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Criminally Insane


D: Nick Philips C: Priscilla Alden, Michael Flood, Jane Lambert

When Danny Kaye played Big Daddy in a parody of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” on his show, he afterwards confessed that his padding had made him “feel jolly”. Although few people with eating disorders are criminally insane, “jolly” is hardly the right word for it, the general attitude being: “I hate you for hating me for being fat”. In other words, shame becomes aggression, a mechanism, which unfortunately is becoming increasingly socially acceptable. This is not basically a movie about obesity or homicidal tendencies. It’s about self-righteousness – the same kind of self-righteousness that gives a Black Lives Matter demonstrator the right (or even the duty) to loot and destroy property. CRAZY FAT ETHEL has a right to defend herself against people trying to starve her to death, even using deadly force. As the bodies pile up, we begin to understand what this kind of self-defense can lead to, petty grievances to wholesale murder. In this way, it becomes not only a corrective to the classic revenge movie, but an indictment of the politically correct gutter press instigating witch-hunts, at the same time being consistently entertaining, as Ethel is trying to solve the dual problem of getting food on the table and getting rid of the bodies, before discovering the obvious solution to both her problems!

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