I had the questionable privilege of watching JADED, which as many of you may know includes a brief snippet of footage from Welles' MERCHANT OF VENICE. I'm sorry to say that the film is just awful, with a ludicrous script and some truly terrible performances.
The film is set in Venice Beach, CA, and involves the intertwining lives of a group of people. SPOILERS abound, so if you don't want the movie ruined, stop reading here. Anyhow, we open with what we think is a woman having the crap beat out of her by a guy, and then another woman having the crap beat out of her. The former is a transvestite called Angel, who hangs out with Sara, the cousin of Rita, the second woman being beat up. Angel was beat up by a guy whose name I don't recall, and he's the limo driver of Roseanna Orsino (wink wink), a famous opera singer (in town to play Salome, another OW nod) played by Kodar, who also happens to be a nympho. It turns out (if this was meant to be a surprise or not I couldn't tell) that the limo guy who beat up Angel is Rita's husband, who had an affair with Sara, who used to be a lesbian. Got all that? Does it sound ludicrous yet?
Rita and Angel stumble around during the beginning of the picture, trying to get to Sara's place. The same bum extorts money out of each (selling Angel a quarter for $5 in a scene that left me in stupefied amazement) and selling Rita Sara's cat for $30 and a rummage through her suitcase (she left her violence-prone hubby). The SAME BUM also steals the clothing of the limo driver when he pours the pork to Kodar while they're parked at the beach.
And at the end, Limo Driver Man somehow stumbles upon Angel going to a party for Sara, who has landed a gig in some movie, and he proceeds to break into Sara's apartment and rape her. Sara's boyfriend, a masseur who also boned Kodar's character, bursts in after the act, and they have the stupidest movie fight imaginable: namely, they toss the naked Sara back and forth between them, while Masseur exhorts Sara to "Kick him in the balls!" Angel then sneaks in and jams a pot over Limo Guy's head, and Masseur proceeds to beat him down. So. They tie up Limo Guy, and decide what to do with him. We cut to a dark alley, where Limo Guy, all dolled up in a dress and makeup by Sara and Co., is pushed toward the group in the other car that has shown up, and he proceeds to get sodomized by some people Sara's group called. But that's not the end! We then cut to Orsino, who has finished a performance and is being pestered for autographs. One plucky fat man sneaks into her limo (very likely) and once she gets in the car and see him, she kicks him out. End of story.
Reading all that may make you want to see this film, and some of it is entertaining in a car crash sort of way, but it really is a mess, and I'm sorry about that, because I did want to like it. But it's simply a poor, poor movie. The footage from MERCHANT is about 30 seconds in length tops, without dialogue. And I have nothing more to say. Whew.
Edited By Jeff Wilson on Jan. 31 2003 at 00:57