It’s week three of Sunday club (well technically its week four but USS Indianapolis was so shit the team had to go and get pissed in a health spa for a full seven days in a bid to cleanse the bilge from their systems. The boys are back refreshed and anew though and this week its Bayfield’s pick: he’s gone for 2016 indie Blood Orange starring professional car insurance salesman and oiled rope impersonator Iggy Pop!
Will it be better than the Sunday Club opening shower of shit that was London Has Fallen and week two’s equally number two USS Indianapolis? Let’s fucking hope so.
I went into this one both an unabashed Iggy Pop fanboy (although I draw the line at Skull Ring) and supremely hopeful that after the abysmal previous couple of Sunday Club adventures the only way would be up for Ashley and I.
Proceedings opened with a gaited Iggy Pop lurching around a sunbaked Spanish vista in dusty boots, cradling a double barrelled shotgun and with leather Stetson perched atop his head. Would this be an indie throwback to those classic Spaghetti westerns I love so? Or perhaps an offbeat and meditative character piece in the vein of Jim Jarmusch? …Currently I’m confident for neither as Iggy has just stopped to piss on a rock and the music has flared up in a completely out of key manner. It continues to swell as we cut to some nudey lass hopping in the pool at a beautiful Spanish villa (wonder if it belongs to a rock star) and then seductively telling the pool cleaning Spaniard foraging about in the flowerbeds (oooh matron) she’ll see him tomorrow.
Not quite sure tonally what we’re supposed to be painting the scene with at this point but currently it all feels a bit Carry On Student Art Film.
Amidst a romantic dinner and another solid helping of extremely clichéd (and loudly mixed) swelling music we discover Iggy is Bill, an ageing Rockstar: (shock!) and he’s banging Isabelle the beautiful woman half, if not a third, of his age from the pool earlier (twist!) The only real surprise thus far is that Iggy hasn’t had is top off.
We find out Bill is blind / extremely poorly sighted and he’s well pissed off Isabella bought a rabbit for dinner instead of letting him shoot one. There’s absolutely tons of on the nose dialogue here about age and love and mortality… Assumedly none of this labouring back and forth is being used to panel beat out the rough structure of the remainder of the film’s narrative arc but admittedly I’m already intrigued. This is possibly due purely to Pop’s voice which basically sounds like someone peelings strips of dry bark from an oak in one-hundred-degree heat.
Cut to next scene and Iggy is waifing about with his shirt off: Order has been restored. Another discussion ensues; Bill tells his lady she’s allowed to nail a mysterious someone who she’s just said she fancies a bit. Two Euros and a game of Connect Four down the Red Lion says it’s Pool Cleaning Spaniard.
It’s all getting a bit Carry On Ibiza in here.
The next shot is of Pool Cleaning Spaniard shagging Isabella up the bum (in an artful not smutty way) then there’s a montage of Iggy Pop playing a saxophone like shit… Glad we got away from that sleazy 80s holiday vibe.
Another man then arrives at the villa. Hopefully he’s a rival pool cleaner out for Isabella’s affections and this thing will all come together in a comedy topless boxing match showdown with Sid James as the ref…
Alas this isn’t the case it’s some bloke called Lucas played by faceless RADA Brit #387954 Ben Lamb and thanks to yet more on the nose exposition we know his name is Lucas and he’s got an axe to grind with Isabella.
There’s a lot of English people in this film I’ve never seen before. Turns out one of them was in Lake Placid 3 (don’t panic I didn’t know that existed either) and the other one was in The Inbetweeners. They’re both blander than an eggshell paint job.
After another dinner time exposition scene the plot apparently thickens but the endless reams of blunt force exposition unfold so leadenly I’m not really sure how much actually matters and how much is just the writer being “meditative” and / or wanking himself off with a typewriter.
I’ve slid from almost intrigued to impatiently bored…. Think I would definitely have preferred Sid James Presents: Carry On Shagaluf.
There’s a then about half hour’s worth of Maga shagging for Isabelle and Pool Cleaning Spaniard and elliptical chat for Bill & Lucas… Absolutely none of which feels either quirkily original or plot driving enough to justify its length.
I definitely preferred Iggy’s turn in Sharktopus VS Whalewolf (sidenote: ten points to the icon turning any two animals they see on Channel Five documentaries into portmanteaus and then making them fight
After shedloads more exposition we find out Isabella was shagging Lucas’ deceased father (perhaps he was a pool cleaning magnate) and subsequently now has all his money. Lucas (who she has also shagged) now wants all that money and Bill is dying and has money, but not as much money as Isabella.
I just managed to describe that in three lines but Blood Orange decided to do it in three hundred separate exchanges (usually over dinner; the catering budget on this film must have cost more than Iggy’s wardrobe)
Things take a slightly unbelievable turn when Pool Cleaning Spaniard, on the dodgy advice of Lucas, decides he’s going to force himself on Isabella (who suddenly isn’t well game for it) and gets both barrels from partially sighted / totally blind Bill.
There’s about a million logic holes here but at least everyone has stopped shitting out exposition for five minutes so I won’t ask. Previously every line has explained every thought or action in the film at least twice but here no one has bothered to ask why the previously hysterical rape victim has decided to take a skinnydip in the pool her would-be rapist cleaner just got ventilated in.
At this point the stakes are up and down faster than Iggy on a smacked up, coked up weekender with Bowie in Berlin circa ’77.
