Friday, 23 November 2012

Tunnel Of Loathe








Mel Stuart's 1971 film version of 'Charlie & The Chocolate Factory' (retitled 'Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory') has a great deal to recommend it, not least some groovy art direction, some great performances and some fantastic songs courtesy of Anthony Newley, Leslie Bricusse and Roald Dahl himself.

For its bright colours, lollipop trees and occasional bits of sentimentality, though, it doesn't stint on the abject misery of Charlie's impoverished pre-Golden Ticket life, nor does it make Willy Wonka a less strange or more trustworthy character. My favourite / most feared sequence has always been the dangerously out of control boat ride, with Gene Wilder at his most unhinged, a scary combination of flashing lights and darkness and a (Charlie) bucket-load of bad trip imagery, including the sinister Slugworth and a big millipede crawling over someone's lips. Eeew.

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