The Pyx Review

Title: The Pyx (1973)

Rating: 1 out of 5

Tagline: “See It…Find Out What It Means!”

My Tagline: “Christopher Plummer is a Prick.”

Favorite Quote: “Hey Anderson, fancy meeting you here.”

Plot Synopsis: A lady of the evening is found murdered and it’s Plummer’s job to find out who she is and why she is dead. So the film follows two completely separate stories cutting between Plummer’s investigation and the woman’s final few days. It’s not that Plummer uncovers and pieces together what happened, we’re just forced to witness it. We watch Plummer and his partner hassle witnesses, get into fights with greasy men, shoot people, and all around act like pricks. Then we watch the dead hooker shoot up heroin, (our heroine’s on heroin) bask in the afterglow of selling her body, consort with Canada’s homosexual, (that’s right, they only have one and his name is Jimmy) talk to some girl she stuck in a nunnery, and get ogled at by some creepy clients.

Review: What is it about these cult flicks?

French AND Canadian eww, gross. I’m not sure when we were to start or even what we were supposed to care about in this movie but I kept waiting for the damn cult to show up. It was more of a really bad police procedural then an exploration of Montreal's seething underbelly or a psychological thriller casting a light on one woman’s personal Hell as her life slowly spirals out of control ultimately leading to the end of it in the most brutal way. Actually I don't really see how her death was her fault. She didn’t go looking for love and acceptance in all the wrong places, she was sold out by her madam. She had friends who cared about her. I guess she did sort of push them away but there’s something not so terrifying about a hooker’s madam setting her up with less than desirable clients. I thought that was part of the point of being a sex prostitute. (fans of Frasier might like that joke) I rate this one so low due to its lack of universal appeal and overall dullness. Most people have trouble with great movies that are long with slow pacing. This film is awful and long with slow pacing. It would take a very special kind of bad movie fan to love this movie. I think I liked it but I’m pretty sure most people wouldn’t and I simply can’t recommend it to anyone. The lack of music being used to heighten the drama badly hurt the film as well as the fact that the camera operator appeared to be asleep half the time as they struggled to keep their subject in frame and the scenes in focus.* Once again some of the worst film mankind has ever laid eyes upon was used to make this bad movie giving it that filmed-at-the-bottom-of-a-retirement-home’s-toilet look that directors so covet. And the accents are so ridiculous they sound like people pretending to be French-Canadian. I guess with dubbing that may have been the case. The whole thing cuts, abruptly I might add, between after the murder and before the murder coming together more like random scenes spliced by a monkey with mange then a cohesive story presented uniquely. The frechyness of the film really shines through at times as we find ourselves staring for minutes on end at a clearly insane woman crying while some background opera is playing. The camera operator drifts off, cutting off about half her face, but we just keep staring at her as there is no where else for our eyes to go. Though the movie does seem to have some respect for us, as it clearly believes we are all well versed in cults and can figure out for ourselves just what the Hell they were doing or hoping to achieve. We are given just two clues: an upside-down cross and the term “Black Mass.” Now I’m no expert but I do believe both are symbols for the Church of Satan. And I only know that because I watch unhealthy amounts of television. How was anyone suppose to know what was going on? What’s the point of a Black Mass? Isn’t the girl supposed to be willing? And I’ve seen a Black Mass preformed (the PG version anyway) and let me tell ya, they don’t wear bishop outfits and perform the ritual in an ordained church. Oh and after all that we’ve put up with that is the dramatic death scene? That was just about the lamest thing I’ve ever seen.

What to like about the movie.

The two detectives are a lot fun but Plummer’s partner isn’t in it nearly enough. So it starts strong and slowly winds down. I also loved the fact that Alvin and the Chipmunks were singing backup at the Black Mass. There is some humor that can be drudged up for observation if you try and the film lends itself to riffing fairly well. If you’re a fan of pale-skinned, cottage-cheese ass and distant through-a-shirt nipples then there’s some nudity in here for ya. For the ladies this movie has Peter Sellers in just his underpants and a hairy, winded, naked, sweaty, middle-aged John to enjoy early on. If you’ve ever wondered why the French and the Canadians are the butt of every joke and worth so much distain then this movie might help clear things up for you.

Questions: -Did he just say that all this happened over the course of a day? I have to admit it’s pretty impressive that he can wrap a case that quick.

-Okay, I got that her madam sold her out but was she a member of the cult too or was she just paid enough to let it happen? She was there at the mass and seemed fairly enthusiastic about the whole thing so I guess she could have been a cult member but there weren’t any clear signs.

*The film was originally shot in widescreen which accounts for the cutting off of so much but my explanation is much more funny.

My apologies to any of you maple syrup chugging frogs out there who may have been offended by my observations about your inferior culture and crumby filmmaking.

Just kidding you guys. After all, my girlfriend lives in Canada. ...No seriously. Hmm? Oh she doesn’t have a computer……or a phone. In fact she lives in a cabin without electricity. …How do we talk? Uh, the mail I guess I mean, yes! Definitely by mail. In fact we use trained pigeons to send messages to each other so, yeah. No I’m serious! She’s really real you guys and she’s really a model for Victoria’s Secret. Seriously.

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