‘The Comeback’ is not Pete Walker’s finest hour and a half, but it showcases many of his remarkable talents, including the gleeful desire to occasionally go too far. In fact, if the film has a main failing, it’s that it doesn’t go far enough often enough and, for the most part, is rather slow moving and uneventful.
Real life crooner Jack Jones plays an American pop star called Nick Cooper who, after a six year break from the music industry and a messy divorce, is making a comeback. What Nick doesn’t know is that his ex-wife has been brutally murdered and is currently laying sprawled over the stairs in the penthouse flat they shared. Walker periodically returns to the body so we can see how it is decomposing until, at the fly and rat stage, someone cuts the head off and puts it in a box and wraps a bow around it. It’s pretty nasty, but very effective.
Nick is struggling with his album, with nightmares, with horrible hallucinations and nubile Pamela Stephenson. He’s either going mad, or someone is trying to drive him crazy. But which is it? Well, it’s the former. And who is it? His tranny manager? His sleazy roadie? Sexy Pamela? Nutty old housekeeper Sheila Keith and schizo gardener husband Bill ‘Compo’ Owen? If you’ve ever watched a Pete Walker film, you’ll have your suspicions. Whoever it is has a real grudge against his particular brand of ‘lascivious, gyratory’ music, even though we’ve only heard anodyne MOR from him. Oh well. It takes all sorts to dress up like an old woman and go around butchering people with a scythe, doesn’t it?
Occasionally dull, mostly entertaining, sometimes unpleasant, ‘The Comeback’ is not quite mad enough to be a counter classic, but is recommended, nonetheless. Pete Walker rocks!