Monday, January 30, 2017

B.J. Lang Presents (1971) aka The Manipulator

The truly bizarre film B.J. Lang Presents (aka The Manipulator) was directed by Yabo Yablonsky and first came to my attention via a review in the outstanding publication Shock Cinema.

The film plays out with only three characters and for the most part tight and limited staging. As a counterpoint tons of camera effects, hyper editing, even strobe lights are used to add a crazed rush to the entire movie.

Mickey Rooney stars as a completely non compos mentis thespian who is operating under the false assumption that adoring folks are pestering him to perform the leading role in a staging of Cyrano de Bergerac. As he stumbles and growls through a set comprised of a warehouse of aging props and assorted debris we soon discover he is holding a woman he refers to as Carlotta (played by Easy Rider's Luana Anders) captive. Rooney chews the scenery with hardcore zeal as he forces her to act in his mini-productions while growing increasingly troubled. The only other character is a homeless man who wanders into the building looking for shelter and is played by Keenan Wynn.

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