Crispin Hellion Glover's cultivated weirdness comes into full bloom in "It Is Fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE.," which features the late screenwriter Steven C. Stewart as a version of himself -- a wheelchair-bound sufferer of cerebral palsy whose speech may be incomprehensible, but whose insights and self-revelations are more than articulate.
Crispin Hellion Glover’s cultivated weirdness comes into full bloom in “It Is Fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE.,” which features the late screenwriter Steven C. Stewart as a version of himself — a wheelchair-bound sufferer of cerebral palsy whose speech may be incomprehensible, but whose insights and self-revelations are more than articulate. Given Glover’s cult status, there will be a sizable aud for this movie, probably because –rather than in spite — of its forays into serial murder, necrophilia, full-frontal nudity and the pathology of cruelty, in what is ultimately a very tender film.
In this follow-up to Glover’s earlier “What Is It?” (2005), Stewart plays Paul Baker, whom we first meet splayed out on the floor of rehabilitation facility, his wheelchair tipped over and an elderly, fish-eyed woman staring on with pronounced disinterest. The staging of scenes in “It Is Fine!” strive for Lynchian oddity in their depth of field and incongruous angles, and the sight of the helpless Paul is relatively benign, compared to what’s to come.
Staring at a picture of his mother, Paul begins a reverie in which he launches a romance with exotic divorcee Linda Barnes (Fassbinder star Margit Carstensen), whom he seduces and murders. Likewise Linda’s nubile daughter Karma (Carrie Szlasa), a drunken model (Jami Farrell) and more.
Although Paul’s speech is unintelligible to us, each of the women he meets understands exactly what he says; they often find him wildly attractive. This is Paul’s fantasy, of course, and what he is saying within it is painful, honest, awful and makes “It Is Fine!” as much a psychological horror film as it is an exercise in midnight movie madness.
The statement Stewart makes in his script — that handicapped people can not only be as sensitive as everyone else, but just as horrible — is made eloquent, if bizarre, via Glover and Brothers’ otherworldy vision, rendered via elegant cinematography and a pronounced sense of the strange.