Tuesday, February 25, 2014

1313: Night of the Widow (2012): Shirts and a script!

See?  They have a wardrobe!!
1313: Night of the Widow (2012)
dir: David DeCoteau

Previously, I've assumed that 1313 was a weird experiment in homoerotic minimalism on the cheap. Like an Andy Warhol for the genre picture. But, then David DeCoteau has to throw a curveball like Night of the Widow into the mix.

DeCoteau starts out Night of the Widow with a shock. There isn't 10 minutes of establishing shots. Instead, we get right to the meat of the 1313 series: a hot guy wandering around the DeCoteau mansion in his underwear. Within a minute, we're already watching a hot guy sleeping in his white briefs, and then he wakes up and wanders around in his tighty whities. OK, this is the 1313 we're used to!  Eventually he finds his wife, dressed like a black widow already, who raises a butcher's knife and squeaks "I want a divorce" then TITLE!

Humor, and fast pacing? DeCoteau, who are you and what have you done with David?

In all reality, Night of the Widow feels like one of DeCoteau's pre-1313 movies, in which characters talk a lot, there's a script, confusion, fun, and blatant and hilarious homoeroticism.

In the next scene, we get the set up of Michael (the dead guy)'s friends showing up for his funeral. They used to be in a band or something, and abandoned him 5 years ago. No explanations are offered for their absence from his life, which we learn later is because they really haven't abandoned him. everybody plays a part.

The set up is that Michael is some sort of rich orphan (huh?!) who has hidden a key to his fortune somewhere in the house. And, whoever finds it gets the fortune and can split it however they want. Which, normally, would be a set up for everybody, one by one, to strip down to their underwear wander around half-assedly looking for a key, probably while calling out "KEY! Where are you, Key?!" and then getting murdered by the black widow.

But, DeCoteau is always a violator of our expectations. We get a talky history of Michael as seen by his friends as they look for the key. These history scenes give some semblance of motives for possibly murdering Michael. Or, not as his ashes actually go missing midway through the movie. One of the scenes is Michael playing football with a male friend, who is telling him to dump his wife, leave his fortune and run away with him to a foreign country...no homo. Or another is a guy having a lengthy shower scene in Michael's house, and then Michael coming home to find his wife in the bathroom as well (but not in the shower).

In the end, there are the usual twists that we can kind of see coming a mile away. Which is also unusual for a 1313 series film, which usually don't have enough plot to actually have twists!

1313: Night of the Widow is the most entertaining of the DeCoteau series, namely because it doesn't obey the endless repetition of a random guy wandering around, ends up in his underwear then dead. This is more of an Agatha Christie movie that has lots of homoerotic subtext thrown in, and a bunch of shirtless flashback shots. If you have been wanting DeCoteau to make an actual movie in the 1313 series, Night of the Widow is your best bet.

That being said, it isn't a GOOD movie. It's low-budget entertainment, and something that doesn't actually bore you. But, if you want homoerotic, cheesy-as-hell, sub-par Agatha Christie, then you'll want to watch Night of the Widow.

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