Pearl and Mia Goth

Last week was X. This week, we cover the prequel, co-written by headliner Mia Goth and director Ty West. Pearl delivers some deep, heart-wrenching insight into the villain from the previous film, while copping the style of 1930’s Hollywood. For us, much like X, it worked beautifully.

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Pearl (2022)

Episode 353, 2 Guys and a Chainsaw

Todd: Hello and welcome to another episode of Two Guys and a Chainsaw. I’m Todd.

Craig: And I’m Craig.

Todd: Well, last week, Craig, we watched X. And I’m pretty sure that the whole reason we watched X was to get to Pearl, which is the prequel to that film. That you really, really wanted to do. 

Craig: Yeah. Not the whole reason. Cause I really like X too.

I do a lot, but I really, really wanted to do pearl and it just felt weird. Like. We should just do 

Todd: them both. And honestly, I feel like we watched them in the right order too because sometimes with a prequel You want to watch the I don’t know it kind of depends More often than not usually it’s good to see the original and then see the prequel and then you can kind of enjoy Seeing those nods to, Oh I see where this is going.

Right. Or, Oh I know in my head that’s how that develops. That’s kind of a treat, right? For people who have seen the original film to see those nods in the first movie. I personally think this, I like this movie even better. Having seen X first because this is a character driven story 100% and it just shows what leads up to one of the two main antagonists in X.

She gets some sympathy in X even though she’s clearly crazy and this story really convincingly I think lays out how that kind of person can be created. Although, ultimately, I think there’s just a part of her that maybe is just a little psychotic that there’s no clear explanation for, right? She just is, you know?

Some people, like, she even says in the movie at one point that she thinks there’s a piece of her missing that other people have. That’s part of why I thought this movie was so clever. I thought it kind of neatly checked all the boxes, kind of filled in everything, and was just fascinating from beginning to end.

I also like the style that it was in, whereas X… As we talked about, you know, copped a 70s style without fully committing to, Hey, we’re trying to make a movie that looks like it was made in the 70s. It’s just continuous nods toward that style, which struck a beautiful balance. I felt like this movie did the same thing.

It was still a modern movie, but stylistically it was, Oh, like three quarters of the way to a 1930s movie, like The Wizard of Oz, which they were clearly calling out to, which we will certainly talk about later. But yeah, I hadn’t seen it before, and uh, I was super excited when you messaged me. What you said to me was, I don’t even think this is like the best horror movie I’ve seen.

This might be one of the best movies, period, that I’ve ever seen. And that’s very high praise coming from you, so uh… At least, 

Craig: at least in a long time. I mean… There’s tons of great movies out there. I’ve seen lots and lots of great movies, but I, uh, I do think this is one of the best movies that I’ve seen in a long time just in terms of overall quality.

Like, I mean, Top to bottom. Yeah, I mean, there, yeah, it’s, yeah, it’s a horror movie, um, but it, it feels Like, it is somehow elevated a little bit, a step above that, to me. And, for every reason, I mean, I think that the direction is fantastic, the acting is… exemplary and I think what gets me most is Ty West’s commitment to style.

Yeah. Like you said, you know, he, he went for the kind of gritty 1970s vibe, uh, in the first movie and I thought he did it to great effect and It was very intentional, um, that he wanted to do something entirely different, stylistically, with this movie, as he, it plans to do with Maxine as well. I have no idea where he’s drawing his inspiration for that movie, um, but you’re absolutely right for this movie.

It’s also just so cleverly tied to the first, to, to X. That being said… You could watch either movie standalone. Yeah, and totally not really be missing anything There there definitely are connections and and call backs and call forwards or whatever to one another but they both Function as standalone films.

You do not need to see one to see the other but I agree with you that I think I think watching X first I think That’s the way to go, but ultimately it really doesn’t matter. 

Todd: It’s hard to say because then I suppose if you watch X second Then you’ll might also be a little delighted by seeing the events of the first movie like the remnants and traces of that in There as well.

I think he benefits from the fact that they they started writing this movie While they were in the middle of production on the first movie, and it was really because they were stalled. Because, they were in New Zealand working on the first movie when, uh, the pandemic hit. And they were all locked down, and they were all, um, delayed for a while.

And so, Tai West and Mia Goth got together, and decided to write, uh, a prequel to it. I think it came out of their original character work, like, you know, they were, they had already been talking about. Which you always do, right? You always talk about the backstory. Or, well, just to prepare you for the character in the movie you’re doing.

Then, uh, they just expanded upon that and, uh, took it in some interesting directions. I think it’s also funny that they set this movie right at the same time as the Spanish influenza. Yeah. The other global pandemic. How cute and fun was that? 

Craig: Right? I just thought it was really clever and it’s not like they don’t make a big deal out of it.

No, it’s not. It’s not a movie that is about that pandemic or any pandemic really. But it was just so timely. It is referenced and I think it’s a good reminder to people that We’re not that special, you know, like Poor us, you know, like that was such a strange time, you know, uh quarantine lockdown Pandemic it was such a strange time that my mind still hasn’t fully processed it Like it doesn’t seem like it really happened.

I I can’t believe that I was basically a shut in in my own house for Almost two years. It’s, it’s crazy. 

Todd: Yeah, it almost seems like a dream 

Craig: now. Yeah, I know. But this, it happened before. And this just subtly reminds you, yeah, people have been through this before. Suck it up. And I don’t mean that. I know that it was a really difficult time.

But it was a really, you know, these people are going through it as well. And I think that that makes the movie a little bit easier to relate to because there’s definitely a sense of isolation. Isolation is, it’s one of the things that troubles her the most. Um, that she is so isolated. Yeah. And insulated from the rest of the world that she so desperately wants to be a part of.

And I think… And that’s really relatable to those of us who recently were locked up in our house for two 

Todd: years. Well, and part of what makes her a tragic figure, really, uh, is that, uh, we know from the first movie that this isolation that she so hates is ultimately her fate. Right. So, we know from watching the first movie that she is not going to be able to escape this.

And maybe that was another reason why I really enjoyed having seen the first one there, because there was just this… Cloud of doom and dread over the whole thing knowing, uh, that her dreams were going to go unfulfilled and it was just a matter of how was she going to handle it and just how bad is it going to get, you know, and how does all that unfold?

And that was just, it didn’t matter that I knew that it was going to have a bad ending. Most horror movies, we know how they’re going to end anyway. So, you know, 

Craig: one of the elements of tragedy is that, you know, it’s a tragedy, you know, it’s not going to end well. That’s true. Yeah. Yeah, I think that adds something, uh, knowing where it ultimately is, is going to end.

But also, for me, that built a, a level of curiosity as to how is it going to get there? Like I had so many, I had so many questions, like I, I, I see, you know, the, the blueprint. Uh, and I thought it was a really interesting story, ultimately a very simple story. I was just blown away from the very beginning.

As X opened on the barn doors, so does this film. Um, but the barn doors open up almost like a curtain opening on those old MGM. When, when people would actually go to a theater with a stage and a big red velvet curtain and the curtain would open to, you know, reveal the movie screen. Like, that’s… That’s immediately what it was a throwback to, and it opens on the same farm, and it looks like the same farm, but presented in such a different way, like such an idyllic Americana…

Beautiful landscape, and everything is in Technicolor, which I just thought was not only a brilliant choice. First of all, they wanted to make it in black and white. The production studio, A24, was against it. Um, and I think that ultimately Mia Goth and Ty West agreed that, uh, it might actually be more unique instead of doing it in black and white, to try something different.

