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Crazy Love


Stars: (Documentary)

Director: Don Klores, Fisher Stevens

An extraordinary true story. 30-year-old lawyer Burt Pugach obsessively courts 20-year-old Linda Riss, and they become inseparable - until she finds out he's married. Unable to let go, Burt promises divorce, forging documents of intent in order to pursue his relationship with her. When she rumbles this too, Linda gives him the boot and is soon engaged to someone else.

In a jealous rage, Burt hires thugs to see that no one but him will have her. They visit Linda's apartment and throw acid in her face. Disfigured, Linda loses her eyesight, her hair and her fiance. Burt goes down for 14 years. Six months after he is released, he and Linda are married.

Some US critics have decribed this as a deranged relationship, but to the casual observer it seems obvious that Linda weds Burt simply because she's penniless, alone and has no prospects of anyone looking after her. Burt, of course, still loves her and to this day they remain a squabbling, niggling couple, despite Burt threatening a mistress 12 years ago to do 'what I did to Linda.'

This alternately sad and horrifying tale would seem to belong to the small screen, yet it makes a strangely compelling film, with the once-glamorous Linda an amazing figure in a weird wig that makes her look like an aged Shirley MacLaine, and Burt a bizarre oasis of calm with an Elmer Fudd voice. We hope she nags him to death.

David Quinlan

USA 2007. UK Distributor: Tartan. Colour by du art.
91 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 14 Jul 2008