Tuesday, December 14, 2010

FORBIDDEN SUN (1989)

I don’t want to come off like I’m bragging or anything, but for the lot I’ve been dealt I have accomplished some pretty incredible things with my life so far. But after sitting through the first fifteen minutes of “Forbidden Sun” I realized my bucket list has one glaring omission: I have never fucked a teenage gymnast.

This one unfolds like a condensed season of some soap opera, but surprisingly atmospheric location and unique score defibrillate the proceedings. After arriving at an all-girl’s school for gymnasts for her summer semester, American athlete Paula makes fast friends with the other rambunctious students. Ample time is spent introducing the cast of quirky but nubile girls. There’s also a Clue-style lineup of red herrings, any of whom could be the perpetrator who nabs and sexually assaults Paula during a group jog. Circumstantial evidence leads the girls to presume that the rape was committed by a local helping hand, Ulysses. After the cops on Crete pretty much proclaim that Paula was asking for it by being so fucking fine, the girls decide to take vengeance into their own hands in a completely inexplicable fashion.

One of the primary characters in the film is Jane, an emotionally unstable Texas transplant, who’s also carrying on a secret romance with the school’s gym instructor. Jane is also preoccupied with an ancient Cretan ritual known as the bull dance, where a gymnast vaults onto the back of a bull by his horns. The themes of this ridiculous feat are touched upon numerous times throughout the film. Jane herself decides she wants to incorporate a bull into one of her routines and has a brass bull head commissioned for the stunt. So, after Paula gets raped, the girls lure the suspected Ulysses back to their gym on the island, trick him into putting the bull head on, and then knock him around. Exactly how this suits the crime is beyond me, but Ulysses is eventually cleared anyway and the girls turn him loose. When Jane discovers her gym instructor beau is fucking the school’s head mistress, played by Lauren Hutton, she pins the rape and the bull head on him, which by the way, is some Sci-Fi channel bullshit. Given the choice of banging either a muscular, seventeen year-old girl that can do the splits while standing on her head or some gap-toothed mummy, most guys would roll the statutory dice without blinking. Anyway, this all builds toward an incredibly bizarre TV Carnage-worthy ending. It’s like Xanadu on mescaline.

In all, this is competently made with some okay acting from an unbalanced script that makes waste of jail bait. The true identity of the rapist is sadly obvious, though, so it’s a Luke warm waiting game with some unintentional laughs rather than a slow cooker.

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