The Manipulator

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BJ Lang Presents Poster
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Also Known As

  • B.J. Lang Presents (undefined)
  • B.J. Presents (USA)
  • Juegos de muerte (Spain)

Main Details

  • Released in 1971
  • Color
  • Runtime: 85 min
  • Production Co: American Media Incorporated | CoBurt
  • Distribution Co: Maron Films (USA)

Cast and Crew

  • Directed by Yabo Yablonsky
  • Written by John Durin (story) and Yabo Yablonsky
  • Starring Mickey Rooney, Luana Anders and Keenan Wynn
  • Produced by Chuck Brent
  • Original Music by Gil Melle
  • Cinematography by Baird Bryant
  • Film Editing by Leonard Malek

Film Review

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Talk about irony! This 1971 obscurity features a washed-up, potentially crazy Mickey Rooney playing a washed-up and potentially crazy screen actor who lives in a state of total mania amidst a world of props and costumes in an abandoned warehouse. When he's not being tormented by his past stardom, he does some tormenting himself, screaming and raving at the young woman he kidnapped and tied to a rocking chair.

Performing renditions of "Chattanooga Choo-Choo" and Cyrano de Bergerac with the help of his reluctant kidnappee, Rooney gives a performance teetering somewhere between overwrought and slightly disturbing. It's not hard to understand why an actor would want such a challenging and demanding role (since most of the dialogue belongs to the B.J. Lang character), but my gut tells me that it was more desperation than inspiration that dragged him into this schlocky dreck.

For those in search of a train wreck, the evidence is here; Rooney wearing lipstick and eye shadow, frightfully pretentious hippy "love-in" flashback sequences, gratuitous use of slow motion, seemingly endless screeching and bellowing, etc.

Yet, the subtle pleasure of watching a screen great scrape rock bottom is fleeting. This oddity becomes repetitive and dull fast, relying way too much on cheap strobelight effects and trippy non-sequiters.

Viewer beware!

Reviewed by Mdeapo 01:57, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

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