“And you… are the Devil’s spawn… evil from the moment of conception!”
Truth be told, I’ve been wanting to see Flowers In The Attic for a lo-o-o-o-ong time, i.e. since it came out in 1987. But my usually loose cinematic morals came to a a yet-to-be-explored grinding halt, and I couldn’t work out the courage to ask any unsuspecting babysitter and/or relative as a companion.
Back to the now - I honestly have no idea how V.C. Andrews’ neo-Gothic saga (that went on and on and on even beyond the grave) was ever deemed a “sure bet” at the box office, given that “incest”, “captivity” and “borderline non-con” were the novel’s biggest draws: much like Valley Of The Dolls, the trailer is built as a collection of money shots (Bible-thumping Grandma! Attack dogs! Blonde ingénue! Child abuse!), while the Ominous Voiceover informs us that, yes, way more oh noes lie ahead. But everything would be revealed as watered-down Andrews, much to the fans’ dismay.
On a lighter note, I suspect that Kristy Swanson’s ubiquitousness in the mid-Eighies could be connected to her passing resemblance to a cheap, discount-ready Barbie doll clone - they sure came in handy when it was time to fool around with experimental hair treatments.
Somebody must own the DVD somewhere. Make me a copy and win my trashy, no-good heart.
Random wisdom from YouTube commentators: “When I first saw the house in the trailer it reminded me of the home described in FITA I’m like! OMGSH FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC BECAME A MOVIE!”
The backstory for Berry Gordy’s Mahogany is probably more captivating than the final product. From the firing and/or death of multiple directors, to the bunch of not-so-veiled references to star Diana Ross’ relationship with producer/suitcase pimp Gordy, to the signals that point to co-star Anthony Perkins’ offscreen struggle with homosexuality - if all that were the case, it would make for an extraordinary case of Unintentional Metafuckery.
Movie’s supposed to be a mishmash between two semi-genres, “good girl gone bad” and “rags to mega riches”, and the video trailer is pretty straightforward on both counts: premise (check), clothes (check), fame (check), creepy dude (check), palace of excess (check), big redemption (check).
If this montage is to be believed, the overall look of the picture is aptly represented too.
Italian fans are sweet on the car crash scene (check), which presents an empty Rome tangenziale at dawn as the death pit of doom.
Following Dreamgirls’ release, Mahogany was maybe made available on DVD, but not a single seed is to be found on torrents. So I guess I’ll never know.
Blogger and single mom Dolores Point Five has seen the whole thing, says that it’s “wack as fuck”.
This might explain why the theatrical trailer looks like a collection of money shots: contemporary audiences, one assumes, were already aware of the main characters’ struggles, quirks and eventual fates, so the marketing plan must have sounded like “hell, let’s just get down with the sleaze and call it a day”.
The infamous restroom catfight between Neely O’Hara and Helen Lawson pops up, as do some lines that would eventually make the history of camp (I gotta get up at 5 in the morning, it’s “sparkle, Neely, sparkle!”).
Patty Duke never recovered from this, and neither did TV bad girl Barbara Parkins.
Camp value notwithstanding, it’s a pretty boring, subdued affair - skip it and go straight to Russ Meyer’s parody. Or, you know, read the book.