And so they went with Technicolor, which… I love as a choice and it’s just stunning to look at. This movie is just gorgeous to look at and the intricacy of detail blows my mind. There is such a specific color palette for the whole Movie, it’s, it’s insane. It’s true, 

Todd: and the sets as well, like, it really, again, it harkens back to that time.

Where movies were, even exteriors were shot on soundstages, you know, in many ways. Or like the, MGM and Paramount and all these lots would have backlots. Where they had carefully constructed sets, uh, outdoor sets, homes, farms, things like that. The Wizard of Oz almost entirely is shot on a soundstage. Even all the exteriors that take place at Dorothy’s, you know, farm and stuff.

And it, you can tell. Because everything is just a little too pristine, a little too perfect. I, I, I don’t mean that in a bad way. It’s just, uh, it just, it’s a different style. There’s no grittiness there, uh, there’s a lot of care being done, and movies, especially back then, you know, you go to the movies to escape, to just be in this other world that is unlike yours.

And so, even when you’re watching just a drama, or something like that, to see this glamorous world where everything’s just a little more perfect, a little more put together, than what you see when you walk out of the street. You know, was part of the charm of seeing these old movies, even at the time, and this completely hearkens to that and just by God in that tiny little town that she must live near.

I mean, this tiny little town with one tiny little church and almost nobody in it has this. From the outside anyway, the movie theater is gorgeous, you know, and pristine, and I mean, for a small town. It’s not like a mince Chinese theater, you know, Los Angeles, you know, movie palace. But it’s like, wow, this just looks too perfect, and I love it, you know?

And then when she walks into the alley next to the movie theater, it’s almost jarring, you know? Because even the alley looks like this, like a set. In a good way. Again, evocative of that time. Like you said, he totally committed to the style in every way, and it really showed. Yet, he’s not so committed to it that it doesn’t allow him to make choices that are smart for the movie, that ultimately take us a little out of that, and are satisfying and fulfilling.

Craig: Right, and… Eventually, there is somewhat gory violence, which you wouldn’t have seen in a movie that was made in the time that this seems to emulate, at least not graphically. It may have been suggested, you may see some violence, but you’re not going to see blood and people’s eyeballs. 

Todd: Which the contrast is nice, you know, when it does happen, it’s, it’s, it is jarring and it is grounding in a way, like.

Like, oh, this is, you know, real or whatever, what’s really happening to these people. And that in itself, I think was a good choice. You know, it, uh, it amps the horror of the horror movie. Well, and it’s, 

Craig: I don’t know how to say this without sounding weird. Cause I’m not psychotic, but it’s still beautiful to look at.

Like it’s still so well planned and choreographed and shot. And the bright red of the blood is one of the colors in the palette of the movie. And so it just feels. It just feels so right. The other thing that gives it somewhat of a surreal nature to me is the fact that it is scored from start to finish.

Oh, man. I was, I was paying attention, trying, like, keep your ears open, Craig, because I really want to know if ever this score drops out. And if it did, I was so into the movie, You never noticed. That I didn’t even notice. I know. Because it seemed like the whole, the entirety of the film is underscored. And it’s…

Fantastic. Like, it’s an amazing score. It’s in 

Todd: that classic orchestral score that swells with the action that’s going on the screen. It sounds very old Hollywood. 

Craig: Yeah, the score suggests to you the tone of the scene. And I love that, you know, in brighter, more vibrant… Scenes that aren’t dark or solemn or scary.

It’s it’s upbeat and very pleasant and then As scores do when things get tense, you know the music it gets more tense And again, I say as scores do you’ve heard movie scores before it’s not like that’s anything new but filmmakers Rarely, if ever, do this anymore. You hardly ever see a movie scored from start to finish.

And I loved every second of it. That’s the thing, from the time the camera opened up on those barn doors, and it opened up, I was… And I remained spellbound through the rest of the movie. I just, I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. I think 

Todd: before we get into the plot, we need to say, obviously, like always, if you want to see this movie, we, we like it enough, we think you might enjoy it by going into it cold or fresh, not hearing a speech.

Pick it apart bit by bit. But, you know, if you want to, that’s fine too. I would also add on top of that, that if you haven’t seen X yet, we’re gonna be talking about that movie too. Uh, because there’s a lot of back and forth and callbacks to that movie, and we’re gonna be making comparisons, so we’ll be spoiling X for you as well.

So, uh, you can go back and listen to that podcast that we’ve done last week, and this one, or better yet, watch both of those movies before you listen to what we have to say about them, if you really want the full experience, and without being tainted by our bullshit. But anyway, I thought it was interesting, speaking of callbacks, you mentioned how it opened.

And I didn’t read anything about this movie beforehand, I knew nothing about it except that you really loved it and that, you know, I had seen the first movie and I knew that this was shot. After it, and I knew it was a prequel. When you talk about those barn doors opening, it instantly felt Wizard of Oz.

Not just the setting, but it felt like when Dorothy opens the door of her house into the Munchkin City. That was my immediate feeling. And then the score swept up under it and just reinforced that. And then it comes down onto this girl, Pearl, who is Literally dressed like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz.

Almost exactly down to her pigtails, like her hair and everything. Well, the color 

Craig: scheme. I mean, she’s got the, like, the light blue on top. Dorothy’s in a cute little 

Todd: dress. She’s in more of a dress, and she’s 

Craig: more in overalls. Yeah, Mia Goth is in, uh, yeah, like, overalls. But it’s very reminiscent, and obviously intentionally so.

There are so many calls. to, uh, The Wizard of Oz here. And I loved the, I liked them all. Yeah. I don’t remember. I I’ve read so much about this at this point, but, uh, people were talking about how there are so many connections to The Wizard of Oz and how that’s so great because The Wizard of Oz is, you know, such a great movie.

and one of the scariest movies ever. And people don’t ever talk about it in that context, but it is. And I wasn’t as affected by stuff like that when I was a kid, but my sister was, and she was scared. And I’ve known other little kids who’ve been really scared of The Wizard of Oz. And this has that same kind of creepy atmosphere.

It just works. But, so, there’s already the similarity to X and the way that it opens through the barn doors, but then the next thing you see, um, is Pearl, played by Mia Goth, sitting in front of a mirror, which is the exact same place we met Both of these women, these characters, are introduced in that same way, sitting in front of a mirror.

I don’t remember if Pearl talks to herself, uh, at this point, but she does get up and dance. Um, if you have, if you’ve seen X, She dance, the style in which she dances, is the same. She also dances as an old lady in X after she kills a guy in her driveway. Yeah. And it’s almost identical to this. And, big deal, it’s the same actress.

They’re filming it almost at the same time. Like, okay, it’s, it, it would be the same. It’s so satisfying. Yeah, it is. To be able to draw those connections, small connections. Um, and, but her mother interrupts her dancing. Pearl laments that farm life just isn’t for her. She’s special and she goes out into the barn and she has almost like this big show number dance where she talks to her animals and she dances around and she’s saying how she’s going to be in the pictures and she’s going to be famous and she, uh, says, One day the whole world’s gonna know my name.

