The Metrograph in NYC has been showing a bunch of Beth B movies, as well as her new documentary about her artist mother called Call Her Applebroog. Beth B is an independent filmmaker who has been making movies since 1978. I had previously caught her movie called Vortex, last year at BAM, something I had wanted to see for many years due to my interest in the star of that one, Lydia Lunch.
Salvation was of interest to me for other reasons, one, the star Exene from the band X. Two, a very early performance by Viggo Mortensen, and three, Dominique Davalos, the very sexy co star who was also the lead singer in Dominatrix, who had a huge 1980s club hit called The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight, a nod to The Lion Sleep Tonight. Beth B also directed their music video, which was banned by MTV and other places, just as the song had been banned by many a radio station as well. You can check out that video here:
The plot is fairly simple, Exene plays a housewife who loves to watch and send money to a television evangelist. Viggo is her husband, Dominique is her sister. They devise a plan to hook up Dominique with the preacher and get him to add Exene to his show as a singer, so they can all get rich.
Over acting abounds in this movie, with much screaming and fanfare. The writing is not particularly good or witty, and in many instances crude and unformed. There is much more that could have been had in this movie, so much more room for plot, irony, intrigue, or just plain old fun. But they had a minimal budget, much of it probably being spent on locations like The Limelight or the Brooklyn Navy Yards. Plus that soundtrack must not have been super cheap.
Even with all these flaws, the movie was fun for someone who is familiar with the actors involved, the locations or the music. This is more of a kind of movie where you enjoy it regardless of its flaws, IF, and this is a big if, you can get into this sort of thing. As a time capsule of the era, and a look at indie filmmaking oh so long ago, this is a fun one to watch.
7 out of 10 stars.