Sunday, April 25, 2010

Meat Pies For Everyone!

No I'm not talking about Sweeney What's-his-face, I am in fact referring to the original (as far as I know) fictional purveyor of the questionable meat pie, Titus Andronicus! No, we didn't read it for Shakespeare, and with good reason as it is widely renown as his worst play, many people even believe he didn't even write it, that it was falsely attributed to him. It's a crazed gore-fest full of dismemberment, rape, cannibalism, insanity, twig-hands and asshole villains who are way more charming than they should be. And that's just the play, the movie is working at least twelve other kinds of crazy. In the bygone year of 1999, released among such awesome movies as The Matrix, The Mummy, The Sixth Sense and Tarzan, was Titus, the pseudo-modern retro-anachronistic (I know) story of a man, his emperor and crap ton of dead bodies, starring Anthony Hopkins as the titular character.

The story is incredibly interwoven and complicated, but basically, Titus pisses off the queen of the Goths, who he captured after defeating them. He kills her eldest son and she vows vengeance in the form of marrying the ass-butt emperor and murdering Titus's sons and also having her sons mutilate and rape his daughter. Titus retaliates by killing her sons and making pies out of them. Also there's this dude named Aaron who is like Iago on steroids in terms of charisma and general assholery.

Seriously, just look at this bastard! He could strange a puppy on-screen right in front of you and STILL be your favorite character!

So why did I watch it? Well, my brother stumbled across it online, and having heard it was the height of late-nineties indulgently ridiculous crap, and well, we like bad movies and have a sense of curiosity that has ended up with us watching some really great, and really awful movies. So we watched it. And it was horrifying and now I have no idea which class this belongs to, so, rudimentary categorizing it is!

The Good

1. Ummm....everybody gets what's coming to them? (except you know, Titus's daughter, she just gets screwed over and twigs for hands)

2. The acting is hilariously over the top, especially Anthony Hopkins.

3. I got nothin

The Bad

1. We get to see Alan Cumming's ass and then some >.<

2. The background is completely insane and nonsensical, it's Rome, but it's also the Jazz Age, and there are carriages and also cars and microphones and suits that are also togas

3. The acting is often irritatingly over the top, especially Anthony Hopkins

4. The whole rape and mutilation and people pies


1. The film opens with a kid with a paper bag on his face playing with soldiers in a modern day setting. Suddenly there's an explosion and he's magically transported to Titus Andronicus land! He kind of just hangs around after that and only more than halfway through the damn movie does he say anything. But everyone acts like his presence is normal and no mention is made of the beginning of the movie. At all.

2. Random sequences of people morphing into tigers

3. When Titus hosts his evil dinner party and serves the Goth queen's sons, he does so dressed like this:

Hannibal Lecter was nowhere near this wacky when it came to cannibalism!

Basically, if Shakespeare dropped acid and watched every slasher movie he could find, Titus Andronicus would be the result. It is freaky as hell and the kind of violent that makes you squirm in your seat. I honestly don't know how to rate this one, but nothing could fix Shakespeare or Anthony Hopkins for me and make them un-terrifying...except maybe:

Yup, that did the trick! This is Sugary Cynic saying "No pot pie for me please." Night!

(Upon finding out that Aaron, aka Uber-Iago, impregnated their mother)
Chiron: "Thou hast undone our mother!"

Aaron: Villain, I have done thy mother!"

That's a stone cold pimp right there.


  1. That picture bothered me and after a little research I find that Aaron/Harry Lennix was, as I thought, also Boyd Langton of Dollhouse. Evidently (spoiler alert) he's got the incredibly charming/also evil thing down pat.

  2. There are definitely worse things to be typecast as than the charming evil douchebag.

  3. It's Sweeney TODD, motherfucker!

    Harry Lennix was kind of awesome on Dollhouse, and he wasn't originally supposed to be evil, I think. That was a sweeps decision.

    So this is like a Marie Antoinette-with-the-pink-Converses deal?

  4. Sort of, possibly even more random, also way more surreal craziness


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