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Crazy Love (1987)

| Drama | 1987 (Belgium)
Three 'Bukowskian' torrid nights in the life of a man in search of love. Harry Voss, 12, is young and naive. Love, for him, is romantic love between princes and princesses demurely kissing ... See full summary »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Josse De Pauw ... Harry Voss's father / Harry Voss at 19 / Harry Voss at 33
Geert Hunaerts ... Harry Voss at 12
Michael Pas ... Stan
Gene Bervoets ... Jeff
Amid Chakir Amid Chakir ... Bill
Florence Béliard Florence Béliard ... The Princess / The corpse
Karen van Parijs Karen van Parijs ... Moeder van Harry
Carmela Locantore Carmela Locantore ... Gina
An Van Essche An Van Essche ... Liza Velani
Doriane Moretus Doriane Moretus ... Marina
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
François Beukelaers François Beukelaers ... The doctor
Erik Burke Erik Burke ... A student
Chris Cauwenbergs Chris Cauwenbergs ... The tall sailor (as Chris Cauwenberghs)
Dirk Celis Dirk Celis ... A policeman
Guido Colonne Guido Colonne ... The headmaster
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Storyline

Three 'Bukowskian' torrid nights in the life of a man in search of love. Harry Voss, 12, is young and naive. Love, for him, is romantic love between princes and princesses demurely kissing each other on the mouth. His father is a hero who kidnapped his mother and married her on a lonely mountain peak... Later on, he'll do the same. But Harry has a lot to learn. He also learns that there are handsome men and ugly ones, that love can be unfair. That one can find comfort in drinking... but above all he learns that man is capable of anything - absolutely anything! - to get his fair share of love. Written by mmg

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Belgium

Language:

Dutch | Italian

Release Date:

1987 (Belgium) See more »

Also Known As:

Love Is a Dog from Hell See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$119,919
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Josse De Pauw was 35 at the time he portrayed Harry Voss during his last day of high school. See more »

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User Reviews

Unique Bukowski interpretation
26 February 2007 | by Camera-ObscuraSee all my reviews

LOVE IS A DOG FROM HELL (a.k.a CRAZY LOVE) (Dominique Deruddere - Belgium 1987).

Three Bukowskian tales set in a Belgian, mostly rural, setting. How about that? Despite good reviews upon its release, winning several awards and getting support by Hollywood heavyweights Sean Penn and Francis For Coppola, the film vanished into obscurity almost immediately after its release. Perhaps it was bad timing, because Barbet Schroeder's star-studded BARFLY was released almost simultaneously. Who knows? By any chance, this film is a beauty, clearly deserving wider attention.

The film has a three-act construction, all set around the live of Harry Voss, focusing on his difficult search for love and affection. The first act is set in 1955 and follows Harry when he's twelve years old. He is struck by his first notions of true love when he sees a dream-like film in cinema, only to be helped out of his dream by a more mature friend who claims the only reason people get married is to get laid. Remember, it's fifties' rural Flanders we're talking here. In the second act, in the early sixties, Harry is a shy 19-year old, his face horribly disfigured by a grotesque form of acne. When driving in the bus, he is stared at by all the children, while the adults look away. There's a high school dance, but Harry can't get a girl. In the third act we get a more literal adaptation of Bukowsky's THE COPULATING MERMAID OF VENICE, CA., when Harry is a down-on-his-luck alcoholic, devoid of any aspirations, spending most of his time in shady bars. When he meets an old acquaintance, they go on a joined drinking binch and rehash old memories while patrolling the foggy streets. In their drunken frenzy ("for old time's sake") they decide to steal a body from an ambulance they see on a deserted street and take it to an abandoned house. This makes - how morbid it may sound - for one of the most beautiful and touching scenes of the film. The ending is a beauty.

In the first act the film starts of a bit slowly with some awkward moments. I found the second and third acts the strongest, but all three segments show remarkable cinematic harmony. Beginning and ending the film with nicely contrasted mirror images of "the Princess" running across some dimly lit corridor and Raymond van het Groenewoud's haunting musical theme, it makes for a very neat composition indeed. Cars also feature prominently in all three segments. Most of the key scenes take place in or around cars. It all a very American feel to it, especially the second act. A homecoming dance, a prom, lampoons, American cars, it's small town USA transferred to Belgium. The lead performance by Josse de Pauw who plays the adult Harry in the second and third acts, is a joy to watch.

All the more recommended, because of Mondo Macabro's excellent DVD-release. A bit of an oddity in their usual catalogue of all kinds of exploitational sewers of world cinema (which I often like, don't get me wrong), their treatment of the film is excellent, with a luminous new transfer and jam-packed with extras. Two documentaries, the "making-off" with some great footage of Bukowski and his thoughts on the film, a filmed interview with director Deruddere, a text essay on Flemish cinema, and Mondo Macabro's usual trailer reel of the wilder side of world cinema to top it all off. With an almost surrealist setting and touching subjects like necrophilia, it's not a film most audiences will embrace easily, but any fan of Bukowski, Belgian cinema or good cinema in general should really give this one a try. It might be a far cry from Bukowsky's usual settings but liberal interpretations usually make for far more interesting films. This is worth seeing. Damn, the man even approved of it himself!

Camera Obscura --- 9/10


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