You agree, don’t you, Mary? Oh. Why, thank you. And she stands up on the hay bales, uh, at the end of the barn in front of the back door of the barn. And she stands there with her legs splayed and her arms splayed above her, forming a perfect egg. 

Todd: X. Yeah. 

Craig: In the frame. Just little, little simple details. So clever.


Todd: see me for who I am, a star. And this is exactly what Maxine tells herself in the mirror in the very first scene of X, right? She says, you’re a f ing superstar, right? And she’s constantly telling herself that as well. Keep in mind. These are not the same character. They’re played by the same actress, but these are not the same character.

But there’s clearly a through line in how each of these women feel about their lives. I think it seems like, what we’ll see in the, in the sequel, Maxine is able to overcome and escape. Maybe. Her, uh, we’ll see. I have no idea. You know, maybe the middle movie’s more like Empire Strikes Back, you know? It’s not a conclusion that Maxine gets out and goes to greatness.

But, uh, you know, in this movie it’s the same longing, right? Yeah, yeah. And then she sees a goose. She starts walking sinisterly to it with that pitchfork, which we saw her wield successfully, killing a guy in the first movie. And, uh, stabs the goose! I mean, I knew it was gonna happen, because I knew this girl is crazy, but just in case you don’t know, you know, and you’re watching this movie first, you need to know this woman’s crazy.

She stabs the goose and feeds it to her pet alligator, and the title card comes up! Pearl! In this grand font! 

Craig: At, yeah, with the freeze frame of the alligator leaping out of the water to get the goose off of her. You know, it’s great. It’s just great. Um, and you know, obviously if you’ve seen X, you know she’s crazy because she is the killer.

Now that’s a whole other thing too, like, I wondered how this movie was gonna answer some questions for me because one of my questions was… How does Howard play into all of this? Right. Last time when we watched X, I pointed out a line. Um, when Pearl was talking to Maxine, she was showing her pictures on the wall, and there was a picture of her and Howard, I think on their wedding day, or with him in his uniform or something, and she says, he would have done anything for me back in those days.

The very first time I saw that movie, it didn’t mean anything to me, and then the second time I was like, wait! But I still, here, because the situ her situation, Pearl’s situation, is, uh, it’s 1918. Um, she lives on a small farm with her parents. Her mother is a very strict German immigrant, and her father… is a paralyzed invalid, which the mom suggests is a result of the Spanish flu.

I don’t know if that’s a thing. I didn’t look it up, but whatever, it doesn’t matter. He is. He, uh, he can’t, he’s completely, uh, immobile. He can’t talk. Um, he, he appears to be awake and conscious, but he can’t talk. And Pearl is a married woman. But her husband is off fighting in World War I. I don’t remember where I was going with that.

But that’s the 

Todd: setup. I don’t know if you’re going to this place or not, but after, you know, this is all kind of established, we’re up in the bathroom, and Pearl is washing her father, and then she herself strips down and is taking a bath right there in front of him. Which, I thought was interesting. Maybe families were just closer back then, or maybe because she’s a daughter doesn’t mean anything, or maybe it was just 

Craig: a Because she’s married?

I don’t know. Yeah, it was a little weird. And 

Todd: there’s a little moment later where she’s also in the bath where she’s like pinching him and she gets up close to him. They’re just these odd hints of I don’t know if it’s incest well, literally, it is incest, but like, I don’t know if it’s The suggestion here is that she is so sort of sex starved and, and attention starved, uh, that she, that she’s, like, in some way, shape, or form lusting over every man in her life, which, of which there are, like, three, and one is her catatonic dad.

I don’t know, I, the movie doesn’t really go completely down that path, but I feel like it makes a bit of a suggestion there. I don’t know. Anyway, that, that felt off. I, yeah, 

Craig: I, it did. It, it did. It felt off to me, too. I didn’t get the sense that it was an Elektra kind of thing. I, I just thought it kind of spoke more to her just being a little off, being a little crazy.

Like, she’s not concerned with modesty. But, you know, the mom, who is super strict, comes in and seems a little… More than anything, kind of perplexed by what she’s seeing. And Pearl just says, well, I didn’t want to waste the hot water. And the mom, who seems very practical and pragmatic, just seems like, well, okay, that 

Todd: makes sense.

Well, she takes dad out of there. I felt like it, I felt like it’s either that or it was just a battle. She wasn’t really that interested in fighting and, you know, I don’t know. Yeah. But 

Craig: yeah, you’re right. It’s, it’s, I think when it just comes down to it, we just kind of have to accept that Pearl is… Crazy.

And, uh, psychotic in that she takes, I mean, cause she says this outright later. It’s something that, you know, is a conflict within her because she knows it’s wrong, but she enjoys… hurting people, um, and, and things. You know, she killed the goose. Pinching her dad. Yeah. Because he can’t say anything and he can’t fight back.

While at the same The reason I say she’s crazy is because at the same time, I also get the feeling that she genuinely does love her dad. Yeah, more than her mom. Yeah, and, and is compassionate towards him. Now, her behavior would suggest otherwise at times, but I think that that’s a result of her madness, not that she doesn’t genuinely care.

Care for him. Yeah. Anyway, whatever. She gets letters from her husband and, you know, really nice letters, um, but then her mom sends her into town to get medicine for 

Todd: her dad? Yeah, liquid morphine sulfite. I was like, right, wow, that was It’s also a cute time when you could buy almost everything over the counter and half of it would have killed you faster than made you well.


Craig: cough syrup had like cocaine and cannabis and like, ether. 

Todd: Yeah, nothing was regulated. She picks up the liquid morphine, but then she swings by the movie theater and she goes inside and she tucks in with her mask on, again, you know, you can see kind of people wearing masks and the movie theater isn’t packed and people are spread out.

Just again, just little touches of this. of this era and what was happening. And as she’s watching the silent, this, all the movies were silent at this point, but as she’s watching the silent movie of these dancers on in front of her, the Something or Other Follies, uh, she is imagining herself. in there as a dancer.

And, uh, she leaves, but then, uh, as she leaves, she walks past the al how does she get into that alley? With that guy? 

Craig: Well, she slips into the alley to just take a, uh, she has like a program or a flyer, um, for the movie, and she wants to look at it more closely. closely, in the light, presumably, because it was dark in the theater.

And so she just tucks in there to look at it, and he pops out into the alley, um, which is the door to the projection room, and, and they just strike up a conversation. This guy isn’t given a name, he’s just Projectionist, but, uh, he’s played by David Cornswet, who was just tapped. To be DC’s new Superman.

Yeah. So I don’t know if they saw him in this movie and were impressed. I wouldn’t be surprised because he’s very handsome. 

Todd: Yeah, he could play Captain America too. He’s a nice looking dude. 

Craig: Yeah, very handsome, very tall. I read that he’s going to be the tallest Superman since, uh, Christopher 6’7 or something like that.

No! I know! He doesn’t, it doesn’t seem like he towers over her. I don’t have any idea how 

Todd: tall she is. They just had to put her on boxes then. Geez. I don’t know, 

Craig: but, but he’s very handsome and he comes out and they have a pretty innocent conversation. You like the movies? I like dancing. Oh, future tiller girl.

I can see it now. 

Todd: I wish. Why not? You’re pretty enough.

