April 2, 2010 in Features

‘My Son, My Son What Have Ye Done’

Colin Covert Minneapolis Star Tribune
 

As you might expect, a cop movie produced by David Lynch and directed by Werner Herzog is a very strange brew indeed.

Willem Dafoe plays a clean-cut San Diego homicide detective called to a mysterious killing (old lady run through with a Civil War-era cavalry sword).

The killer (no spoiler, guys, it’s Michael Shannon) begins taunting the cops from the house across the street, threatening to kill his hostages unless they meet his demands. Since he believes that God lives in oatmeal canisters and communicates through boom boxes, he’s not the easiest perp to reason with.

Lynch and Herzog have tickled us for years with their dwarves and iguanas and impenetrable stories. This collaboration represents the vanishing point of willful obscurity.

Even at 70 minutes, the film drags unconscionably as it drifts in and out of fantasy, madness and really bad Greek theater. The mystery here is why this undigested mess of symbolism, psychosis and silliness was ever funded.

“My Son, My Son What Have Ye Done” is playing at the Magic Lantern Theatre.

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