Cinema/TV, Film Notes

FrightFest review – The Blue Rose (2021)

FrightFest review – The Blue Rose (2021)

In High Anxiety, Mel Brooks paid homage to Alfred Hitchcock by gluing together bits and pieces from Hitch’s best-known films, while doing his best to match the master’s style of cutting, lighting, music use, etc.  Of course, Brooks was also sending up Hitchcock.  Here, writer-director-star-composer George Baron does something very similar for David Lynch – but without apparent parodic intent.  Lynch, of course, is kind of difficult to spoof since he has his own comic style, which is one of the elements of his work not homaged here in a rather poised, precious, surfacey exercise which has its moments but also its longeurs.

The Blue Rose is a Twin Peaks reference, and we get a squealing mutant Eraserhead baby, lots of Blue Velvet/Mulholland Dr nightclub performances, some BV 50s-style small town soap, dissociated detectives working for Ray Wise, nametag needledrops like Vallens and Audrey, head wounds, rabbit-masked thugs (with pink sledgehammers) and another Bobby Vinton track (‘Roses Are Red My Love’).  Detective Dalton (Baron), who has a female alter ego (a David Duchovny reference?), and Detective Llly (Olivia Scott Welch), who’s gay – everyone says how young they are and refer to Nancy Drew – investigate the death of Harold O’Malley (Manny Liotta), who has been stabbed by his wife Sophie (Nikko Austen Smith) who has imagined his chest was a deep dish cherry pie.  This brings the pair into the orbit of Sophie’s sinister high society sister Norma (Danielle Bisutti), nightclub singer Catherine Christainson (Glume Harlow), sometimes blue-painted enigma Rose (Jordyn Denning) and various segues into semi-alternate limbo universes inhabited by medical staff in fetish unforms which perhaps evoke Death Warmed Up.

It purports to be inspired by the artwork of Sophia Victoria Frizzell.

Here’s the FrightFest listing.




One thought on “FrightFest review – The Blue Rose (2021)

  1. I enjoy the honesty in your review very much.

    I’m having a hard time seeing why Baron is being labeled as an unquestionable genius when he ripped off so much of David Lynch’s work, it is jarringly cringeworthy.

    Talented for someone so young, yeah, but genius?

    The Blue Rose seems very much the work of a fan cannibalizing the object of his adoration.

    Baron’s got to prove he can go out on that film making limb all by himself first instead of just imitating a master, and I wish more critics would point this fact out in their reviews so he would have the chance to learn and grow from it.

    Posted by ES | September 4, 2023, 12:21 am

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