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Crimewave is Sam Raimi's sophomore movie after his astonishing punky, DIY horror debut The Evil Dead, which if you know anything is of course a big deal. His first studio movie too, in which he teamed up with The Coen Brothers themselves to co-write and co-create, which is an even bigger deal. So you ask yourselves, why haven't I, the discerning film buff, heard of this holy union between talents, well thats because it was a painful disaster for all involved. For starters, the great Bruce Campbell, Rami's preferred lead, was vetoed by the studio and had to settle for a smaller part as well as his already in place producer role, obnoxious and boorish studio interference dogged the whole shoot and Rami was barred from the editing suite, were the movie was edited in a totally diffrent way to how he envisioned and then scored by a composer he didn't want. To this day Rami, Campbell and the Coen's totally disown and disregard the film, a year later the filmakers would go off on their own, no hard feelings remaining, newly emboldened by their bad experience and with more creative control and turn out respective masterpieces Evil Dead 2 and Raising Arizona. But actually finally seeing Crimewave, on the gorgeous new Shout Factory! blu release, i have to say that some flaws aside, it's a total fucking joy. It's like seeing Rami's Evil Dead slapstick accentuated and unfettered, pure Three Stooge's loving Rami off the leash, gifting us an unhinged live action loony toon's , filled to bursting with madcap invention and brilliant silliness. It can be shrill and a bit annoying here and there, but when it gets into full swing it's a nonstop roller-coaster of violent slapstick crossed with film noir , Bugs Bunny and a bit of Tom And Jerry. It sometimes feels like there's no limit to this films anarchic, crazy fun and wild, random set pieces.
A dumb, ridiculous, but funny film. Skip this if you're going through the Coen's history.
such a fun film,written by Coen brothers
An early film by Sam Raimi and the Coen brothers. This is basically a live action cartoon and it has its moments but isn't even close to the best work of those involved. This film is still worth checking out if you are a Coen brothers fan though.
For Film Theory students only. While this film offers a somewhat interesting glimpse into what would become the rising cinematic genius of the Coen Brothers and the entertaining comic-book style of Sam Raimi - it offers nothing more than that. This film has been newly reissued by Shout Factory. Good luck on trying to sit through this odd sort of homage to The Three Stooges and Looney Tunes cartoons. This early 80's attempt is so bad it almost hurts. It should be noted that Shout Factory has included several bonus features about the film's creation, production and ultimate failure that are quite interesting.
Playing out like a demented cross of His Girl Friday and Three Stooges/Laurel and Hardy/Looney Tunes, this Coen/Raimi comedy certainly has merits even if it's jokes may not always hit a home run. A game cast of great character actors project a zany energy into the material while Raimi's direction and vivid use of colour both homages and mocks a lot of classic thrillers and noir potboilers by way of Stooges.
Only recommendable to those who derive a certain pleasure in seeing a directors history and aren't squeamish when it comes to lackluster B-messes. This is not a good movie, this is not a cult movie, this is a novelty movie. It is a collectors item. It has a few great scenes, and a couple of (always satisfying) Campbell moments. The rest of it is mostly incoherent and weird.
I can't in all good conscience give Crimewave a full five stars. I have to be honest when it comes to these ratings, but to say that I didn't enjoy it would be a lie. On the one hand, it reminds me of 80's movies like High Spirits and Transylvania 6-5000, which weren't totally good, but charming and fun. On the other it reminds me of something like Eating Raoul. It's so bonkers and off the rails that you simply can't take it seriously. It's infamous for being a commercial and box office bomb for Sam Raimi and the Coen Brothers, but to dismiss it completely and all the fun that it has would be wrong. It's a fun movie, and it deserves to be remembered that way. I'd recommend it, especially to Sam Raimi fans but others as well.
(** 1/2): [img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon13.gif[/img]
A very strange mess of a movie.
Corny, bizarre, weird and wildly ambitious, unfocused movie. It is a exercise in style. The story is nearly incoherent but it is a live-action cartoon. Raimi shows some talent here in his Hollywood, low budget effort.