“What could be more natural than cult director Jan Švankmajer pairing the poetic twins of decadence, Edgar Allan Poe and the Marquis de Sade?” (Jay Weissberg, Variety). Gleefully deranged and wondrously inventive, Lunacy is mostly live-action, but, in splendid Švankmajer fashion, but also features plenty of, um, meaty animated interludes, involving slithering amputated tongues, autonomous eyeballs, and gruesomely glistening entrails. The plot concerns a young man plagued by recurring nightmares in which is he dragged off to the madhouse. Returning from his mother’s funeral, he is invited to the castle of an eccentric marquis, where he witnesses some blasphemous debauchery, and is forced into some frightening “purgative therapy” for his fears. It all unfolds in a glorious, demented Švankmajerian mélange of sex, violence, Grand Guignol terror, and gallows humour. Švankmajer himself makes an on-screen appearance in the prologue, drolly introducing Lunacy as “a horror film, with all the degeneracy peculiar to that genre,” and “an ideological debate” about “the madhouse we live in today.” “Delirious ... A bracing blast of old-school surrealism” (Dennis Lim, Village Voice). Colour, 35mm, in Czech with English subtitles. 118 mins.
"Lunacy is billed as a horror film, 'with all the degeneracy of the genre,' but refuses simple straight jacketing."Variety | full review
"The indefatigable Czech surrealist Jan Svankmajer returns with another weird little tale."Guardian | full review
"A mind trip that zips and splats from freedom to fascism."Slant | full review