Of course we’re here to see Carey shake and rattle like a Santeria shaman, and that’s what he does. He’s also sweet and fatherly at times–nervously maniacal at others. His truck with deviltry has the same desperate ring as it does for Harvey Keitel in BAD LIEUTENANT or Captain Cutshaw in THE NINTH CONFIGURATION, men who rant and rage against God the way I rage at the stupidity of car commercials.
A weird-talking method maniac in general, Carey here has the weary look of someone who’s not only starring in but directing a low budget film, and that’s much more difficult than you would think (you’re basically the whole crew). He appears exhausted in some scenes and exhausted to the point of elation in others; the rest of the time he’s… just perfect, gamboling into brilliant oration ala Willie Stark in ALL THE KING’S MEN. Joy aboundeth, as does surprise bits of tenderness: he loves his horse and regards all humans with a sleepy naturalistic affection. I especially like how he calls everybody “deah”–as in “No, my deah, you don’t need insurance”–and there’s plenty of time for him to nuzzle with his wife and menagerie (he also has a snake and a big Marmaduke of a dog).
His new religion is never quite fleshed out (just how is he going to make everyone immortal?) but it’s worth playing along, humoring his conceits, just to watch him make out with old rich ladies for their money and– most of all–to shake his flabby frame on stage during his frenzied rock orations: half in a voodoo trance, half Corman-esque beatnik (his assistant urges him to glue on a fake goatee because it makes him look “better”) channeling ELMER GANTRY, he’s dynamite.
Hmmm, come to think of it – Robert Duvall produced THE APOSTLE and there’s some similarity. I totally support actors who want to get their megalomaniacal desire to be adored and adulated out onscreen and have the balls to go for it all the way, rather than sublimating and subtextualizing and cuddling it down like Kevins Spacey and Costner and of course Robin Williams.
That’s the difference between the real nuts and those who just pursue nuttiness the way a man with no mouth pursues a glass of water. If it all boils down to love, it’s the difference between those who love you and those who want you to love them. Tim Carey wants to love you through this film, if he had his way he’d pull you into the celluloid and start making out with you. I think he French kisses just about everyone and everything in this movie, but he does it out of love and so it’s pure. Do you hear me, Kevins?? PURE!!!!! Those who want to live forever must do so through othehs. As Carey puts it in the film “you are all Gods, and ya gonna live foreva…”
I can’t watch the whole mess in one sitting, but I believe he means it.
– Erich Kuersten, “As a Sinner He’s a Winner: The CITIZEN KANE of Timothy Carey,” Acidemic, October 27, 2008
Timothy makes out with his wife Doris in the famous Sinner ad