Crispin Hellion Glover brought his self-described vaudeville performance and film screening to roughly 120 people at Market Street Cinema on Saturday night. He didn't disappoint.
Glover's slide show with dramatic narration was entertaining and deeply weird in equal measure. The slides consisted of pages from his eight books of typed and handwritten text and re-purposed images. Each one tells a story, a sort of Grimms’ Fairy Tales in the clutches of a really bad trip. Were it not for Glover’s enthusiasm and feverish performance and humor, it might not have gone over so well. The material is not by any means bad or unable to stand on its own. It’s just dark, creepy stuff that benefits from the actor's physicality.
It was too bad that the venue’s spotlight wasn’t working. And that a gaping hole in the ceiling dripped (presumably) water onto him during the Q&A after the film, but Glover was a game participant.
The film — “It Is Fine! Everything Is Fine.” — was certainly out there, but make no mistake: It's not weird for weirdness’ sake. It's a seriously good film that I really would like to watch it again. The vibe was one of a no-budget, ’70s Movie of the Week murder thriller that also captures the flickering menace and perfectly stilted delivery of mid-period David Lynch and the exploitation porn ambiance of Richard Kern at his early, fluorescent-lit grainiest.
I understand Glover’s reasons for not releasing the film theatrically or on DVD or the Web, but it’s still too bad that the opportunities to see it are so rare.