Sunday, February 12, 2012
bad/awesome flixxx review: Jacob's Ladder (1990)
"Eckhart saw Hell too. He said: The only thing that burns in Hell is the part of you that won't let go of life, your memories, your attachments. They burn them all away. But they're not punishing you, he said. They're freeing your soul. So, if you're frightened of dying and... and you're holding on, you'll see devils tearing your life away. But if you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the earth." - Louis
"See. According to this, you're already dead." - Gypsy
"Mr. Singer. What an appropriate name for a man who can't shut up." - Army officer
HEAVY. This is a great film. Its both a horror flick and a thriller at the same time. A lot of films are like that, but in this one, we believe it could be about demons or some shit... **********************SPOILER WARNING ALL THROUGHOUT************ BUT once we figure out what is really up... we see that this could actually have really happened. And THOSE are the scariest films for me. The ones that end up being stories that could or CAN really happen. Like that movie FRAILTY. Anyway, this one stars Danny Aiello, Tim Robbins, and a young Macaulay Culkin in JACOB'S LADDER!!!
The whole set up here is that this is a horror movie. And that's what we are led to believe throughout. And I guess by the ending you could still consider it one... However- All is not what it seems. This film begins in Vietnam, where a platoon with Tim Robbins and Ving Rhames are just sitting around. Tim Robbins (Jacob Singer) is shitting and he's coming back and his platoonmates are making fun of him because he shits a lot. Then they start yucking it up and then all of a sudden, there's a big attack, and one dude is screaming "something's not right, something's not right!!! AAAAAIIIGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!" and rolling on the ground. Ving Rhames starts convulsing and puking and some of the dudes heads are shaking violently, and Jacob gets freaked out and starts to run and bang, he's stabbed by a bayonet. All of a sudden BANG fast forward and we're in the present (1975ish) and Jacob is a mailman and he lives with this chick Jezebel. He has bad dreams all the time. He's riding on the subway and he tries to get on but the lights make him start having a flashback or something and he falls (luckily) down beside the train and it doesn't hit him.
So the film jumps backwards and forwards from here, tricking us and we never can tell, is Jacob living with his wife and is the son alive, or is or did the son get hit by a car and he's divorced from his first wife. He has two other kids, or does he? He goes to see this chiropractor who helps him with his chronic back pain and it seems like whenever he cracks his back, he passes out for a few hours and then all of a sudden his flashback/hallucinations increase.
So Jezzie wants to get him out of his funk and takes him to a party and his hangs out with a gypsy who tells him he's already dead, and then he sees Jezzie getting fucked by a lizard on the dancefloor, and he lays on the floor and starts freaking out. And then he has 106 degrees temperature and then he's in the past again, and then he wakes up in the tub and all these people are around. Then he decides not to go out anymore and starts looking up books on demons. Then one of his buds from his platoon contacts him and tells him he's freaking out and needs help cause HE'S seeing shit and someone is chasing him. So he meets him and then they go to leave and his buddies car explodes. He goes to funeral and meets up with other platoon buds, and they tell him THEY'VE been seeing shit too. So they decide to sue the army because they think they may have been experimented on. So they hire George from SEINFELD to help them, and he says ok. Then the next day he says he can't do it, because his buds backed out. Jacob calls them freaking out wondering why. He looks up George Kastanza and he's like "look bud, don't fuck with me!" So somebody DOESN'T want them to know about shit.
He meets a nerd dude in the grocery store that tells him that he has the answers he's been looking for. The nerd says look man, I was busted by the pigs for making acid way back when. They told me if I work for them and make this heavy heavy shit, they'd clean my slate. So I made some LSD that make monkey's dicks hard. And then.... the army fed it to you guys without you knowing it. It was called... (wait for it).... the Ladder. And when you guys took it, you freaked out and started killing each other. So then Jacob realizing it was his own dudes that probably stabbed him, starts to have another freakout and then they put him in the hospital where he sees demons and blood and monsters and they tell him he's dead. Then Louis comes to get him out. Tells him he had a slipped disc. Also tells him that Hell is being attached to shit. So he goes to his old apartment that his ex wife still lives in, and goes through some old photos of his son that's dead and his dog tags. He throws them away or something and then he sees Macaulay Culkin who tells him to go up the stairs with him. Then we see him laying in a med tent back in Vietnam. Apparently the whole movie was a hallucination death trip. OR he really did all that shit and then he died in the demon hospital thinking he was back in 'Nam. They never say really. I think we're supposed to believe the Ladder put him in a dream state of Purgatory or something. Either way. Solid flick. Both thumbs. up.