Love Is a Dog from Hell

Director: Dominique Deruddere
Year Released: 1987
Rating: 2.0

Atypical 'coming of age' movie loosely based on the writings by L.A. drunk/postal employee/novelist Charles Bukowski is essentially three extended sequences: first has the young poet failing to get a kiss from a girl on an amusement park ride (and later trying to molest a drunk woman), the second has his teenager version afflicted with cystic acne and unable to get laid and the third and final segment features a full-blown alcoholic Charles finding love with a corpse. Does well to usurp the generally 'wistful' recollections of youthful lust and sexual awakening, showing the grubby, heartbreaking side of rejection and awkwardness and despair, though in his writings "Hank" is usually able to balance out the malice (often making himself look like the miserable aggressor); the concluding sentiment that the only good woman is a dead woman is a little sour (to say the least). The depth of Bukowski's experience and wisdom is also not evident - Deruddere strips the text of the poetry and leaves only the pain.