3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

It was a dark and stormy night. What? You’ve heard that one before? Not the way Canuck director Guy Maddin tells it in his mind-bending black-and-white psychosexual melodrama. We begin in medias res, with gangster Ulysses Pick (Patric) and his lackeys hiding out in a creaky old house. Thunder claps, cop sirens blare, and a naked old man in chains rattles around in the attic. Uh…wha?!? The weirdness doesn’t end there: It slowly emerges that Ulysses—like his mythological namesake—has come home after a long absence, and his abode is filled with ghosts from the past.

Among these are his wife, Hyacinth (Rossellini), whose hair unlocks doors, and an under-the-stairs apparition who shouts “Double Yahtzee!” while masturbating. There’s also a mysterious handlebar mustache–sporting doctor (Kier) whose son has just died and a mobster with a taste for poltergeist booty (played by The Kids in the Hall’s Kevin McDonald). And we’d be remiss not to mention the sentient, dust-covered penis lever because, well, it’s a freakin’ sentient, dust-covered penis lever! Maddin fans will no doubt be tickled (to death!) by each of the film’s outré elements, which only get more demented as Ulysses’s quest takes him closer to a reunion with Hyacinth and his son, Manners (Wontner), whom he is strangely unable to recognize. Yet for all the undeniable imaginativeness and visual dazzle (this is Maddin’s first entirely digital feature, and it positively glistens), Keyhole ultimately comes off like a feature-length private joke that revels a bit too gleefully in its overall inscrutability. Close, Guy. But no Double Yahtzee.

Follow Keith Uhlich on Twitter: @keithuhlich



Release details

Release date:
Friday April 6 2012
93 mins

Cast and crew

Guy Maddin
Jason Patric
Isabella Rossellini
Udo Kier