Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Silence of the Lambs: The Live-Blog

The Silence of the Lambs came out in 1991. I never saw it. Apparently I'm watching it now.

Jodie Foster is very '90s and sweaty, running through the woods by the FBI Academy. She's called into somebody's office. She is very small. In the Behavioral Sciences unit, she waits for Crawford in his office. He's got a bulletin board with crime scene photos and stuff about "Bill" skinning people. Crawford goes over her background: Clarice Starling, degrees in criminology and psychology. The FBI is sending people out to interview serial killers in custody to help them with profiling. She's sent to talk to Hannibal "the Cannibal" Lecter. He warns her not to give him personal info. The head of the psych/prison hits on Scully Starling. She's, like, Southern or something. Dr. Chilton says she's Hannibal's type and goes over all the conduct rules. I think we're supposed to take that he's super-dangerous. Chilton's a super-sleaze. A number of grizzled guards and orderlies attend to Hannibal. STAY AWAY FROM THE GLASS. Barney, a kindly African-American orderly, is totes gong to help her discover things about herself. Of course she has to walk past other creepy prisoners.

Anthony Hopkins is standing in the middle of his cell, creepily. He wants to see her credentials. Don't get close to the glass, bro. Hannibal seems very pleased he's been sent a student. He tries to smell her through the airholes. He's an artist! He doesn't want to fill out the FBI questionnaire. He calls Buffalo Bill a "naughty boy." He's a skinner, that one. Foster looks better as a blonde, I think, but she's still startlingly pretty. He calls her a RUBE. Knows she's West Virginia white trash. He recounts a delicious census worker's liver. SLURP! Another inmate slings semen at her face. GROSS. Lecter offers to help her if she finds one of his former patients. He is appalled at the other prisoner's "discourtesy." In a flashback, we see Clarice's dad was a cop. More FBI training! Clarice researches Lecter with microfilm. God, I love microfilm. OMG, she is wearing the hugest sweater I've ever seen. The cum-thrower was killed somehow in his cell.

There are not a lot of likable people in this movie.
Clarice tracks down a storage unit in Baltimore that belonged to Ms. Mofat (the patient Lecter's looking for). It hasn't been opened since 1980. The guy at the storage place looks like he's a character from Harry Potter. Very resourcefully, she uses a carjack to get inside. It's huge inside. What a majestic sutffed owl! There's tons of shit in there, including an old-timey car under the biggest American flag I've ever seen. Oh, it's a hearse. There's a headless mannequin inside and some kind of scrapbook or album. Also, a giant jar, with a head inside of it. Looks like it's got facial hair, but is wearing a lot of makeup. The name "Hester Mofat" was apparently an anagram from "the rest of me." Clarice confronts Lecter. He says the dead guy was a former patient, who he didn't actually kill. He starts to ask Clarice if Crawford wants to fuck her. Lecter is being punished for talking Miegs into killing himself/dying I guess. Lecter wants a window and away from Chilton. He offers to help her catch Buffalo Bill in exchange. Dudes probably met at a serial killer conference at some point.

I admire your Volvo car-singing enthusiasm, lady. I really do.
Now we see the gay lady from Grey's Anatomy rocking out in her car at nighttime. Somebody watches her in her sweet Volvo through night vision goggles of some kind. Some dude is trying to really incompetently put a chair in his van with a broken arm, and she offers to help. BAD IDEA, NEVER HELP PEOPLE. He gets her in the van and asks if she's a size 14 and then punches her up and drives away with her. Our man Bill cuts off her clothes and admires her skin. Clarice gets pulled out of class to go investigate a woman's disappearance with Crawford. They think Buffalo Bill is involved. He keeps his victims for three days before shooting and skinning them. She starts to come up with a profile for him. West Virginia, bitches! Hostile local law enforcement, take a drink! All the local sheriffs stare at Clarice. Perhaps they are unfamiliar with women around here. Not sure why they're at a funeral home. I think she might be flashing back to her dad's funeral right now. Okay, good, I can pick up on narrative cues. OMG, that fax machine is SO OLD!

I kept thinking Chilton was Lumbergh/Vice president Hoynes. But he's not.

Clarice gets all 19038475098 sheriff's deputies to leave the morgue/funeral home room. Oh, there's going to be an autopsy. I get it, it smells in there. She rules it wrongful death and guesses she's from town. There's something in the victim's throat. It's a cocoon. Obviously. Now Clarice is in a museum with dinosaur bones. She's brought the cocoon to some entomologist friends, apparently. One of them is hitting on Clarice, but in non-creepy way. It was some kind of Asian butterfly. Of course. A basement with buttefilies, creepy mannequins, a naked dude typing, and a woman down in a hole screaming for help. Also, a tiny poodle. All the FBI cadets are wearing khakis of the highest waist level. The victim from the parking lot is apparently the daughter of a U.S. Senator. Catherine. The Senator makes a plea. Now, Chilton in a fabulous plaid jacket, is pissed Clarice keeps visiting Lecter and not sharing info with him. She's brought Lecter Buffalo Bill casefiles and an offer for a nicer prison. He wants Clarice's personal info instead. She tells him about her father's death. Lecter knows about the victims being larger ladies and the moth. Bill apparently "thinks" he is transgender, attempting to get sex reassignment surgery. (?)

