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Andy Warhol's Bad

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Critics' Reviews

AMG Review
Donald Guarisco
Andy Warhol's Bad lives up to its reputation as one of the most shocking black comedies ever made. The film's frequent bursts of graphic violence and its refusal to pay attention to any taboos (it doesn't flinch at depicting the murder of dogs and babies) are guaranteed to turn off sensitive viewers, but the film offers plenty of rewards for adventurous cult film fans. Andy Warhol's Bad draws its take-no-prisoners comedic sensibility from John Waters' 1970s output, but differentiates itself from that director's style by going for a slicker look and filtering its sick laughs through a jaded sense of cool that perfectly fits the film's New York setting. No matter how outrageous or twisted the plot becomes, the proceedings remain involving because screenwriters Pat Hackett and George Abagnalo ground the material with complex, interesting characters. The film also benefits from a skilled cast that deftly underplays the material with deadpan comic timing. Carroll Baker brings a genuine sense of seen-it-all boredom to her role as the housewife criminal mastermind and Perry King is surprisingly likable as a seemingly amoral hustler who finds himself forced to come to terms with his conscience. The leads are supported by a vivid array of creepy yet witty supporting performances; the best of these are Warhol Factory veteran Brigid Polk as a bitter apartment dweller driven mad by her hatred for her neighbor. Ultimately, a viewer's ability to appreciate Andy Warhol's Bad will depend on their tolerance for sick humor, but it offers a memorable viewing experience for cult movie fans who can appreciate its singularly warped style. ~ Donald Guarisco, Rovi
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