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Hexed

(aka All Shook Up, Alan Spencer, USA, 1993)


 


From deep within the realms of absurdism comes a rather unserious take on modern love. Alan Spencer’s Hexed is unquestionably one of the funniest films I have seen in years.

Claudia Christian – whose face may be familiar even if her name is not – has had a truly bizarre career playing a string of characters clearly considered by filmmakers to be sexually deviant: lesbians, transsexuals and the like.

Here, as the exotic supermodel Hexina, Christian portrays a full-out female grotesque – and she is absolutely magnificent.

The plot starts with a sad-sack porter (Arye Gross) in a rundown hotel. He is a compulsive fantasist and liar. In walks Hexina, the object of his desire, hiding out in America while she deals with some shady blackmail business.

Once these two become entangled in an outlandish web of criminal activity, the film gears up to its furiously funny set-pieces – including a riotous sex scene where Christian gives the comic performance of her life.

This is a highly original and inventive film, unafraid to go out on the limb of its own wild excesses. Not since the great days of Jerry Lewis as The Bellboy (1960) has a comedy been so determined to milk every possible visual and verbal gag out of a set, a situation or a plot premise.

Not every joke works, of course, but the several hundred laughs remaining make this a treat not to be missed.

© Adrian Martin February 1994


Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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