain.
There’s a decent chunk of special features and they are as follows:
• Interview with writer/director George Lazopoulos
• Interview with lead actor Thanos Amorginos
• Extensive background notes
• Newly created optional subtitles
• Mondo Macabro previews
These seems to be pretty standard for what is included on a Mondo Macabro release. Both interviews are good, but I especially enjoyed the one with Thanos Amorginos who plays are knife wielding hero. Amorginos isn’t really an actor, he only did this one film, but more of a musician having played in punks bands and the like since the late 80’s, so he provides a slightly different perspective than what you might get from a more traditional actor.
The DVD also includes a trailer of just all kinds of stuff Mondo Macabro has released over the years. If you’re familiar with their previous releases you’ve likely seen this trailer and if you haven’t you should. It’s a good look at the bizarre side of cinema the company focuses on. This DVD also comes in the standard Mondo Macabro red DVD case. If you’re a collector that cares about how things look on your shelf this could be a factor for you. I love the way their red DVD cases look, they just add a nice pop to my collection.
So that’s Medousa. It’s a weird one, so much so that I don’t think I accurately described how strange it really is. Give it a watch, but do not look directly at your TV.
Medousa is now available on DVD from Mondo Macabro.