Crime Wave

80 minutes 1985

New-wave film noir comedy (1985) from Canadian independent John Paizs, about a Winnipeg screenwriter suffering from an odd sort of blockage (he only completes the beginnings and ends of his gory scenarios), who decides to improve his writing skills by taking a course from a psycho sex criminal in Kansas. Well, if Pee-wee Herman was new wave, I guess this must be too, though perhaps that's stretching the ol' elastic a little too far. Like His Infantile Eminence and One Crazy Summer's Savage Steve Holland, Paizs mines a vein of male sexual hysteria beneath the ineffectual clown's disguise; with Pee-wee it's a self-conscious ruse, but I'm not so sure about the other guys. Light and dementedly enjoyable, though the cartoon stuntedness gets to you after a while.

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