TILL DEATH US DO PART
SO, I MARRIED AN AXE MURDERER (VIDEO/LASER, 93 MINUTES, 1994) THE title sets the tone for Thomas Schlamme's comic thriller, which is less a gentle swipe at serial killers than a great jab in the ribs. But it is funny in a frenetic sort of way.
Mike Myers (Wayne's World) suffers an almost pathological aversion to long-term relationships and finds absurd reasons to reject his lovers: Sherib was a kleptomaniac, Pam smelled of beef and vegetable soup. But when he meets Harriet, a beautiful butcher's assistant played by Nancy Travis, he decides nothing will put him off, not even the possibility that she is the honeymoon serial killer who cleaves her husbands into pieces.
Is she or isn't she? Travis is deliciously ambiguous. He marries her and the pair depart on the honeymoon from Hell. The movie careers to a comic-horror climax with amusing allusions to Hitchcock et alia. On the way there is much crass humour, as in the cameo of Myers' screaming Scottish dad (played by Myers in an allusion to Back To The Future).
Anthony LaPaglia puts in a delightful performance as a policeman bemoaning the fact that his job is nothing like the TV cop shows. Alan Arkin is brilliant as the police chief trying to oblige the fantasy. Charles Grodin also joins in the fun.
So, I Married An Axe Murderer is high-octane entertainment full of comically jarring oddities.
MY BOYFRIEND'S BACK (VIDEO/LASER, 85 MINUTES, 1994) BOB Balaban's romantic comedy may be a one-joke movie but it's quite a funny joke. Johnny Dingle (Andrew Lowery) so longs to take the girl of his dreams to the high school prom that he doesn't let a little thing like dying get in his way. Death doesn't part these lovers because he returns as a pale-faced member of the living dead to court her.
The humour comes from the dead-pan way everyone responds to his return, even when his body starts falling to bits. On the way some astute satire is aimed at society's prejudiced responses to those who are different. Grave humour indeed.
MR WONDERFUL (VIDEO/LASER, 99 MINS, 1993) Matt Dillon and Annabella Sciorra play a couple who have separated as their marriage has become restricting. She returns to college which fuels his resentment because he is an electrician and the alimony payments are biting. To avoid future payments, he tries to set her up with Mr Right. When they all turn out to be Mr Wrong, she discovers Dillon was Mr Wonderful all along.
This is a soft, romantic comedy in the vein of Sleepless In Seattle. It just avoids fluffy sentimentality because of the sincerity of the performances and the compassion writer/director Anthony Minghella maintains for his characters. Mr Wonderful is less anguished than his previous effort Truly, Madly, Deeply, but just as engaging.
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF CHRISTINA (VIDEO/LASER, 93 MINUTES, 1993) JOHN Stamos is rich and successful with a beautiful wife. He would like to stay married till death do them part but his problem is that he doesn't know whether death has already done its stuff. Christina disappears while out on a yacht but there are macabre hints that she is still alive. His troubles are doubled when he is accused of murdering his wife. It is soapily formulaic but slick and watchable.
VIDEOS AND LASERS COURTESY OF MOVIELAND