Surrender Dorothy (1998) Movie Review

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Now this is seriously messed up.

When a maladjusted introvert named Trevor crosses paths with a heroin addict named Lahn, he figures he can finally get the woman of his dreams if he converts Lahn from boy to girl -- assuming he'll go along with it if Trevor provides the drugs. First Trevor makes him shave, pluck his eyebrows, and put on a dress. Unhappy with those results (and with Trevor's attitude), he then starts giving him female hormones and then plans to castrate the lad. The mind games worsen and worsen as the film spirals toward a massive conflict between the two.

Shot in dramatically underexposed black and white (a la Pi), the box cover compares the film to Blue Velvet, but Boxing Helena is a far more apt comparison. An unabashed pyschodrama, Surrender Dorothy is never unintentionally funny (like Helena is), instead just screwing with your mind right up until the end.

It's no masterpiece, but there's enough substance here to keep the movie kicking along. The ending is a copout (stopping before we get to the good stuff), but overall this is a rare gem that you'll only find digging deep in the indie bin.

(Although almost no one will get it, the title comes from a monologue Rosanna Arquette delivers in After Hours.)

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Surrender Dorothy (1998) Rating

" Good "

Rating: NR, 1998

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