I Luvz Me Some PERFUME: THE STORY OF A MURDERER
This is not the weirdest movie I’ve ever seen -- I was a monster kid, I worked at a southern drive-in, I’ve seen Asian and Eurotrash films, I wrote reviews for Joe Bob Briggs – but it’s certainly the weirdest Dreamworks released movie I’ve ever seen.
Which is a pity, because it’s a really good movie and Dreamworks didn’t know what to do with it.
The plot is something straight out of Weird Tales and other pulps: A strange child, born with an uncanny sense of smell yet no odor of his own, grows through a childhood even Dickens would find overly horrific to become a serial-killing perfumer, murdering young women to obtain their scent in his quest for the perfect perfume.
That’s grossly oversimplifying the story, but it gets the main point across.
I know I’m a little late to the party on this one, but Perfume really impressed me.
It’s gorgeous in both beautiful and grotesque ways, and does a really excellent job of capturing the look / sounds / feel / smell of 18th century Paris.
It’s a big budget German production. Like I said, I’ve seen weirder Eurotrash movies, but this is the most beautifully and elaborately mounted one.
Based on the novel by Patrick Süskind, it’s an extraordinary film, a big hit everywhere…
…except in the US.
And that’s the puzzler for me.
It had two major stars -- Dustin Hoffman and Alan Rickman -- good performances, a sensational story, and the backing of a major studio.
Yet this film merely crawled out when it was released, hitting a scant 280 theaters in just three months, and earning a paltry $2.2 million.
There’s not a lot of gore in this film (other than the fish market), not an inordinate amount of violence, but being European there sure is a lot of nudity.
Oh, did I mention the film ends with a massive public orgy in which hundreds of performers strip down and go at it?
You’d think that would be a major selling point, but American audiences / theaters / distributors are apparently too squeamish and the film got buried.
You can catch it on Amazon Prime.
© Buzz Dixon