Like, maybe Dr. Bronner's in a pinch.
Bill forces Catherine to put lotion on herself in the hole, he calls her "it," and threatens to hose her down again. She cries and begs and it seems to upset Bill. Now he taunts her screaming. Chilton has Lecter in a metal mask, restrained on a person-sized dolly and claims the transfer deal was fake. Chilton is a huge dick. Next thing we know, Lecter's actually been transferred (?!), in a gimp mask, and Crawford doesn't know anything about it. The DVD keeps skipping. NOOO! Chilton's coat has fur lapels because he is a villain, obvs. '90s CELL PHONE! And obvs Lecter's stolen Crawford's pen. Now Lecter's in a cell in the middle of some room. He is now talking about how to find the real killer. He demands more personal information before he helps her more. She ran away from her cousin's ranch after her father's death after she was traumatized by the screaming lambs being slaughtered. She ran away with one. She was then sent to an orphanage. LAMB SCREAMING. Lecter LOVES THIS SHIT. He manages to stroke her finger. Ew. She's being forced off the case, I think.

Back in the saddle!
Hannibal has drawn so many creepy pictures of Clarice with lambs. Oh, Hopkins. So proper. And here's the pen. He manages to escape, and only eats part of one of the guard's faces. He relishes killing the other one. There's like 3000 cops in the lobby of this building and they notice some elevator shenanigans. Recognized one of the cops from an X-Files episode. Lecter has dramatically displayed one of the bodies. He's missing and armed and they call in the cavalry. The guy on the stretcher who's all bloody looks like Lecter. VERY CLEVER. He's all covered in bandages now. But there's blood dripping down from the roof of the elevator. But we know it's just a dead cop he's switched places with. Lecter tears the cop's face off his own in the ambulance. Clarice says Lecter won't come after her because he'd consider it "rude." Bill drinks Jose Cuervo and sews some skins together. Clarice and her roommate go through the case files again. They figure out that the first victim was probably from very close by to wherever Bill lives. OHIO.

This music video's definitely going to be a hit, Bill.
Clarice goes to Ohio to talk to the first victim's family. She looks at the dead woman's bedroom, all preserved. Which I always think is double-sad. Frederica was into cats and had hideous wallpaper. In a music box's lining Clarice somehow knows to look in, she finds pictures of the victim in her underwear. Someone else took the photos with a Polaroid and she looks embarrassed, but like she's doing it voluntarily. She sees some sewing and realizes Bill's making a woman suit. He starves them to loosen their skin. OBVIOUSLY. Apparently Crawford has figured out who Bill is and they're on their way to pick him up.  Clarice is supposed to connect him to the first victim. Catherine throws her shit bucket up out of the hole and tries to attract the stupid poodle with a bone. Is she trying to pull the dog in the hole? Bill is all dolled up and dancing with his mannequins and filming himself. He's naked and tucked. Clarice interviews Frederica's friend while the SWAT team surround a house outside of Chicago. Catherine has managed to get the dog down into the hole and is threatening to kill it. SMART. Bill's got a swastika quilt. Okay, apparently they are at the right house. A guy rings the bell and Bill gets himself dressed. J/K, Clarice is at the right house, the SWAT team is at an empty place. I KNEW IT. Bill claims to not know anything, but might have some contact info for her. She's totes suspish. Uh-oh, lots of thread and a moth! She knows it's him.

Just a man and his dog and his starvation hole. The American dream!
Clarice, you're going to have to shoot him! He's got a gun and has run down into the basement. That seafoam green paint down there is super-sinister. She could really use some back-up. How fucking big is this basement? She finds the partially-made lady suit. Now she finds Catherine. Clarice, don't leave her alone! Ew, she finds a decaying body in a tub of ickiness. Bill cuts the lights and watches Clarice with his night-vision goggles. SCARY! All we hear is her panting and struggling in the dark. He reaches out so close to her!
SPOILER ALERT: This is the scariest moment in the movie.
That is so fucking creepy. She hears him cock his gun and shoots him before he can shoot her. Daylight streams through the shot-out window. He's all dead. Catherine is led out to the ambulance, clutching the stupid dog. Clarice graduates from the FBI Academy. Why is Crawford so menacing? That's a serious DOJ seal cake. She's got a phone call and it's Lecter. He says he's "having an old friend for dinner." LITERALLY! Oh, it's Chilton. That guy deserves to be eaten. He's tracked him to somewhere in the Caribbean, clearly. THE END.

That was real good. A+.

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