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Flexing with Monty

USA 2010
produced by
John Albo, William E. Conroy, James Bird, Michael Shaverdian for Quarter Moon Films
directed by John Albo
starring Trevor Goddard, Rudi Davis, Sally Kirkland, Gwen Van Dam, Michelle Zeitlin, Mitch Hara, Manny Gates, Melinda Peterson, Susan Tyrrell (voice), Faith Ptak
written by John Albo, music by Miriam Cutler

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Monty's (Trevor Goddard) body is his temple. He works out all day and night to stay in shape, eats only according to a strict diet plan, doesn't drink alcohol or do drugs - and as a result, he's a perfect specimen of a man ... on the outside at least, thing is, he looks down on those who take less care of their body (which would include almost everybody), and lets them feel he's above them. And especially his little brother Bertin (Rudi Davis) suffers from that. You see, Monty has brought up Bertin from when he was very little, as their mother has disappeared and their granny (Gwen Van Dam) wasn't much use. So Bertin has heard since he's been young that he's a lower creature compared to his brother, even though he has the IQ of a genius and Monty isn't exactly one of the brightest and relies on Bertin's intelligence more than a bit. But Monty figures as long as he's righteous anough and doesn't sin against his own body, nothing can happen - even if his understanding of righteousness and "sin" are based on an at best rudimentary knowledge of the bible. But now that Bertin is about to turn 18 and ponders about living on his own, and then Monty has encounters with a gay man (Mitch Hara), a nun (Sally Kirkland) and a whore (Michelle Zeitlin), and all of this leaves him very insecure and thus vulnerable as it shatters everything he has believed in. And then there's also this big secret in his past that Bertin has just uncovered which Monty just has to be punished for ...

 

Flexing with Monty is most certainly a mindfuck of a movie - but in the best possible way: It's a film unlike any you've ever seen before, inasmuch as it manages to marry the mundane to the bizarre, to get the most proto-iconic images of its scarce sets, and to make age old stage techniques (like an over-reliance on inner monologue) seem fresh again. Plus, the way the movie's titular and at first sight strictly formulaic character is deconstructed throughout the film is a pure pleasure, mixing high drama with biting satire, philosophic excursions with pure shocks and crude jokes. In a way it is a movie that has to be seen to be believed - and is thus totally worth a watch!

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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Tales to Chill
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Out now from
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directed by
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written by
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