On account of a husband, 

Craig: I gather. He’s overseas, but… My father’s infirm, so I have to help at home. I’m sorry to hear that. You want to come watch the second 

Todd: show? Free 

Craig: admission. I’m the 

Todd: projectionist. 

Craig: But he, uh, is nice to her, and he cuts out a cell from the film, um, to give to her. And she’s like, well, won’t that mess up the movie?

He’s like, nah, I’m gonna splice it back together, it’s just one cell, nobody’ll even notice. It’s just a nice gesture. Mm hmm. But then, you know, when she’s, uh, riding her bike back home, the cell flies out of her… Overalls pocket into the cornfield and, um, she goes looking for it. Of course she doesn’t find it, but then she’s in this big cornfield and she walks to the center of it.

And I can’t say this every few minutes, but just imagine it in your head that I’m saying it. It’s absolutely stunningly gorgeous to look at like her riding her bike just across the wide frame, both going, Into town and coming back to town. It just looks stunning. These, uh, aerial shots of her in the cornfield.

And she comes upon a scarecrow and… What does she do? She 

Todd: like… Goes up to the scarecrow and, uh, starts to climb up next to it and, uh… And gets in its face. And the Scarecrow is pretty well done. It’s very evocative of um, kind of a cross between Scarecrow from the first Wizard of Oz And did you ever see Return to Oz, that Nightmare movie?

Craig: Of course. Yeah. Yeah. It also looks very much like the illustrations of the Scarecrow in the Frank L. Baum original series. 

Todd: And as she gets up close to the Scarecrow, I was like… She is gonna hump the scarecrow. I know it! I remember her from the second movie, and, uh, by God, she does. She pulls the scarecrow down, and then she starts gyrating on top of it, and is getting off on the scarecrow, and at one point, imagines the projectionist’s face as a flash, which she puts out of her mind.

She’s kind of haunted by these visions of her husband coming home, which I thought was interesting, because I say haunted. They don’t always seem welcome. It’s not necessarily like played in her mind as a great thing that her husband comes home. It’s almost a little bit of dread and I wonder if that’s because she’s not sure what’s going to happen or Once he comes home that’s going to lock her in.

You know, she has no escape route, yeah, anymore. She 

Craig: explains all of that at the end in a, uh, just the most agonizing way. I wanna, like, I wanna say, well, yeah, here’s, here’s what she’s thinking, but I don’t wanna say it because she’s gonna tell us later and I wanna… Save it. Save it. For that. But yeah, I mean, this is an obvious call to the Wizard of Oz, and, and she dances.

First, you know, she, she crawls up, she like, gives it a kiss, she takes its hat off, puts its hat on her head, and then she pulls it down and dances with it for a while, and, and dips it, and that’s when it appears as the projectionist’s face, which startles her, and I think it was, like, she kisses it. Yeah. And then she, when she, when she pulls away, then it’s the projectionist’s face.

And she throws it down and screams, I’M MARRIED! She’s just kind of unhinged. Yeah. I mean, this is her fantasy, but even in her fantasy, she’s conflicted. Like, she knows that she shouldn’t be… Kissing another man, even though it’s not, there’s nobody really there. She’s all up in her head all the time. And then you’re right, yeah, she’s all up in her head all the time, and then, uh, she, well, she shushes it, there’s lots of shushing, which is another callback to X.

But then she, uh, yeah, she, she does hump it before. You know, all of this, so much of it is like family drama. There’s clearly so much tension between Pearl and her mother. And, I read an article, I sent it to you, I don’t know if you got it, that drew all these comparisons to, these ties to the Wizard of Oz.

And I, I think that, um, her mother is kind of a dark Auntie M, who is, Constantly the one who telling her to keep her head out of the clouds, you know, like she says out right Pearl says something like but what about what I want and her mom says something like sometimes it’s not about what you want. It’s about making the best of what you have.

Yeah. And again, her mother isn’t a bad person. No, she’s just very practical and she’s facing incredible hardship. Yep. Which, I’m sure Pearl can’t fully understand. In addition to the fact that she is just crazy, she also seems very childlike. She does have her head in the clouds. Meanwhile, here her mother is taking care of this entire farm by herself.

Pearl alludes to the fact that they’ve had, um, incredible financial struggles. They’ve had to sell off most of their animals. So I, you know, I feel for the mom, too. But! From Pearl’s perspective, all she’s ever hearing is, you know, You’re a dreamer, be real, nothing’s ever gonna happen for you. And, 

Todd: it’s a bummer.

At the same sense what you said cannot, uh, cannot be glossed over, Her mom is also a very sympathetic character, I think. You know, in that very conflicted way, like, You kind of wish she would chill out a bit, and be a little more loving. But in the same sense, when you see what she has gone through, and probably, you know, she expects some gratefulness from her daughter.

And some help! And some help, yeah, you can hardly appreciate it. Plus, on top of that, she’s like, you know how we, like, people look at us German farmers right now. With the war going on, we’ve gotta keep our head down, you gotta like, not be around town so much. Plus, there’s also the pandemic, uh, and so, you know, she’s urging her to stay home in the farm and stay separated, and if she’s going off into town doing this, she’s gonna have to isolate.

And then, she talks about her husband as catatonic, and, and later on, there’s a big blow up where she, she really just spits all this out. How she’s feeling and how she wants some gratitude. And I really felt for the bum. Oh, I did too. So, uh, it was good. It wasn’t She’s just not this strict asshole character.

Uh, who you’re, you can’t wait to see get her demise, who’s holding her daughter back. Like, no, she’s a real person going through some serious issues, and maybe her daughter could help out a little bit, and be a little more sympathetic to her mom, where, at least as sympathetic towards her mom as she is to her catatonic dad who does nothing for her at this point, you know?

Right. I mean, that’s a mean thing to say, but you know what I mean. 

Craig: Right. The woman who plays the mom, Ruth, uh, her name is Tandy Wright, she was the intimacy coordinator on X. And I guess Ty West just liked her. And, and asked her to play this role. She’s not German. She very quickly learned, you know, it was very convincing.

Her, her accent is very convincing. But everybody in this movie is good. Oh, yeah. All of the acting is, you know, Very, very good. And this movie, I mean, normally I would save this, uh, to say at the end, but this movie has been wide, very well received. It’s gotten all kinds of recognition, tons of awards from independent film groups and, um, different film festivals and stuff.

So it’s, you don’t just have to take our word for it, folks. Like, this, this movie has gotten lots and lots of accolades. Um, that’s not to say that everybody will like it, because… I was so excited to watch it with Alan and he didn’t care for it at all and I think that though he didn’t articulate it in this way, I think that he felt that it was style over substance.

Mm hmm. I think that he’s more story driven and I think that he was a little bit bored by it. He wasn’t as mesmerized. by the cinematography and the score as I was. I think he wanted more 

Todd: action. Yeah, I mean, I can see that. There were times where I thought it went a little overboard. But so much of this movie is really riding on Mia Goth’s shoulders, and I think she’s totally up for the task.

Absolutely. But you’ve gotta be in the mood for a movie like that, you know, where it’s very character driven, and it’s one character, and you’re basically just gonna be hanging out with that person through the whole time. Time and I admit even I’m not always in the mood for that kind of film So it’s it’s definitely not as action packed as say X is right 

Craig: and that’s true.

That’s fair He enjoyed X more than he enjoyed this. We okay. So, oh gosh, what 

Todd: else Mitzi? 

