March 8, 2007


THE LIGHTER SIDE OF DEPRAVITY: Unintentional comedy in The Silence of the Lambs and its sequels (Matthew A. Stern, 3/07/07, NY Press)

The Silence of the Lambs may be one of the most hilarious films ever made. The purportedly haunting tale of a dysphonic serial killer, the poodle he loves and the plus-sized women he keeps in a giant pit in his basement, is a cultural touchstone of unintentional comedy. Consider Hannibal Lecter's grandiloquent verbal harangues regarding Agent Starling's rural origins, tongue-swallowing Multiple Miggs, Buffalo Bill's unique use of the third person, the lotion, the basket, Jodie Foster, etc. The ridiculous elements of the (post-Manhunter) Thomas Harris film adaptations have made them fodder for reference on "South Park," and have spawned at least one satirical musical. (this means that I'm not alone in finding this shit funny, which is comforting.)

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 8, 2007 7:48 AM

Ted Levine was over the top as Buffalo Bill (the psycho killer).

Posted by: ratbert at March 8, 2007 10:53 AM

Jodie Foster

Never seen Silence of the Lambs, but I can't see how John Hinckley's ex could be any worse than in Contact, where in every scene she has that slack-jawed, bug-eyed stare that I guess is supposed to convey some sort of intellectual intensity emotion.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at March 8, 2007 11:16 AM

Raoul Ortega:

The novel is significantly better than the film. It actually deals deeply with faith-science issues and Sagan is surprisingly sympathetic towards religion, even implying at the end that there might be something to it and that his heroine scientist was emotionally blinded by her rationalism. It's a good book for folks on either side (or both) who take these matters seriously. The focus on extraterrestrial life is a bit over-the-top but it's a novel so I let that slide.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at March 8, 2007 7:03 PM

Indeed, while it's been awhile since I read or saw it, the entire metaphor is simply finding the Father in the heavens, no?

Posted by: oj at March 8, 2007 7:51 PM