I’m a big fan of films that do things differently, I like it when the limitations are thought of beyond what’s simply possible to put on screen and rather set by the question of why it shouldn’t be put on screen, I’m talking films with story telling so deeply rooted in visual metaphors they can be considered downright hostile to general audiences or movies that are unrestrained and free from the claws of a pesky studio to such a degree that the filmmaker probably made decisions based on the fact that there was no one around to tell him he couldn’t do it because box office. Being a fan of films like that means I get to see some weird stuff, and I do mean some really weird stuff, so you’ll know I absolutely mean it from the bottom of my heart when I tell you that The Lure was pretty damn weird.
What we’re dealing with is a polish musical about carnivorous mermaids who take part in a cabaret club… I wish I was making that up, or rather – I’m glad I’m not because I quite enjoyed it; very much actually. It’s a film that is so blissfully aware of how campy, whacky and off the wall it is that I couldn’t help but smile and laugh all the way through, it enjoys maintaining that classic musical quality in that you start suspecting if the walls of reality were even there in the first place, let alone about to be brought down any second now.
It’s like the film is daring you to call it out on it, the musical numbers sometimes vary from sexually charged to blatantly cartoonish, from the sound effect of a twinkle when someone literally winks at the camera to everyone freeze-framing while Michalina Olszanska disrobes and walks around them, singing about what she thinks of all this. Even a bloody murder scene feels like it’s being played for laughs when the sea-bound killer struggles to drag her fishy bulk down the bank and into the water with a mouthful of man flesh.
I want to give particular praise to the acting if only as an excuse to gush about underrated acting goddess Michalina Olszanska, who also starred in I, Olga Hepnarova, my favourite film of 2016. Here she plays one of the mermaids, Golden, the more sinister and blood thirsty of the two and oh my, she has this naturally evil look about her eyes and even her cheek bones that make every smile bad cover for what lurks below; and her voice – my word! She’s a brilliant actress and I wish more people knew of her talents.
I don’t think it’s wise to recommend the movie to just anyone, it’s a blended smoothy of such variety I’m amazed its rotten tomatoes score is as fair as it is, it’s a mixture of musical, horror, comedy, romance, sci-fi and burlesque to name a few. The best way to summarize it is to compare it, tonally speaking, to Raw from earlier this year, there’s just this pseudo-camp-esque black humour to what you’d think would be a serious moment, but no, this film just doesn’t think like that.
I enjoyed the hell out of it, it’s funny, oddly charming, the singing is very good, it’s whacky, original and, if you like your strange weirdness, you’ll like this; it’s not amazingly fantastic but it’s certainly entertaining enough for me.