Craig: Mitzi comes up with her mom. Yeah, and I knew that this was gonna be a problem. Mitzi is Pearl’s sister in law. Um, Howard’s sister. And the second I saw her, though she is absolutely lovely, she’s sweet, um, she seems to be a genuine friend to Pearl.

Yeah. Upon, upon first seeing her, I’m like, this is gonna be a problem. Because she’s Very pretty, and very blonde, and very blue eyed, and, uh, clearly has more opportunities and avenues than Pearl had. And, I, you can tell that they do have a friendship and a kind of sisterhood with one another. But I also, I’m like, Pearl’s gonna be jealous.

Like, this, uh, this is, some, this, I don’t see this ending well. Yeah. We’re basically just introduced to her. They, they come over, Mitzi and her mother, um, to leave some food, which the mother, it’s, it’s a roast pig, a whole small, like, suckling pig. Looks delicious. It does. And the mother refuses it out of pride.

She says, we don’t take charity. And so Mitzi’s mom just leaves it on the porch. Meanwhile, uh, Mitzi tells that there’s going to be an audition this coming Saturday. This, I think it’s a church group, uh, is auditioning young women. To do, like, uh, dance performances in various parishes around the state. Yeah.

And, and they conspire, because they both think that there’s no way that their mothers would let them go, but they conspire to go together. And one of them, I don’t remember, uh, I think it’s Pearl says to Mitzi, it’ll be our secret. Which is another callback to, uh, X. That’s right. Oh, man. And then, so then she sneaks, she steals, I guess, for lack of a better word, one of her mother’s nice dresses, and sneaks out to go to visit the projectionist.

Yeah, he had And I didn’t, I didn’t know what to make of this at this point. I didn’t really understand yet what her… motivation was. I think ultimately she’s just really excited about this audition and her potential opportunities and she just wants somebody to talk to. Yeah, 

Todd: I, and he seemed to be like, I, I think some of their earlier conversation he alluded to his travels or he talked about seeing her up on the screen, you know, cause they were talking about movies and he said, Oh, you look good up on the screen.

There was some very mild sort of flirting going on there. And he had offered to her anytime she wants to come and see a movie. He’s the projectionist. He can just bring her in. So I feel like all of that was just kind of this little soup. I’m not really sure exactly what motivated her at that moment, but your guess is, is I think pretty good.

And so, yeah, she goes in to meet the projectionist. They have some talk and some chatter and she’s talking about the dance and he’s encouraging her. And I got a sense that he was. This could end in sex, or at least he might be pushing it in that direction. She says, Oh, I want to see that movie. He says, What movie do you want to see?

And she says, Oh, I want to see that movie I saw last time. The Follies movie with the dancing girls. He says, Well, we already saw that one. Let me pull out a movie nobody here has seen. Something I picked up on my travels through France. I picked 

Craig: up, right, because I think that he said he was in the military.

Uh huh. It’s a huge film reel. Like, what, did you just carry it around in your knapsack? 

Todd: I know, that work? It was a different time. Everybody had their film reel knapsack, you know, that they put on their backs. But it’s so funny that here’s another callback to X, because what he shows her is an old stag film, which is a real stag film from that era.

And he says, films like this are gonna revolutionize the industry. He sounds just like… 

Craig: Exactly like it. And he, he’s gonna capitali He’s like, this is gonna revolutionize the industry and I’m gonna be there to capitalize on it. I mean, it’s almost verbatim, um, what Wayne said, uh, in the first movie. And she’s intrigued.

She’s not offended, she’s not And, you know Scandalized. Yeah. You know, you tell this story, you know, she goes, she visits this guy, he’s like, Hey, you want to watch this porno movie? Like, it sounds super skeevy, but it doesn’t even really read that way. Like, I, I think that yes, he is, but he knows she’s married.

So I think that he’s being very cautious, but I do think that he’s thinking that this could potentially progress to something else. He’s got a hope. Yeah. But when it doesn’t. He’s not violent or aggressive at all, you know, they just talk and and, you know, he really kind of tells her you can do whatever you want to, you can be whatever you want to be, you really should go to Europe, there’s so much more, uh, artistic and free there, you could be in the movies, you could even be in this kind of movie, I know I’d watch ya, and as skeevy as that sounds for me to say it, she is beyond flattered, um, and I think that she goes home Feeling really great, and, and thinking that this could really happen for her.

Todd: It, it seems to give her some kind of resolve, because it leads directly into a very tense scene, which I also thought was brilliant. She comes home to her mom crying, which is another… You know, reminder that her mom is in pain here, too. She’s got her own suffering. It’s not just like she’s this horrible woman who loves to make her daughter suffer.

Right. Uh, and then in the morning, uh, she pulls her dad out on one of their walks, I guess, in his wheelchair, and takes him right to the end of the dock. And I mean, as soon as he’s, she’s rolling her down that dock, you’re thinking, Oh, this is… This is where it’s going to happen. This is where it’s all going to start.

And she has, leans in and has this nice little conversation with him. 

Craig: I’m leaving soon. I can’t stay here any longer. Howard was supposed to take me away. It’d be easier for me if I didn’t feel like I was abandoning you.

You understand that?

I love you, daddy, but this is no way to live. 

Todd: With every word she says in here, there’s this very strong implication that she’s gonna push him into the water and feed him to the alligator. As the alligator is coming towards her, which I believe she called. Yeah. And so you’re just waiting for it to happen, and I think for the first time we can see that this dad is more aware than I thought he was, cause there’s a look of terror on his face.

Oh yeah. 

Craig: I knew he, I, I thought from the beginning that he was definitely in there. Oh, 

Todd: I mean, I, I knew he was, he might be somewhere in there, but I didn’t think he could really outwardly express it. But man, could he, he was terrified. And her mom comes to the head of the dock, whatever, what are you doing?

Oh, I was just out talking with daddy about things and, and anyway, that gets defused before it happens, um. But, uh, then she’s walking around calling the alligator and she finds some eggs. Were those alligator eggs? 

Craig: They were alligator eggs. Before they separate, she says to her mom, Why do you hate me, mama?

And the mom says, I only want what’s best. And Pearl says, When do I get what I want? And she says the thing that I already said, Like, sometimes it’s not about what you want, It’s about making the best of what you have. But she also says, Life rarely turns out the way that you expect. I, I think that that’s true.

And I think that the mother is saying that because she’s living it. Like, like, could you quit your bitching, please? 

Todd: Like, look around you. I shouldn’t have to even tell you this. 

Craig: Exactly. And yeah, so Pearl finds some alligator eggs. She stupidly takes one just so that she can carry it up into the barn loft and crush it in her hands.

And when she does that, she, and it explodes in her hands. She envisions Howard exploding in the driveway on his way. You’re absolutely right. I think that she’s conflicted because I do think there’s part of her that wants Howard to come home and there’s another part of her I think that’s also dreading it for the reasons that you already alluded to.

But this is kind of a climactic moment when they’re at the dinner table and the mom pulls out the follies program that Pearl had hidden in the guest house that the people from X had stayed in. Um, and the mom is, Angry. Not that she has gone to the movies, but that she has gone into town and potentially exposed herself to the flu when her dad is infirm.

