Steppenwolf, 1974 - ★★★

Steppenwolf, 1974 - ★★★


“You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometime...” - Pablo (Pierre Clémenti) sharing the devils candy while doing a Mr. Claypole impression

What a drag it is getting old - Harry Hallers a man in his late 40s, or there abouts. Even though he's been relatively successful in life and needs for nothing, his staunch Independence have left him an isolated man. After pondering his own worth, and of sound mind he has come to the conclusion that suicide on his looming 50th birthday will end his banal sadness. But a decadent pair of bourgeois types Hermine & Pablo, introduce him to the surreal world of the magic theater, and eventually persuade Harry to have one final throw of the dice.

My, what big flaws you have Mr. Wolf? Low budget production values, five bloody prod countries, and novice directorial skills from Fred Haines (unsurprisingly his lone stab at sitting in the directors chair) severely hamper this otherwise interesting dramatization of Hermann Hesse's famed counter culture classic. I'd have loved to seen Steppenwolf in the more cappable hands of Bernardo Bertolucci or maybe even Bergman. But respect to Fred Haines, its a solid stab considering the nature of the source. He at least earns himself a scooby snack, for sheer scope of what he tried to achieve. Post Exorcist and bearded, Max von Sydow looks eerily Alec Guinness Ben Kenobi looking, while turning in a solid performance (without his narration it would have totally failed). Unfortunately watching Dominique Sanda felt akin to the softcore actresses you find ten a penny in Tinto Brass softcore smut. And Pierre Clémenti, whose been far better, wouldn't have looked out of place on BBC's 70's kids show 'Rentaghost'. Nothing special, drug frazzled students wanting an intelligent come down would likely dig it.

[Personal Reasons For Remembering]

Even though it was clearly a low rent Gilliam/Python rip off, the animated segment helped build Harry's inner wolf/beast background pretty darn well. Laughing like a schoolboy at the question "I bet you've no love for Mozart's magic flute?" and its answer "how dare you sir!". And for being mightily curious why there was so many god damn Rolling Stones lyrics thrown in there ?

Originally taken from Letterboxd

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