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The Swords (1997)

Main cast: Balthazar Getty (James Chandler), Amanda Ryan (Musidora), Jamie Foreman (Dean Hansen), Timothy Spall (The Salesman), and Terence Stamp (The Host)
Director: Tony Scott

The Hunger is a British-Canadian anthology series that promises to be Sexy, sexy, sexy, but do bear in mind that what was considered sexy back in those days may appear to be yawn-inducing tame-o-rama these days. Still, with nudity and horror galore, the show sounds like something I should take a closer look at!

Hosted by Terence Stamp, he will talk about kinks and what not in his bookend sequences. It’s intriguing to have a dapper fellow like him go on about these things, but the entire effect is ruined considerably by how these sequences are interspersed between the credits, which are full of annoying seizure-inducing flashing sequences and loud, screeching noises.

The Swords is loosely based on Robert Aickman’s story of the same name, and I do mean loosely based because the seedy, tawdry feel of the story is gone here.

Instead, we have James Chandler, a spoiled, drug-addled son of a wealthy father, who is forced to attend a cosmetic conference in London—it’s either that or go to rehab. He meets Musidora, a woman that entertains her clients by apparently being unharmed by multiple stabs of Swords and blades into her body, in a high class kink club.

In other words, this is not the suffocating, filthy carnie world of the original short story, hence this Episode has immediately robbed itself of any horror values in terms of aesthetics and atmosphere.

Instead, the episode is about the woman, who is basically a prostitute working for her pimp, whose spell that protects her from the sword falls in love with an irresponsible tool that chooses to dump her because he doesn’t do commitments alright, and the predictable tragedy ensues.

James is like, oh, strange how he doesn’t feel that bad over that, but hey, he’s going back to America down, back to his posh life so la-da-dee.

This is a surprisingly well produced episode, from the lighting to the cinematography, so it’s an easy watch.

However, the episode opts to lose much of the horror elements of the original story for some eye-rolling whatever it turns out to be—a morality tale, or perhaps a cautionary tale about falling for a douchebag man?—and I find myself shaking my head a little in disappointment at the result. It’s as if this episode wants to be some very average affair despite being based off a brilliant piece of work. What kind of logic is that?

The post The Swords (1997) first appeared on HOT SAUCE REVIEWS.


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The Swords (1997)

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