God's Comedy (1996) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Like most of us, you've probably sat back and thought to yourself, "I'd like to see a slow, painterly, intellectualized, perverse, two and a half hour black comedy. I could watch a Peter Greenaway movie, but that damned Greenaway always makes 'em in English. I want to see one in Portuguese."

Well, your long national nightmare is over. Portugal has its own Peter Greenaway clone, a langorously paced, wordy, but visually arresting film about an old man who manages an Ice Cream parlor.

This fella really knows his ice cream. He'll tell anybody who cares to listen about the historical development of various ice products, and the split of the modern market between the American style ice creams and the European ices. He recites the exact same speeches again, and again, verbatim. Keep that fast forward handy, because these speeches are long and pretentious when you hear them the first time, and they don't get better with repetition.


Claudia Teixeira is seen topless as she undresses, and as she bathes in the milk. She also stands up in the tub, and we see her nude from the side.
There is something he like better than ice cream. Young girls. He hires only beautiful young chickadees, and gets off on talking dirty to them, fantasizing about them, and fantasizing about talking dirty to them. He has some other interesting perversions as well. He collects the pubic hair of both young women he has known and famous women. The prize of his collection is the pubic hair of Queen Victoria.

His ultimate fantasy is to combine his great loves. He likes to make new flavors and his dream is to make a girl-flavored ice. I mean Ben and Jerry may have a Cherry Garcia, but the name is honorary. They didn't actually use any of Jerry to create the flavor. This guy plans to go them one better. He invites a young girl up to his apartment, and asks her to take a milk-bath. When she has to pee, he asks her to pee right in the milk. All the better to make a Joaninha flavored ice. Then he does some other generally odd things with her.

Unfortunately, her father finds out, and he is a sad camper. The ice cream dude puts a cigarette in his mouth and the father removes it. He lights another and the father removes it. They repeat this exactly 16 times before daddy kicks the stuffing out of the little pervert. (That chapter on the DVD is called "16 Cigarettes")

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen letterboxed, matted to about a 1.6:1 ratio

  • no meaningful features

Needless to say, everything in his stylized life is lost. When he gets out of the hospital, he has lost his job, and his once elegant apartment is  covered with pigeon shit. 

The end

That's it. Not even a pigeon flavored ice cream. That's all, after 162 minutes of set-up.


The Critics Vote

  • no reviews

  • won a special jury prize at the Venice Film Festival

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: a small number of IMDb voters score it 7.3.
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C-. If you like arty European black comedies, you may make it through this awake, because it is strange and demented and visually interesting. Anybody else will find it slower than molasses in January, and w-a-a-ay too long and repetitious.

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