Readers' Letters By Readers. Mike,The unthinkable has happened. Last night, I paid money to sit in a theater with about 20 other people and watch a 35mm print of Black Shampoo...
The unthinkable has happened. Last night, I paid money to sit in a theater with about 20 other people and watch a 35mm print of Black Shampoo.
That’s right. An ecstatic moment, right? The culmination of ten years’ obsession. The circle complete, etc. Indeed, it was all that, at least until I realized that it was the world’s shittiest cut. I don’t mean like when Jonathan jumps on "Fuck that". I mean like in my favorite opening scene (See CdC #8), we see Mrs. Carruthers’ hand start getting antsy, and then it jumps horribly to the shot of Jonathan’s face and "He’s a real man!"
No hand on the zipper! No "Oh my God! Mr. Jonathan!" No slow tilt up his gut! I’m sure I don’t have to tell you the frustration that I felt, witnessing the obvious enjoyment around me but knowing, in my heart, the amazing things they were missing!
Check out what else was missing: Mr. Jonathan on top of Mrs. Carruthers on the couch! The entire house call scene (we see Jonathan with the blow dryer, the daughters say, "There he is!" and that’s it!). The whole "Liquid Love" shower sequence! The whole pool table sex scene (though, arguably, a good move on the editors’ part) and, sin of sins, no Western Style Barb-B-Qwe get the very tail end of it, where Ben says, "Artie refuses to introduce us" and that’s all!
Basically, I got to see Black Shampoo without the sex, which is kind of like seeing Slapshot without the hockey. People actually commented on how short the movie was. Duh. I wanted to stand up and yell, "You have no idea what this movie could be!" But I figured I should just shut up and be grateful. At first, I thought it was some kind of PG-13 edit but they kept the part where Brenda undresses. They showed her ass all the way through the chase scene and, for Christ’s sake, they kept the curling iron scene! Pass the word on, man; if somebody tries to sell you Black Shampoo on 35mm, screen it first! In the words of Mr. Jonathan: "Is this shit for real?"
To its (small) credit, there were a few good things. Gerald Lee sounds great in a theater. And Mr. Jonathan is bigger and better. I was actually a little scared when he walked right into the camera. The combination to Mr. Wilson’s papers is all zeros. Brenda’s ribs are even grosser on the big screen. And my roommate Gary, who is from L.A., can pinpointbased on landmarks in the backgroundwhere they’re standing in Griffith Park when they "feel the love," and the exact location of The Salon. Sounds like a road trip!
So that’s the tale of last night’s mixed blessing. I’m sure you can understand the complex mess of emotions coursing through me in the wake of it. Oh shitI just realized that you never see Brenda naked in the pool or carried like a six-pack either. Damn!!! I don’t wanna talk about this anymore.
San Francisco, CA
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