Director Milos Forman seems reluctant to grab his subject by the proverbial short-and-curlies. It follows the story of Larry Flynt, the self-made millionaire who published close-up pictures of genitalia in Hustler, a mass-circulation girlie magazine, at the end of the seventies. When it is suggested, in a satirical column, that TV evangelist Jerry Falwell committed incest with his mother. Falwell sues for libel and Flynt, in turn, sues Falwell for breach of copyright when the cartoon is copied without permission. A colourful string of court cases ensue and, aside from a temporary lapse into Christianity, Flynt is hailed as a comedian, a martyr and a champion of the First Amendment. His misogynism is barely mentioned - a glimpse of a Hustler cover depicting a woman being passed through a meat grinder is glossed over without comment. Woody Harrelson portrays Flynt as a loveable rogue while Courtney Love is convincing as an over-burdened wife succumbing to the temptations of drugs.
The Relic (15) (Polygram, rental, 3 November) HHH
In this surprisingly grisly monster-on-the-loose saga, a slavering reptile- mammal mutant skulks in the dark, labyrinthine corridors of New York's Natural History museum and gorges on the brains of hapless security guards. An evolutionary biologist (Penelope Ann Miller) and a police lieutenant (Tom Sizemore) reluctantly join forces to hunt down this ever-evolving beastie. While the plot is a weak hangover from the standard haunted-house/psycho killer-on-the-loose genre, it holds an irresistible undercurrent of South American devil-worship and riotous black humour.
Moll Flanders (12) (Fox, rental, 3 November) HH
Dreary characters, clipped dialogue and a set possibly transported from a theme park, make up Pen Densham's adaptation that bears scant resemblance to Daniel Defoe's classic novel.
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