Tuesday, January 27, 2004

"Poster Girl for Psychopaths"


Reviews of "Return to Oz" and "The Craft"

Copyright 2002 Glenn Walker

Tired of renting Moulin Rouge for the umpteenth time when you can’t find anything good to watch at the video store and you’re bright enough to know better than to ask a clerk what’s good? Here’s a good themed double feature for a night of popcorn, cuddling and good movie entertainment; two wonderful performances of the princess of psychotherapy, Fairuza Balk.


First thing you've got to do is forget everything you know about the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. This isn't a musical and Fairuza Balk is no Judy Garland (hell, most of the time Judy Garland was no Judy Garland - without a handful of pills and a swig of vodka, that is). Now there are elements of that film in Return to Oz like a head trauma leading Dorothy to a dream of Oz but that's about it. It is more based on the works and images of L. Frank Baum than the 1939 musical. It begins with Dorothy going off to the nuthouse because of her obsession with Oz and during a rainstorm she escapes into Oz. Most of the Kansas scenes and the Nome King, the Wheelers and Mombi might be too frightening for the little ones (might send 'em off to the nuthouse with Fairuza) but still a must see.


She goes from running away from witches to becoming one. Not an unexpected step however considering Fairuza is a Wiccan and owns a witchcraft shop in LA. The Craft solidifies her career as an adult actress and unfortunately is probably her best work to date. She plays a disturbed young girl, who along with three equally outcast friends, uses witchcraft to get what they want out of high school. Eventually getting boyfriends and hurting taunting classmates escalates to murder and more. Fairuza is especially frightening here - she's the ultimate psycho girlfriend. Watch it with the lights on.

Check them out, it’s a good night’s entertainment… much better than that damned musical… again.

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