Saturday, October 13, 2012

Isn't It Necromantic?: "She's So Cold" (1995)

Angel Connell's short film/long form music video makes the viewer see the Rolling Stones' "She's So Cold" in a whole new light, and his cast seems to have a hoot doing it. This comes off as a fun-to-watch twelve minutes...even with the incestuous overtones, and sex with a dead body.

In the not too distant future, an attractive young woman goes to a police station and requests to see the confession from the infamous Zeno case. According to the clerks' gossip, a Mr. Zeno was found guilty of forcing his fiancee's sister to kill herself with a drug overdose, and Zeno was found later having sex with her corpse. His confession is a mystery, and no one has been able to figure it out since Zeno was sent to an asylum for the criminally insane five years earlier. The young woman, Martha, was Zeno's fiancee, and she may hold the clue as to what Zeno's confession means. She goes to a viewing room, solemnly puts the disc into a playback machine, and...we are treated to a black and white video of the Rolling Stones' "She's So Cold," perfectly shot and lip synched, as a goateed man, Zeno, reenacts his necrophilia crime. What is Martha seeing? Is she imagining what Zeno is describing, or will all futuristic criminal confessions consist of smoke machines and hired actors?

The police station and clerks' gossip is so well done, that when "She's So Cold" is given a literal translation that makes Tom Petty's "Last Chance with Mary Jane" seem mild, then the film had me. Connell's strength is in the editing. While his later two-character short, "Stocking Stuffers," didn't require a lot of editing, this film does, and it is done flawlessly. The song is already great, and Connell does an admirable job with his film. Changing the screen from the color police station scenes to black and white for the song is genius, and totally works. There is a bit of a twist at the end of the film, leading the viewer to draw their own conclusion, but Connell does not beat anyone over the head with obvious explanations.

Of course, after watching this twice in a row, I cannot get the song out of my head. "She's So Cold" (the film) did see a few festival screenings a decade ago, and probably should have been seen by more...I'm so hot for her, I'm so hot for...damn it! (* * * *) out of five stars.