What separates Mad Cowgirl from most films lucky enough to land a one-week engagement at the Two Boots Pioneer Theater is its devil-may-care audacity, but this gonzo mashup of romantic comedy, political paranoia, and B-movie adulation, is more confounding than thrilling, a low-budget abstractia absurdia that heaps provocation after provocation onto its plate with absolutely no interest in chewing on any of it. Set against a backdrop of perpetual fear and obsession, the story follows the insatiable Therese (Sarah Lassez), a meat inspector diagnosed with a brain disorder, through a hall of mirrors of hyper-reality, which includes fending off everyone’s romantic affections, feigning orgasm over steak dinner with her meat-supplier brother (James Duval) before getting into bed with him, and obsessing over the actress from a V.I.P.-meets-Kill Bill television program. The story, which plays out like a Troma-produced adaptation of a Marquez novel (call it Love in the Time of Mad Cow Disease), unfolds at a crossroad between races and cultures, but rather than illuminate mixed-race experience and modern spiritual unease, director Gregory Hatanaka settles for flippancy. Sample insults: he cuts between a priest giving a service about sin and Therese servicing the man below the belt, and when Therese’s Sri Lankan doctor macks on her, director Gregory Hatanaka cuts to a fantasy of her dancing to the fourth wall as a belly dancer. The film is heavy and nutty, which is apt given that its subject is the sponge-like effects of mad cow disease on the brain, but there’s no excuse for the scant feeling and meaning it squeezes out.
- 89 min
- Gregory Hatanaka
- Gregory Hatanaka, Norith Soth
- Sarah Lassez, James Duval, Devon Odessa, Vic Chao, Christo Dimassis, Walter Koenig
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