Publicly admitting you read comics means you’re willing to put up with a perplexingly persistent notion of the medium as the exclusive domain of the super heroes. Even in the current realm of savvy pop art dabblers as likely to pray at the altar of independents like Image Comics as they are the Big Two there’s this lingering idea that in the beginning there was only the cape and spandex set and it’s just in the past three decades that we’ve really let in the serious Graphic Novelists and autobio peddlers. Sneering intellectual jokesters will spit at the funnybooks without recognizing the origins of that alternate name and basement dwelling dilettantes will tell you it was only when the bearded British men came to our shores that we got hip. But comics have always been weird. Comics have always contained multitudes.On a weekly basis at the start of the 20th century, Winsor McCay cranked out surrealist panel breaking masterpieces lushly detailed enough to inspire both Dali and Moebius decades down the line, with nary a cape in sight. Before Marvel was even an idea, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby created romance comics, presaging the soap operas that would eventually inspire Chris Claremont’s convoluted narratives in that other misbegotten Kirby co-creation X-Men. And then there was Herbie. Continue reading…
Posted January 11, 2007
As some of you Ernest Hemingway fans may well remember, Margaux Hemingway was the fifth person in her family to commit suicide, her death ending a Hollywood career sullied by alcohol, epilepsy, an eating disorder and life in the shadow of a more famous sister, Mariel.
After making a big splash as a model, being featured on the cover of Time and gaining a million-dollar perfume contract, Hemingway starred in LIPSTICK in 1976, a big budget studio-backed trash-wallow that has gone under many a sleaze fan’s radar, LIPSTICK is unforgettable and savage, and a film Roger Ebert said was “set up to exploit Margaux Hemingway’s beauty, nudity, and her rape”.
Margaux is Chrissy McCormick, a (surprise) fashion model who lives with her thirteen year-old sister Kathy (her real life sibling Mariel Hemmingway) and enjoys fame and success. Kathy’s beloved music teacher, Gordon Stuart (Chris Sarandon) is a failed “musician” (his experimental output is clearly the product of a talentless retard) who resents Chrissy’s easy access to producers and other industry powerplayers. In a harrowing rape scene that is both violent, voyeuristic, and highly sexualised, Gordon takes out his jealous rage on the attractive model.
“What’s so hot about you?” he screams as he anally rapes her. “Your picture all over the place? You fuck to get what you want?”
Gordon then dishes some savage abuse in the form of physical restraint, and an awfully polite offer to rape Chrissy’s little sister Kathy when she comes home from school. “Catholic education can’t do a damn thing about it – it’s on all their minds!”
Just when you think it couldn’t get any more skeezy, the first thing out of the mouth of a policewoman (in front of Kathy, no less) is whether Gordon pissed or shit on the freshy-raped Chrissy! Haha! The expected trial quickly turns into a hilarious farce (“He wanted to kill me! He wanted to kill me with his cock!”) as Defence lawyer Nathan Cartwright (Robin Gammell) effortlessly paints Chrissy as a slut, while getting young Kathy to admit that she thought her older sis offered bumhole to the talentless music teacher willingly.
Even a feminist lawyer played by the scene-chewing Anne Bancroft can’t save the day, and the jury finds Gordon not guilty. He celebrates by later making good on his promise to return and rape the confused 13 year old, and then to do battle with a shotgun-toting Chrissy in a mall parking lot in a freaky finale that has to be seen to be believed.
Utterly trashy in it’s goofball moralising, LIPSTICK is worth seeking out.