Even the spoilers are confused by this one.
There is a cult following for Tommy Wiseau’s “The Room” and for Neil Breen’s movies. I have no doubt that Alien Crystal Palace will eventually amass its own cult following. The argument here is to create a plot using a nonsensical script where there is an overall premise but the way the characters conduct themselves is either bizarre or overdone to the point that it seems ludicrous. There is an audience for this kinds of films in which bad acting becomes endearing, in which the dialog lines are ludicrous. In this context, the film performs without issues.
Alien Crystal Palace is movie directed by Arielle Dombasle with a musical score by Nicolas Ker. The story is about a movie directed by Dolores Rivers (Arielle Dombasle) with a musical score by Nicolas Atlante (Nicolas Ker). It’s very meta. Don’t worry, it doesn’t really have a reason for it. As Dolores directs the film-within-the-film about the last descendant of Egyptian royalty, she herself reminisces about the time where she was little and grew up on the same places she’s shooting (this alludes to the fact that Dolores might herself be an Egyptian princess). The set is then invaded by the abrasive and narcissistic rockstar Nicolas Atlante, which has been hired to do the music. Nicolas and Dolores already feel a connection, with Nicolas having these visions of Dolores as some sort of magical priestess.
Little do they know that the three producers (Ali Mahdavi, Christian Louboutin and Thaddaeus Ropac) that convinced Nicolas with everything he would ever want, money is no object (yes, that’s totally what producers would say) have ulterior motives. Carrying around three suitcases, one with money, one with diamonds and one with a gun (because that is totally the way that you should transport a firearm, just a loose revolver bumping inside a suitcase), they have been tasked to bring the musician and the director together by command of the scientist Hambourg (Michel Fau). Hambourg is trying to recreate the original androgynous being for that he has
assembled a research team of scientists started a crazy cult of followers. At least he got cake on his birthday (actually so did I, a fact that has nothing to do with the movie, but don’t worry the movie also gives out facts that doesn’t have to do with the movie).
My favourite character is the inspector (Theo Hakola) who shows up in Venice, Italy as well as anywhere else in the world that the film crew is shooting on. He’s accompanied by policemen dressed in latex shirts with the word Police in a stylized font and caps with a strobe light because that’s how cops dress now. He’s my favourite character because every single line of dialog he speaks is out of place, ridiculous and unbelievably badly delivered. I literally cringe at his intonation. When Dolores literally throws other women at Nicolas Atlante and they turn out dead, the inspector is on the case.
Nicolas is married to Sybille (Asia Argento), who is not really traveling with the film but still gets harassed by the inspector back in the US. That’s relevant to the plot because Sybille later on goes to
play a big role in the ending not really do anything, but you do see her at the end for no reason. The foreboding that Dolores might be Egyptian royalty turns out to be kinda relevant. I was not sure if we really got an ending. It stops at some point, for sure. Just for this, I had to rewatch the finale days later. Yes, the movie does provide some sort of ending although it’s less about what it resolves but what it decides to leave open.
I’m not sure if it starts that way but at some point in the film I realized that all the voices sound like they’re dubbed. Either the original sound was bad and rather than redoing everything they decided to just re-record everyone’s line on top or this was a creative decision. After noticing this, I payed special attention to everyone’s lips and I’m pretty sure I caught a few instances of extra lines added when lips were out of sync or not moving at all. No use watching this one on surround sound, the voices sound the same in every environment regardless of whether the cast is talking indoors, outdoors or inside a submarine.
Recommended only for lovers of intentionally bad films. And yes, to quote another movie critic, you can see some cult movie status potentially developing around this film. Which means we’re going to need colourful wigs, bikinis and a submarine. Given all the locations and the names involved, I wonder how much was the budget and/or how much favours were called in. Then again, perhaps it’s better for my sanity that I never find that out.
That will do for now.