And so they get into a big fight. Pearl tells her there’s gonna be an audition. The mother absolutely forbids it. Pearl goes on about her dreams, and the mother says like, are we beneath you? Are you too good for us? And Pearl says, you’re only young once. And then, and then Pearl says something like, You have no idea what I’m capable of.

And the mom says, Oh, yes, I do. I’ve seen the things you do when you think, uh, no one is looking. You can’t keep your true self hidden forever. Someday, they will see your true self and they’ll be frightened of you just as I am. Mm hmm. And then, I mean, the mother is sympathetic. What she says here is very hateful, but I totally understand.

She’s angry. She’s at the end of her rope. I understand why she’s so upset. But she says, go ahead and go if you want, and when you fail, know that that’s how I feel every time I look at you. Um, and Pearl says, I just don’t want to end up like you, the mom slaps her, Pearl slaps her back, they get into a physical altercation where they’re shoving one another around, and the mother gets shoved back up against the hearth, and her dress catches fire, and she is entirely engulfed in flame, until Pearl Extinguishes her by throwing a pot of boiling water on her.

Todd: Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. And then she drags her mom down to the basement. Her mom, who is not dead, by the way. No. Thump, thump, thump, thump down the stairs to the basement. And I was thinking back to X. Because, if I remember, we never get to see what is in the basement that’s, that freaks out the… 

Craig: Yeah, it’s the guy strung up with his pants around his 

Todd: ankles.

Is it just that? I, I, it had to be more than that. I don’t know. I thought there must have been more. I thought it was alluded that there was more than that, and, and, and I did kind of wonder if this was also following through that thread, like, yeah, she does a lot in the basement with these things. Anyway, so she drags her mom down to the basement, and she just utterly leaves her dad, almost like she’s forgotten him, and she may 

Craig: have.

Yeah. I think so. And she goes and f s the projectionist. 

Todd: Yeah, exactly. We knew it was going to happen eventually. Right. But he’s like, oh, I better drive you home. And then she gets out of the car and comes inside. And this is when everything starts to get really, really weird for him, right? He’s like… 

Craig: That’s, I have in my notes, the whole thing is so awkward.

Yeah. Like, I mean at this point… She must, she, she has to be almost fully unhinged. She, she runs in to try to kind of clean things up a little bit, including her dad, who has just been stuck there at the dinner table, and she says, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry, I promise, uh, I’ll take care of you in just a little bit.

And then she invites the projectionist in, and like, this is my dad, and he’s like, okay. He’s also off put because that pig, the suckling pig, is still on the porch, but now it’s covered in maggots. 

Todd: Yeah, this, the metaphor, I call it metaphor pig. Metaphor pig. 

Craig: And, and, he, you know, there’s a mess on the floor from the scuffle, and he hears thumping from…

She takes him upstairs and is trying to bang him again. But he’s not in the mood. 

Todd: No, which, because 

Craig: it’s so, I, who would be? Everything’s so strange, like her invalid father is right downstairs. And then he hears something in the base, er, yeah, the basement. And he won’t let it go. She’s like, it’s nothing, it’s nothing, but he won’t let it go.

And eventually… She, uh, kinda cuts him off at the pass downstairs and says it’s just, it’s the dog. Um, the dog made this big mess when, uh, I was gone. So I, I locked it in the basement. And then they go out to the barn where she is just talking about how she’s gonna be famous and she says, tell me more about Europe and when can we go?

These are my 

Todd: animals, this is my, you know, my cow, this is whatever. She says something, and it has him ask, Oh, she says this is the name of whatever, and he says, well, what’s the name of your dog? She’s like, oh, we don’t have a dog. Right. And he’s like, uh, but you said you have a dog. And, uh, this is where she kind of goes ballistic.

She can see the sort of the weirdness or the fear, whatever, in his face. He’s like, I really need to go now. She’s like, are you scared of me? It’s like, uh, no, I’m not scared of you, what makes you think that? Well, I can just, I can feel people’s feelings, I can tell. And they have this really unpleasant thing where he’s trying to get out, and she’s slowly approaching him, uh, and he just ends up walking off back to the car, he says, I’m going.

She picks up that pitchfork and walks right out the barn. And I love how this scene was shot, because there’s so much tension, because you, I’m almost counting the paces. to the car, right? Like, she’s walking, he’s almost at the car, and then we, we get this shot of him, but still from that same angle, but it’s closer, and I’m thinking, all right, uh, six, five, four, three, two, one, she should be there, and right when I think she should be there, the camera swings around, and she’s not there.

Somehow, she’s on the other side of the car. It makes no sense, but it was… No, 

Craig: it totally does. She just walks out of frame. She walks out of frame and as the camera is sweeping around, she’s sweeping around right behind it. Oh, okay. Uh huh. Oh, I loved it. I thought it was great because he doesn’t, he doesn’t see any of that.

And, and when he gets to his car, he looks back to where she was and is kind of surprised. and relieved not to see her there, like thinking that she has gone back in the barn, but instead, she is on his side, the driver’s side, and she screams, I’m not staying on this farm, and she kills him. Um, stabs him multiple times with the, uh, uh, pitchfork.

The car starts to roll away, his body falls out, and she stabs him a few more times. Um, 

Todd: it’s really brutal. Yeah, right in the other guy. Super brutal, 

Craig: yeah. She goes down and sees, uh, her mom is still alive, and she says, she throws something her mom said back in her face, like, Guess we 

Todd: have to make the most of what we have, or something like that.

Or, or, or, 

Craig: this is, I want you to remember how you feel, that’s the way I felt every time I looked at you. Oh, yeah. Um, or something like that. And then, she cleans up her dad. Puts him in a suit. She puts on a gown, a blood red, long sleeved, high necked, gap, floor length gown. Um, and she comes downstairs and models it for her dad.

And you can tell, like, he’s just terrified. And a single tear runs down his face. And she walks up to him and says, I know you’ll look down on me. And she says this all with perfect calmness and sincerity. I know you’ll look down on me proudly. You are loved. And then she smothers him! 

Todd: With a pillow! And this was one of those classic, uh, you know, it was almost a throwback to classic movies.

We don’t see him smother him, as the action is happening it kind of goes past that and up to a bird in a cage in there that’s twittering around more violently. It’s very classic movie type killing, whereas everything else is pretty brutal in your face. 

Craig: Yeah, that’s true. But then, she, she goes to the audition.

She meets Mitzi at the audition, and they talk, and Mitzi’s like, oh man, I, I hope I get it, and Pearl says, it has to be me. And Mitzi says, well that’s not a very nice thing to say, and Pearl just says, it has to be me. We’re like, yeah, it better 

Todd: be, it has to be me, or otherwise, yeah, she needs to get out of there.

Craig: When it’s Mitzi’s turn, she gets cold feet, so Pearl goes in first, stands on a X, a taped X, on the stage, in front of a panel of judges, and the music starts playing, and she’s dead faced, and then the music starts playing, and right on the upbeat, when she starts dancing, she puts on this huge smile, and does this whole…

And I don’t even know what to think of this. Yeah, like, it’s, it’s super fun to watch. It’s not like, oh my god, Mia Goth must be a professional dancer. It looks like what a young midwestern girl… Would emulate based on what she’s seen in the movies. It’s a 

Todd: little awkward, but it looks You’re right. It looks a little stilted.

