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on 25 July 2007
I must admit I only marginally enjoyed 'Labyrinth of Passion'. It definitely lacks the style and vibrance of most of Almodovar's work; and also seemed to have a slightly confusing plot. The plotline did get better as the film went on and the acting was very good from Cecelia Roth, Imanol Arias and Antonio Banderas. There was also an appearance by Almodovar as a drag queen performing at a music concert! Having said that, the music throughtout was quite cool and I recognised a number of the songs from 'La Caciones de Almodovar'. Sexi (Roth) is a nymphomaniac and has had a phobia of daylight since childhood; Riza (Arias) is the heir to the throne of a Central American country, though he's taking some time out in Madrid to cruise the bars and gay haunts. At a music concert where Sexi is due to perform, a member of a band falls down some stairs and Riza takes his place as the singer. Sexi sees Riza there and from then on, the two of them can't stop thinking about each other. A trio of would-be kidnappers, seeking Riza, include Banderas' character and are relying on his extraordinary sense of smell to track the heir - Banderas' character has unknowingly had an encounter with Riza, loves the men he met and can only smell the person he loves; he realises his love and victim are one and the same.

Despite some good performances, the film was impossible to take seriously, with some elements quite far-fetched and implausible; but at the same time it wasn't actually that funny. There was lots of humour in it, but it was overshadowed. There was also a seriously underdeveloped sub-plot of Banderas' character's love for Arias' 'Riza'. The first half hour is actually a little boring but if you like Almodovar's work, its probably worth sticking with it just to have seen it.
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on 18 October 2000
Madrid. She is nymphomaniac from childhood, afraid of daylight, visits the schrink and sings in a pop group of indescribable style. He is the son of Tirana's emperor in exile, homosexual (for the time being) and sings in a pop group of indescribable style. Check out Pedro Almodovar in mini and make-up, young Antonio Banderas as gay in love and dizzy music. After you have seen the movie you want to become a pervert, change sex or at least to start singing.
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on 13 October 2015
Pretty lame. I saw a bit of this on TV in Spain in 87, when Almodovar was still the up and coming king of Spanish cinema - between the brilliant Law of Desire and the slick breakthrough Women on the Verge. It seemed, as I recall, wild and original at the time, but maybe I'd had a pastis too many.
Now it just seems - for the most part - laboured and infantile. Of course, movida blah, post-Franco lib blah - all very well, but that only makes it a document of interest to social historians. To actually enjoy it, I'd guess you had to be there in 1982.
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on 25 December 2006
This classic needs an English DVD release. There have only been two versions, which are long out-of-print: a Japanese (AKA Sexilia) and an Italian DVD, both lacking English subtitles. All of Almodovar's work should be made available for fans to chart his artistic flowering. "Labyrinth of Passion" and "High Heels" are the only features missing from the series of UK boxsets (a hint for DVD distributors who cater to completists). Though they are not his best, weak Almodovar is much better than many auteurs' strongest efforts.
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on 22 July 2012
While I'm sure it was a countercultural statement in its time, this just feels like an incoherent B movie now. Very little to laugh at out loud, and a totally implausible and daft plot which teeters and collapses more times than I could keep count of. Some genuinely awful performances and unhelpful editing. It is not as good a sex comedy as many Carry On movies [the best of which still stand up by the way] and, for me, doesn't cut it as a piece of amateur or alternative cinema either. It nods in the direction of Bunuel, but doesn't match his surreal outlandishness, and while it contains elements of 'trash' cinema, and high farce, nothing is actually put together with enough style or confidence to work on those levels.

I love Almodovar's later, more assured work, but this looks and plays like juvenilia.

It's a curio, only worth watching if you are an Almodovar completist.
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on 17 February 2015
This was the least interesting Amodovar film I have seen.
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on 12 June 2011
It improved a little as it went on, but it really isn't worth watching in my opinion. Worst Pedro Almodovar film I've seen.
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on 12 October 2014
Bad Dvd but seller refunded asap!
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on 2 October 2010
found this confusing, bizarre and at times boring. save your money and buy something else!
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