by Jim Ridley
You read correctly: Actor Malcolm McDowell will appear 10:30 p.m. this Friday at The Belcourt, in conjunction with the Full Moon Tattoo & Horror Festival this weekend at the Nashville Airport Marriott. The poster for the fest mentions that this is the 40th anniversary of A Clockwork Orange, but that is not the movie he'll be introducing in Hillsboro Village and following with a Q&A. That would be Rob Zombie's 2007 remake of Halloween, which will also have Tyler Mane, Zombie's late-model Michael Myers, on hand as well.
Talk about versatile — here's an actor whose resume includes Albert Schweitzer, Caligula, H.G. Wells, Satan and editor Maxwell Perkins. But we love McDowell for his utter fearlessness. He's not afraid of material that not only flirts with the ludicrous but beds it down, and with him it's almost always an all-or-nothing proposition. In other words, if you think Caligula's lousy as it stands, imagine it without the damn-the-torpedoes commitment of McDowell's performance, as unthinkable as Scarface without Al Pacino's Tony Montana.
Above is a clip from one of our favorite movies, Paul Schrader's 1982 remake of Cat People — a crazy film with a preposterous premise that McDowell both accepts and advances without blinking. It's a 105-degree fever of a movie, and if he didn't inhabit it so persuasively — with such witty feline grace and haughtily entitled lust — you'd be that much more inclined to fall off the couch laughing. The clip above shows how far his devilish presence goes to sell the material. From there, we direct you to If..., Figures in a Landscape, Royal Flash, Time After Time, The Company, Get Crazy and I'll Sleep When I'm Dead, to name a few highlights from a fascinating career.