It looks a little awkward. It looks a little pathetic, but not overly so. She’s not embarrassing herself. No, but 

Craig: she’s 

Todd: giving it her all. And, and then as the number goes on, we’re now in her mind, and the, you know, the curtains part further on the stage, and there’s this huge animated backdrop where now she’s in the war, and there’s things dropping, backup 

Craig: dancers, 

Todd: and it’s, and it seems a lot more polished, right, so it’s this kind of, I think, what’s happening in her head, uh, and then she stops and freezes, And the very stone faced, uh, four, panel of four down there, the guy looks at her and says, Thank you, but it’s gonna be a no.

And he says, We’re looking for something younger, more all American, and blonde. And the minute he says that, I remembered what she had said in Acts when she’s standing at the end of the dock and she pushes the one girl into the, into the water. Her husband Howard had come up behind her and… He said something to her and she said, You know I’ve never liked blondes.

Yeah. It’s just so great that they could they could film both of these movies together and write them, you know, together because a lot of cool opportunities for these kind of, consistency is what it is. 

Craig: I know that this woman is a psychopath, but I, my heart breaks for her in this moment. Because she is absolutely devastated, um, to the point of a complete breakdown.

And, and he says to her, we need somebody blonde, you know, someone with that X factor. Ugh. And she’s looking out, and um, in the panel of judges, she picked one of them. is now her burned mother. And she’s, she is screaming and wailing, No, no. And one of the last things that she wails is, Please, somebody help me.

She is so desperate. And Mia Goth is just amazing. I am, I am so impressed with her talent, um, as an actress. This scene is just absolutely heartbreaking. And, and then after they finally pull her out, the next time we see her, she’s sitting on a sofa. the church as Mitzi comes around the corner, and Pearl is just wailing.

Todd: Yeah, it’s a comfortable, I mean, from the gut kind of wailing. It’s not movie wailing, it is deep. Sad, like, wailing I find at a funeral. 

Craig: I’ve only heard that kind of wailing once in my life, and, and it’s, it’s absolutely heartbreaking. But Mitzi, uh, takes her home, and they have a sister in law heart to heart at the kitchen table, and I have in my notes…

Maybe Pearl says something like this, Mitzi is so nice, but she just doesn’t understand. Yeah. And Pearl says, All I want is to be loved. I’ve been having a real hard time without it lately. Mitzi says, Well, you know, why don’t you tell me what’s wrong? And she says, I don’t think I could tell you, and I wouldn’t feel right talking about Howard to his sister.

And she says, Well, just pretend I’m Howard. 

Todd: Bad idea. And 

Craig: so, I feel terrible for Mitzi too because she, I, I think she’s genuinely concerned. Um, I, I think she really wants to help. I think that she wants to be there for Pearl, but she has no idea what she’s getting into. And this is when Pearl does speak to Mitzi as though She is Howard, and she confesses that she’s resentful of Howard because even though he came from a life of privilege, he was just satisfied to, you know, work on the farm.

And, and she had married him because she believed that he would take her away. And then he went off to Europe and abandoned her, and she had found out that she was pregnant, and she was relieved when she lost the baby. Um, and all of this is pretty heartbreaking, and for a little while… It’s cutting back and forth, so that you can see Pearl’s delivery, but also Mitzi’s reaction, and Mitzi is just very still.

Um, you can tell that she’s shocked by what she’s hearing, but she’s just very still. And then, at some point, the camera locks on Pearl, and stays on her for like, five and a half minutes. The entire monologue is eight minutes. It’s an incredibly long time, and the delivery is just absolutely And I don’t know if I breathed for that eight minutes.

Todd: Yeah, I have to say I thought it was a bit much. I don’t know why, I was just growing a little impatient. And I think part of it, well, don’t get me wrong, her acting was fantastic, and anyone who can pull this off half as well as she did it, deserves like an Academy Award. And, and she never once… Was unconvincing and I was interested in what she had to say and it filled in a few gaps But I felt got a little pretentious going on for so long and I was feeling an impatience Maybe you you know, I think another person could argue.

That was what was intended. You’re supposed to feel uncomfortable You’re supposed to be in Mitzi’s shoes here and uncomfortable Having to stare at this woman and hear her say what become increasingly dark And, uh, murderous confessions, basically. Um, but in this very scared way, like a child who has no clue what to do, and uh…


Craig: she knows what the things that she’s done are bad, but she wants to be better. And she wants to make things right. 

Todd: What do you say to that? You know, how do you, where do you go from there? Like, there’s, what, you know, you can’t help this woman. Nobody can help this woman, you know, outside of a doctor, and some major therapy, and she might end up…

On medication, if they had such stuff back then. It would have been electroshock therapy, but you know. Yeah, most probably. But yeah, for me, oh god, I kinda wanted Once I realized what was going on I was like, more distracted by how much longer is this shot gonna be and it irked me a little bit. This is one of those spots where I felt it went on a little too far and I did actually lose a little bit of interest.

I was like, I got the point. I don’t need all the finer details. I feel like most of that was filled in quite skillfully. without being set out right by everything that had preceded it in the movie. Yeah, 

Craig: I get what you’re saying. I, I, I think I appreciated it kind of as a moment of self realization for Pearl.

Uh, I also felt very much like I was seeing all of this through Mitzi’s eyes and to have all of this dumped on you, uh, I can only imagine how frightening that would be. I don’t know, I think I was, I read, um, Viewer reviews and I, several people said that they saw this movie in the theater and that for those eight minutes, you could have heard a pin drop like the, the, the room was just absolutely silent as she was delivering this and, and when it’s over, she says, you know, she’s crying and sniffling throughout.

Subtly, and in the end, she says, she knows she’s done bad things, but she wants to make it right. And then she looks up at Mitzi and says, you won’t tell anybody, will you? And she says, it can be our little secret, Mitzi, which again, she says to Maxine and uh, X, and then Mitzi gets up and she’s like, okay, Pearl, um, I think I better go now.

She’s obviously terrified, but she’s trying to 

Todd: be cool. Well, it’s a callback to, um, what’s his name? The Projectionist. She is now in the exact same position the Projectionist was in earlier. Right. We almost know how this is going to end. Well, right. It’s foreshadowed. And 

Craig: she walks out, and the camera tracks in front of her as she’s walking down the driveway.

And in the background, you see Pearl walk out in her red dress, slowly. Casually, walk to the wood chopping stump and pull out the axe and start following Mitzi in slow pursuit. Which Mitzi 

Todd: sees, and starts freaking out, and it is a very awesome, very long tracking shot where You know it’s gonna happen, but it takes place in real time.

Ha ha ha ha! Mitzi stumbles a little bit. She gets up. Pearl’s just getting closer and closer and closer. And she axes her a couple times in the back. And then Mitzi is laying on her back. Interestingly enough, As brutal as this was, it’s not like there was blood flying everywhere. It’s not like there was any shot of the axe hitting the body or anything like that.

Um, which I was actually kind of grateful 

Craig: for. Well, yeah, I mean, you don’t want to see this poor innocent girl terribly brutalized. But Mitzi rolls over and says, No! Please! I’ll do anything you want! It’s not about what I want anymore, Mitzi. It’s about making the best of what I have. And, and she kills her.

