STRIKE, DEAR MISTRESS, AND CURE HIS HEART (2018)
Taking its title from a lyric from Venus in Furs by the distinctly unique band The Velvet Underground, Mickey Reece’s STRIKE, DEAR MISTRESS, AND CURE HIS HEART is an equally unique film. Told in such a bizarre style, Reece himself refers to it as “people talking in rooms”, that it will be a tough sell for many viewers.
Madeline (Audrey Wagner) and her husband David (Jacob Snovel) are adjusting to married life and to owning a hotel. A hotel the seller assures then most certainly isn’t haunted. It is, however, close to her estranged mother Dianne (Mary Buss).
Now having to deal with both Madeline and Bailey(Elise Langer) her near-comatose sister Dianne begins to unravel and long-repressed family issues come to the surface. Could this also be connected to the appearance of a frightening shadowy figure at the previously ghost free hotel?
A bizarre mix of THE SHINING and AUTUMN SONATA, (don’t laugh, LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT was inspired by another Bergman film), would be odd enough with its mix of family drama, human dysfunctions, and horror. Reece takes it further, the actors speak stilted dialogue in intentional monotones. For further effect, they’re occasionally broken with very animated bursts of swearing.
The result, while never really scary in the jump scare kind of way, has a constant air of menace. I was constantly expecting things to break loose, especially after the arrival of Father Black (Kato Buss). But it keeps its pace until finally letting loose at the climax. This will also push some people away. But they’re also not this film’s target audience. STRIKE, DEAR MISTRESS, AND CURE HIS HEART was made for a very specific audience, and after 30 films it’s safe to say Mickey Reece knows just who that audience is. If you like TWIN PEAKS style surrealism then this may be for you.
You can keep up to date on distribution plans and festival dates for STRIKE, DEAR MISTRESS, AND CURE HIS HEART on their Facebook page.