Master of Perversity

Review: The Skin I Live In opens at the Odeon Fri, Nov. 25

Antonio Banderas stars in The Skin I live In, opening Fri, Nov. 25 at the Odeon.

Spain’s bad-boy-turned-Oscar-darling Pedro Almodovar (All About My Mother) has been getting surprisingly good press for his latest film, The Skin I Live In. Surprisingly, only because the reliably outrageous and witty director has delivered a film so preposterous and grotesque that even all that famous Almodovar style can’t obscure its essential pointlessness. Imagine a mash-up of Boxing Helena and The Abominable Dr. Phibes as directed by David Cronenberg pretending to be schlockmeister Roger Corman and you get the merest idea of what Almodovar is up to.

He’s once again reunited with Antonio Banderas, who stars as Dr. Robert Ledgard, a famed plastic surgeon who has gradually morphed into a mad scientist after his beloved wife was burned unrecognizably in a car crash years earlier. This not-so-good doctor has been illegally using human-animal gene splicing to create a “superskin” in the lab in his mansion. The guinea pig for these experiments is a gorgeous woman who is mysteriously kept prisoner in Ledgard’s house. And that’s just the start of this never-dull film, which also includes for your viewing pleasure a home invasion, two rapes, and what I assume is the first vaginoplasty operation to be featured at the cineplex.

As medical horror stories go, this one generates more laughs than chills. Still, from the soundtrack to the set design, Skin is a gorgeous piece of filmmaking. And Almodovar does pull a sly doozy of a trick on the audience before the last scalpel – and bullet – finds its target. You’ve been warned!

 

The Skin I live in ★★½

Directed by Pedro Almodovar

Starring Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya

R – 117 minutes

Opens Friday at the Odeon

Just Posted

World of electronic musical wonders await at long weekend festival

Wonderment ambient/downtempo music festival slips into bridge plaza, Banfield Park Aug. 3-4

Solid foundation key to Charles Porlier’s longevity as a TV/film makeup artist

Learn to KRE8 from experts in the world of makeup, voice acting, animation and more, Aug. 9-18

A passing of the torch for Victoria’s rock music history archives

Royal City Music Project co-founder Glenn Parfitt wants valuable cultural material preserved

MOVIE MONDAY: Get your food film fix and more this summer

Inspiring documentary Six Primrose shows tonight at 6:30, followed by food security discussion

Crash Test Dummies bring their musical storytelling to Sidney in August

25th anniversary of God Shuffled His Feet celebrated with two concerts at Mary Winspear Centre

VIDEO: Reports say Lashana Lynch is the new 007

Daniel Craig will reprise his role as Bond one last time

Brentwood Bay brings $5 concerts every Wednesday evening

Variety of music on offer: picnics, good vibes and family friendly

Schitt’s Creek and its stars among Canadians with Emmy nominations

Co-creator Eugene Levy thought they had chance for one nomination, ‘then they kept rolling in’

Most Read