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One Eyed Monster (2009)
29th Jul 09
Fifteen year-old Autistic farm girl Dorothy (Ron Jeremy) falls in love with disfigured orphan Donny (Academy Award nominee Renee Zellwegger). Only fate - and a malfunctioning combine harvester - could intrude on their love.
Penises. Most of us have at least one. Both Princess Diana and Jill Dando had one. Allegedly dead, famed child molester Michael Jackson had a strange, scaly one that curved alarmingly when erect. The first one I saw that wasn’t my own belonged to a much - misunderstood uncle who decorated it beautifully with sweets and tinsel to beguile my inquisitive, pre-pubescent eyes. Ah, the world is a fine place, and worth fighting for.
The truth is, you wait years and years for a movie about a detached killer mutant penis and then two come along in the space of a few months: Frank Henenlotter’s Bad Biology just beat the marvellously titled One Eyed Monster to DVD release in the UK though both were pre-empted by the likeably cheap Pervert!, a Russ Meyer love-letter about a rampaging dong. Although its wealth of pop-culture references (Paris Hilton, Anna Nicole Smith, The X Files) are pretty old-hat, and its main gags wholly obvious (check: cum jokes and dumb-porn-starlet gags), One Eyed Monster is at least three ropey foreskins wittier than you might ever imagine.
Its premise is pure Troma but the execution is sharper than expected and, in any case, the concept is irresistible. “Wet Dream Girls” is a porn movie shooting up in the snowy mountains with Ron Jeremy notching up yet another adult flick starring role. Make up girl Amber Benson is secretly in love with Jeremy while the ageing stallion himself faces up to on-set derision about his advancing years and excessive hairiness (“I’m not wearing a sweater!”). More to the point, a just-arrived alien life form has crashed to Earth with the need to replicate. Figuring Jeremy’s legendary 9 inch cock would have access to more vaginas than most, it hijacks the dick, which proceeds to detach itself and rampage around the set, hiding in the asses of victims and controlling them to its own ends.
There’s a lot that’s pleasantly surprising about this obvious cult-movie-wannabe. For one, the script is eminently quotable: it may be the 500th genre movie to crib the classic The Thing line “You’ve got to be fucking kidding…” (Carpenter’s movie also gets a cool, subtle homage in the final reel) but it’s also a movie with its own repeat-worthy one-liners (“How the fuck could a snatch run away?”). And it pulls off what might be the best ever variant on a legendary one liner from Jaws: “We’re gonna need a bigger tampon…”.
Crucial to this film’s modest success is that it treats its wacky premise not with Troma-style self-conscious glee and ensemble mugging, but instead underplays it. The dick is almost entirely off-screen until a nice reveal during the climactic action and all the actors downplay the outrageous dialogue like they’re in a serious movie, rather than a movie in which a character saves the day with her formidable vaginal muscles. This deadpan approach adds a significant amount of charm and comic value to a one-joke premise while also allowing for apparently sincere moments reflecting on the ageism of the porn industry, via Jeremy (in a savvy self-mocking turn) and his 47 year old female co-star.
And, talking of deadpan, this movie has a scene-stealing Charles Napier on terrific straight-faced form as a Vietnam veteran who refers to the dick as a “death machine” and helps our heroes to come up with a plan to destroy it (“Circumcise it to oblivion…with an axe”). Referring to all vaginas as traps (the protagonists strive to trap the dick with a simulated fanny at one point), Napier gets a marvellous Robert Shaw-derived monologue about being really stoned while dealing with another disembodied monster dick back in ‘Nam that massacred his platoon. One Eyed Monster isn’t always on-target but it does proffer the once-in-a-lifetime sight of Napier being vigorously throttled by a big rubber fake penis representing the disembodied member of Ron Jeremy. And, unless Anthea Turner is strapped to a gurney and disembowelled live on daytime TV in the upcoming months, that “tampon” line might just be the most smile-inducing moment of the 2009 mass media.