Blind Bill pops down the Spanish police station to frame Lucas and meanwhile Isabella and Lucas are teaming up to bury the murder victim Lucas is being framed for… which logically makes no sense if you’re fitting someone up. Luckily Bill is slicker than your average and (obviously) explains this to all involved in literal terms upon his return: they dig Pool Cleaning Spaniard back up and return him to the pool.
The cleaner of pools has now tainted his life’s work forever. Oh irony you delicious mistress.
The ending I’ll try not to spoil by over-explaining but basically everyone explains everything to each other at least a couple more times each then a few people make phone calls to explain to a few other people what’s going on.
Can someone call me please? What the fuck is going on?
There’s flashes of bits that work; mainly Pop’s voice / shirtlessness and a plot that could have been interesting if handled with a little more wit but frankly it’s all bogged down in ridiculous amounts of waffle and completely unreadable emotional flipflopping. Probably doesn’t help that the film is helmed by Iggy Pop, a bunch of RADA rich kids and someone who might actually be a Pool Cleaning Spaniard.
Maybe it’s down to veteran commercial director Toby Tobias (making his debut here) being so used to having to SELL SELL SELL all the time that he feels the need to have each character dispense their every thought out loud but then again surely a commercials director of this skill understands that you can say as much in one beautifully composed shot and minimal dialogue as you can in one ten minute long after-dinner exchange of plot points and motivations? Go and watch a Jim Jarmusch film for fucks sake.
In spite of all that it’s still by far the best thing we’ve had on Sunday Club to date… and it’s total shit. Again. Sorry Ash the blame for this one is definitely on me.
So, I’m 4 pints deep and I guess now seems like a better time than ever to review that Iggy Pop movie, ‘Blood Orange’ that Matthew picked for this week’s Sunday Club.
The movie opens in a way that many westerns do, man walks around desert land, sees cacti, smokes a cigarette, wees on a rock then walks off into the sunset. I was quite in the mood for a western so the prospects looked good straight away. What followed was many things, but the one thing it definitely wasn’t was a western…
Bill (Iggy Pop) is a musician who’s made his millions and now spends his days sitting about the mansion with his infant wife, and widow to former millionaire husband, Isabelle (Kacey Clarke) Bill spends his days attempting to play a saxophone topless like a rusty Kenny G who’s hit the bottle hard, while Isabelle’s days are filled having unsatisfying sex with the pool boy, David (Antonio Magro), Bill is cool with that being a musician and a free spirit and all.
I get that Iggy Pop isn’t an actor, but he’s basically playing himself here. Why does this seem like such a stretch for him? He’s meant to have many illnesses but here they can easily be confused with having a few too many the night before and needing a McDonald’s breakfast and a bottle of Lucozade to sort himself out.
He’s asleep in bed for about 90% of the movie, how is he still the worst thing in this? When his character is called into action (his one scene which requires movement) it becomes just apparent how 70 years-old he really is. Ever reluctant to put on a top throughout the entire film, excitement picks up when he finally wears a jacket for a scene (it gets a little nippy come nightfall.)
Towards the end of the movie he has more talking parts to make it look as though he’s not just there to make up the numbers and in true Abe Simpson fashion he seems to prevaricate in order to add twenty minutes to the movie; rambling on and repeating himself incoherently and not allowing the younger people to speak.
Pop’s “acting style”, for want of a better phrase, appears to be contagious as all 4 cast members appear to be as arthritically rigid in their performance as Iggy Pop tackling a flight of stairs.
Both Kacey Clarke and Ben Lamb don’t just look and sound like they fell out of an episode of ‘Made In Chelsea’ it appears they went to the same drama school too. This may have been intentional by the film-makers as it has a plot which reads like the drawn-out dross you’d expect from an episode of ‘Made in Chelsea.’ So much so in fact that the movie probably should have been called ‘Middle-Class Problems: Return of the Topless Geriatric’.
The plot twists inevitably with Lucas (Ben Lamb), Isabelle’s ex-lover who has come looking for revenge and wants the inheritance money Isabelle got from the previous relationship and David, the gardener (but I won’t spoil it)
Lucas refuses to leave until he gets his money, but it seems more like he won’t leave because he’s got lost in the east-wing of the mansion-villa and now has important wine drinking, swimming, talking and bullying the help to get on with… Much like an episode of ‘Made In Chelsea’ really.
David sadly gets caught in the cross-hairs of this old-money bullshit in a stupid, unbelievable plot twist which makes you think he was born in a barn and came out sideways.
That said, there are some scenes which are so bad they’re good, these include: Any scene where Iggy Pop wears a jumper, the bit where he sprayed the ‘MIC’ extra with a hose for longer than needed to prove a point which I didn’t quite understand, the creepy anaemic kissing, the creepy anaemic sex and the cancer riddled gun-butting.
This is a poor attempt at art-house fodder which ended up coming across as a horrid little vanity project with a plot featuring twists as flimsy as Iggy’s flailing limbs. A movie made with the sole intention to show off his aging body, recording studio and rented house.
It’s three weeks too long and came three hundred years too late. He was genuinely better in those cash-cow car insurance adverts; the adverts which probably funded this bag of sterilely clean panther shit.
Can we do something good next please?
Follow Matthew & Asley on Twitter for topless pics and filmic waffle… Maybe even recommend them something for review so they don’t have to keep watching the shit they pick?