Dave White
Crazy Love Review

Dave's Rating:

4.5

… 10 times more disturbing than any horror film.

Who's in It: Linda Pugach, Burt Pugach

The Basics: In 1959, Burt, insane with jealousy that his ex-girlfriend Linda Riss had become engaged to a new man, hired three men to throw acid in her face and blind her. He served 14 years in prison for his crime, during which time he wrote her lots of creepy letters about how much he loved her, calling her his "wife" in each one he sent. After he got out, she married him for fear of being alone in life. They've been together ever since. No, it's not made up. It's a documentary.

What's the Deal? Since this is being released on the same day as Hostel: Part II and a minor uproar is already brewing around the content of that fictional torture fantasy, I can say without reservation that this real-life tale of ugliness is 10 times more disturbing. It's very well-made, observing all the rules of documentary non-judgmental objectivity (give or take a few pointed soundtrack choices, like having Screaming Jay Hawkins' "I Put a Spell on You" blasting over the revelation that the two lovers would be wed), but the story and its participants will send chills down your spine.

Who Should See It: Every teenage girl alive. It's both a history lesson about the not-so-long-ago pre-feminist Bad Old Days, when women faced very few choices in life outside of marriage, motherhood and "being taken care of" by a man, and a cautionary tale against getting involved with any guy whose devotion seems a touch unsettling but maybe not enough to worry about. At first. You can't help but think that if Linda had been born a generation later, she'd have grown up in a world that didn't sentence her to misery for the crime of being 35 and unmarried.

Saving Grace: Linda, for all her other problems, never stops being totally stylish, still sporting a giant bouffant wig and wild cat-eye sunglasses decades after they stopped being either "in" or "retro." She also became something of a self-trained artist, painting weirdly cool outsider art that you get to see on camera.

Where They Are Now: The final act of the movie shows them together now, bickering and taunting each other constantly, but not about to break up. I even caught them on The View promoting the movie, where Joy Behar more or less called them both nuts.

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