Chafed Elbows

1968 comedy

Rating: 15/20

Plot: A guy named Walter experiences his annual breakdown, gives birth to cash, and marries his mother.

No, I didn't see Kenneth Anger's Scorpio Rising with this, but I couldn't find a poster with just Chafed Elbows. I'm a fan of the other Robert Downey movies I've seen, mostly because the guy seems fearless. With this early flick, you get kitchen sink satire, goofball avant-garde, spotty comedy, and a cheap but completely unique style. Like Chris Marker's La Jetee, this story--though it would be a mistake to go into this looking for a story--is told through a series of still images rather than moving pictures. The dialogue is ludicrously dubbed, and the music often feels like an assault. But I mean that as a positive. Downey's wife Elsie and George Martin do all of the voices as director/writer takes on politics, art, religion, and relationship, attacks on everything with dada bullets and kooky gags that sort of recall a more surrealistic or drugged Marx Brothers. It's wild stuff, man.

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