And I think that she really has adopted that, that point of view at this point. Um, she goes in, she goes in and she lays down with her mother who is now dead for a while. And it’s almost as though she reconciles with her mother. Uh, almost like… You were right. I know you, you know, you only meant well. Um, she kind of has this little moment of reconciliation, but then she, she chops up Mitzi and feeds Feeds 

Todd: her to the alligator.

This is where it, you know, it just gets very, I mean again, it’s very, I think this is what one of the things you were talking about earlier when you were like, you know, it was beautifully presented as gruesome as it was. And it’s these close ups of her head, very convincing, by the way, close ups of the head getting chopped off and the legs and everything.

These don’t look like prosthetics, but it’s all on split screen as well. 

Craig: But did you notice, as soon as I saw that this time, I don’t know if I noticed it the first time, at this point, the style starts to turn towards the style of X. Yeah. Because X made use of those split screens throughout. We’ve not seen them in this movie yet.

But, and I just thought that that was such a clever way of showing a turning point. 

Todd: Yeah, that’s, no, that’s a very good point actually, you’re right. Cause it, it stylistically doesn’t fit with the 19, I mean there was… It wouldn’t have happened like this. This was definitely a 70s 

Craig: kind of keeping with the rest of the movie.

So to me, it indicates a change. Um, and I think that’s great. And, and I think that what her plan is, is she’s going to, you know, make the most of what she has. And what that means is making a comfortable home for Howard to come home to. Yeah. Which, ironically, he does, presumably within… A couple of days, because he walks in, uh, calling her name, very excited, and, uh, he walks into the kitchen to find the dead parents seated at the table with the metaphor pig in between them, flies everywhere.


Todd: completely decomposed, and it’s, uh, I mean, if you really… I mean, I don’t think this is a coincidence either, talking about ties to X, and X being heavily inspired by Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This is 100% a scene from that movie. He comes in, he looks at her, and he’s kind of horrified, what’s going on?

And she comes out with a pitcher of lemonade, is it? Which we see in X, right? There’s the whole lemonade thing. And she gets this big smile on her face, and she goes, Oh Howard, I’m so glad you’re home. And the end comes across it just like it does in those old movies. And then, as it often does in these old movies, the film is still going while the credits are coming up on the screen over it.

And now it’s going for an uncomfortably long time while she is frozen, not freeze framed, just frozen in this smile where you just see… a whole range of emotions where it’s, it becomes like there’s a tear that falls out of her face, her smile’s kind of hard to manage, and now it looks really, really forced, and it just looks like the inner turmoil of hers, just everything that’s going on in her mind just slowed down considerably and presented for us visually.

It’s really effective, and I thought, what a smart thing to do, and man, when Mia Goth and uh, Tai West wrote this movie, What an interesting idea that she must have come up with, like, stay in my face and I’m just gonna hold this and I’m gonna show you all this stuff. No! I go into the trivia and I read that he just didn’t yell cut.

Yeah. It was just a thing he came up with on the spot or whatever. A lot of that uncomfortability is her, like, begging, can you please yell cut inside her head? 

Craig: Well, it’s great. I think that it shows, you know, that… She’s shattered, you know, she’s, she’s trying so hard to keep the mask from slipping, and she’s just fighting it with all of her might, and she just barely can do it.

It is, it’s, it’s great, and it would be, like, it would be so difficult, um, as an actor, to do that, to stay in that moment. 

Todd: Super professional. It reminds me of The End of the Graduate, which was one of my all time favorite movies. And something very similar happens there, remember, where Dustin Hoffman and what’s her name’s character break out of the wedding, and they hop on the bus, and now they’re gonna escape, and they’re in the back of the bus, and they’re looking at their pursuers, who are now far in the distance, and then they turn around, and they sit there, and it keeps going, and it’s like, suddenly this uncomfortable, like, these looks on their face, like…

Just say, now what? What are we doing? We got what we wanted, now what? It’s this very real moment, and the same thing happened in that movie as well. The director just purposely didn’t yell cut. And I started 

Craig: to talk about it very early on, um, and then I got lost in my train of thought. What I was getting at was I really wanted to know how Howard played into all of this, because um, in the second movie He’s murderous as well, and so, I guess that the suggestion here is that the most influential force in his life was his love for her.

And that he just continued to cover for her however necessary, you know, he would do anything for her back in those days. Um, but it’s jarring to see this young, fresh faced guy coming home to what should be the beginning of his life. Having just probably been through the most traumatic experience of his life, only to walk into this nightmare.

Uh, that’s really, it’s interesting. And 

Todd: in X, you know, there’s this point in which Howard walks the kids down to the cabin, and I don’t remember if it was then or if it’s later, but he directly says something to one of the kids about how, you know, you young people don’t come in and stir up my wife like young…

You young people often come in and, and, and get her going and Yeah, he tells them to be discreet. Yeah, and you’re not really sure exactly what he means, like what he’s afraid of, but I can see now from this movie, right, this guy is hearing the stories from her about how all of these people that she trusted or that she thought were going to help her and whatnot, just sort of, in her mind anyway, turned on her, right?

She thinks that her friend Mitzi got the part and she’s lying about it. She thought the projectionist was going to take her to Europe and that became clear. He, he wasn’t going to do that. And so I do wonder too, if Howard kind of adopts this mindset that, you know, maybe a lot of this isn’t her fault. And that’s why.

He gets a rotten attitude, uh, towards outsiders and kids, and why they just hold themselves up there, you know. That and PTSD. Ha ha ha ha. 

Craig: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I don’t, gosh, I, I’ve been wanting to talk about this, uh, for so long, and I, uh, Honestly, I’m sure there are people who disagree, you know, it’s got a pretty good rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Like I said, it was well received critically for the most part. It won a lot of awards, you know, there’s a whole list. If you go to Wikipedia and look it up, there’s a whole big long list of all the awards. Mia Goth won Best Actress and Best Villain at a bunch of different film festivals. It won Best Horror Movie of the Year.

Uh, at a bunch of different festivals and stuff like that. Um, so it’s been received very well, but from personal experience, I know that it’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but I will go on record as saying, in terms of cinematic quality, I think that this is one of the best movies that we’ve ever reviewed on 

Todd: the podcast.

Well, yeah. I mean, couple this with X, which we were Similarly glowing about, and I can’t wait to see Maxine. I cannot wait to see what Time West does with Maxine! And it’s supposedly set in the 80s. Is he gonna cop an 80s style? That’ll be fun. I don’t know. You know, I can’t wait. It’s like my favorite era 

Craig: Right, right.

Like i’m thinking like gritty like maniac type vibes or something like that I don’t know. I i’m sure he’ll surprise us Um, and I and I hope um that we are Pleasantly surprised, because, man, it’d be a letdown if it sucks. 

Todd: Yeah. Well, my guess is Maxine is gonna don a hockey mask and start haunting people in their dreams.

Craig: At a summer camp, for sure. And then, uh, at the end it’ll turn out she has a teeny peeny. And she’ll just stand and scream. Yes, that’s 

Todd: right.

Well, thank you so much for listening to this episode and thank you for your support, patrons. Uh, if you enjoyed this podcast, please share it with a friend. You can find us online just by searching Two Guys in a Chainsaw podcast and, uh, hit us up on Twitter, hit us up on Instagram, hit us up on our Facebook page.

Send us some requests. Let us know, uh, what movie you’d like us to do next. Until next time, I’m Todd and I’m Craig with Two Guys and a Chainsaw.

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