Thursday, December 24, 2015
Video Beaverhausen: Andy Warhol's Bad
Carroll famously portrayed Jean Harlow in the film, Harlow, and had a major role in The Carpetbaggers and a long career on the silver screen. In Bad, she's slumming but apparently game and having a grand time of it.
Bad was released in 1977 and directed with flash by Jed Johnson, wisely keeping the camp sensibility at simmer. It was only three years after John Waters' Female Trouble and, in this Warhol production, Ms Baker runs an all-girl crime ring. Shelley Winters was originally offered the Carroll Baker role but, strangely, it was probably the only thing she ever turned down in her life!
Just as well as Winters would have chewed up the scenery whereas Ms Baker gives a more mannered performance. She gets a lot of mileage when she shakes out a fur before hanging it back in her closet.
The girls in Bad are hit women so, of course, their murderous intent makes the crimes less light-hearted and more dark and violent.
I recently saw John Waters at City Winery. During the audience Q&A, Waters discussed the influence Warhol had on his work and the debt he owed him. In Bad, Warhol repays the debt and proves imitation is the highest form of flattery. This nearly forgotten trash classic is now available on dvd and available at Amazon.com