Die job

Fashion makeover only goes so deep.

GIRL POWER FLICKS range from the vapid (Josie and the Pussycats) to the sweet (Clueless), but rarely do they involve posting severed fingers in the mail. Yet such is the predicament facing two twentysomething Glasgow gals that digits must be sundered and evil boyfriends no less brutally dispatched. Granted, the louts have got it coming: The swinish beau of Petula (The Mummy's Rachel Weisz) beats her; the junkie paramour of Dorothy (Waking Ned Devine's Susan Lynch) threatens to drink her blood—and looks scary enough to do it, too.

BEAUTIFUL CREATURES

directed by Bill Eagles with Rachel Weisz and Susan Lynch opens April 20 at Broadway Market

Men—conk them on the head with an iron pipe and they'll still bother you. In that dark, blithe spirit, Creatures aims for the spooky paranoia of Shallow Grave while serving up plenty of colorful Trainspotting-style squalor. (The three films share a producer in common.) Brisk, bleak, and funny in its promising early scenes, Creatures percolates considerable energy as the two lassies fib their way into a blackmail scheme. The comic plot owes something to the inconvenient corpse model of The Trouble with Harry, but with writing and direction that never even reach the level of lesser Hitchcock. Still, a few lines do score. Mistaking Dorothy for a suicidal addict on a bridge, a gruff policeman warns, "Away home and take an overdose," not wanting the hassle on his beat.

Throughout, male priggishness is treated for grotesque laughs. Cops and crooks are equally menacing and horrid, leaving Dorothy and Petula to fend for themselves. More problematic are the female stereotypes: Dorothy is dark-haired, therefore sensible; Petula is blond, therefore a ditsy sexpot who makes men gaga. Creatures presumably intends to subvert these clich餠personae through parodic overstatement, but still has its hapless heroines racing hands-in-air through final scenes leading to a capricious ending. Meaning to be a hip, affirmative statement of feminine self-reliance, the movie celebrates the redemptive power of a good haircut without changing the empty head beneath.

bmiller@seattleweekly.com

 
comments powered by Disqus