Brimstone & Treacle 1982
BRIMSTONE & TREACLE is a psychological thriller remake based on a play written by Dennis Potter, directed by Richard Loncraine and starring Sting (The Police, Dune), the late Denholm Elliot (Trading Places, Indiana Jones), Joan Plowright (101 Dalmations, Curious George), and Suzanna Hamilton (Out of Africa, The Voice).
Tom Bates, riddled with guilt over being responble for his daughter's disability (she was hit by a truck after catching Tom fooling around with his secretary), bumps into (and gets his pocket picked by) a charming sociopath, Martin Taylor (Sting) who claims to be Patricia's old school friend. The young charming man is invited over for dinner, and thus exploiting the Bates' guilt, begins finagling, manipulating, and eventually ingratiating his way into their personal lives. Mr. Bates becomes leery of Martin, but in the interest of keeping peace with his wife and trying to keep his guilt in check, he agrees to let him stay. Martin slowly exploits the Bates' trust as he hatches an evil plot that will change all of their lives.
He becomes the invalid daughter's caretaker; and through heinous acts of molestation and rape, manages the unlikely: Patricia becomes cured.
I don't know what to think of this movie. The acting is top notch, the mucal score is reminiscent of "The Exorcist", in a kind of creepy, solemn way. There is also a supernatural suggestion to the nature of Martin Taylor's character. I'm convinced he's either the Devil himself, or a demon, or a deranged Angel. There's a twist at the very end that mply blows away any original conceptions of what we're lead to believe this movie is actually about.
My ster was obsessed with this movie for years. She had a thing for Sting. Go figure... But personally, I can't decide if I liked this movie or hated it outright. It disturbed the shit out of me. So I guess it succeeded on that level. Maybe this is my civil service. I'll watch these fucked up movies so that you don't have to! It'll be a cross I'll bear for all humanity. If you're in the mood to be disturbed for the evening, check it out!
I can say one thing though: If Sting came along and molested my invalid daughter, even if the resulting effect became her being cured of her illness...I wouldn't be thanking God. There would be a new 6 foot hole dug in my back yard. And then I'd build a gazebo on top of it. Take that any way you want to.
The Verdict: B+ for the sheer WTF value of the subject matter of this movie.