Sam Neil Update: Husband, Rich Dude, “The Scorpion”

I watched all of these Sam Neill movies while sewing and doing other crafty things in preparation for my wedding!!

Irresistible (2006)

This movie wants you to think it’s a horror movie, but even I wasn’t scared. The creepy eye at the bottom of this poster is the scariest part.

The cover made me think Sam Neill was going to be an axe murderer

The Movie: Susan Sarandon has an awesome life with two precocious daughters, a loving husband, and a great job as an illustrator. Until the new girl at her husband’s work starts trying to steal her life! By wearing the same dress as her! And stealing her daughter’s toys! And giving her a creepy statue that’s secretly filled with bees! For most of the movie, it’s unclear whether Susan is just crazy or whether Emily Blunt really is the most abstract murderer ever. Then, after being totally discredited, Susan decides to sneak into Emily Blunt’s house one more time, discovers Emily is really her long-lost daughter she gave up for adoption, and then there’s a big fire. Everyone agrees that it’s really no one’s fault, but maybe it’s Susan’s fault a little for giving up her daughter when she got teen pregnant. Then flashbacks at the end reveal that Emily Blunt isn’t even Susan Sarandon’s daughter; she met the REAL long lost daughter at the orphanage, then killed her, and stole her life. The end!

The best way to get revenge on your estranged mom is to throw a party and then drunkenly dance with her!

The Character: Sam Neill plays Susan Sarandon’s husband, and I can’t tell if I’m supposed to like him or not. Of course, I do, since the natural reaction to your wife going completely, completely nuts is to keep her away from your freaked-out kids and try to encourage her to seek help. He’s a pretty cool architect who is all about pretty, solar-powered homes, which of course I like. He makes out with Emily Blunt a little bit, but then feels bad so of course I forgive him. I assume in the sequel to this movie he discovers that Emily is really the crazy one and dispenses some swift, New Zealand justice:

Here's Axe Sam again just because

What I Learned: If someone shows up to a party wearing the same dress as the hostess, the hostess is legally obligated to change clothes immediately. Emily Post Fact.

Would I Watch Without Sam Neill: Y’all, I could barely watch this WITH Sam Neill. It tries to be creepy with its suspenseful music and first person camera work, but literally the most freaked out I got was when the door to the pantry opened on its own. And not even because there was a ghost or someone hiding in it. They just really need to check those hinges. So, yeah, I was not really on the edge of my seat.

My Brilliant Career (1979)
This movie was based on a famous Australian novel of the same name! I’d never heard of it, of course.

This is the picture where her hair looks the least ridic, if you can believe it

The Movie: Sybylla grew up on her family’s small farm, until her wealthy grandmother decides to find her a decent husband. So, of course, there are the usual courtship hijinks until she meets rich Harry Beecham who falls madly in love with her because she says what she thinks and can swim. His family doesn’t like it, but screw them! Then Sybylla’s family decides to sell her services as a governess to some guy whom they owe money to, so she’s forced to go teach his kids on their dirt farm. It sucks. Then when she finally gets to leave and Harry finally comes and asks her to marry him she tells him she would make him unhappy and that he should go away, she’s going to be a famous writer! The last scene in the movie is her mailing off her manuscript. The End.

I spent most of the movie being freaked out by how different Young Sam Neill looks

The Character: Sam Neill is Harry Beecham, the rich young Australian aristocrat who owns, like, seven farms! Or something! He actually doesn’t do much besides watch Sybylla with awe, accidentally attempt to drown her when he tips their row boat, and once angrily force her away from where she’s dancing with some peasants! Then he proposes by saying just as angrily, “I think we should get married”. So romantic right now, Sam Neill!

What I Learned: The author of the novel, Miles Franklin, actually wrote a sequel to the book called My Career Goes Bung.

Would I Watch Without Sam Neill?: Maybe. Sybylla is kind of funny, and I like watching her hair do ridiculous things. I am, of course, all in favor of feminism, early-20th-century Australian or otherwise. But the ending kind of left me hanging, so I give it a solid Comme ci Comme ça.

Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992)

This movie was especially weird after watching Community because I couldn’t believe how young Chevy Chase looked, and that I was supposed to see him as a romantic lead instead of bumbling and old.

The dulcet sounds of Chevy Chase trying to seduce a woman even brought Steven downstairs to see what was going on

The Movie: Chevy Chase was in an accident involving powerful magnets, rendering him invisible. SCIENCE! Unfortunately, an increasingly unstable CIA agent known as “The Scorpion” wants him for the government, to do experiments on him, and possibly train him as an assassin. Chevy Chase uses his newfound invisibility powers to thwart the men after him and win over a hot girl he met the night before his accident. In the end, he fakes his own death, killing The Scorpion in the process, and he and the Love Interest go to live in Switzerland, where you can wear a ski mask all the time. Also, the epilogue shows a very pregnant Love Interest, which makes me immediately wonder if his kids will be half-invisible.

The viewer can see Chevy Chase some of the time, which I'm sure cut down on the special effects budget

The Character: Sam Neill is David Jenkins aka “The Scorpion”! He is pretty perfect for it too, as his speeches about “We just want to help you” and “I know how lonely you must be” sound sincere but with that Sam Neill-brand of hidden crazy swelling up gradually from underneath. He makes you feel like he’s totally going to kill you, but he feels kind of bad about it and wishes you wouldn’t make him. In the end, he ends up running off the side of a building after lunging to save what he thinks is a suicide-jumping Chevy Chase.

And this happens, which is pretty great

What I Learned: When the Invisible Man eats, you can see the food inside him, and digesting in his stomach which is gross, but once it digests enough it too disappears.

Would I Watch Without Sam Neill?: A qualified yes. I liked this movie. It was a pretty funny thing to watch while I was sewing up the finishing touches on a skirt, but it is also painfully confused in tone. The script apparently started out as a comedy, but the director wanted to portray “the loneliness of invisibility” so it’s mostly stuck between those two, kind of weirdly dark and sad, but also sometimes slapstick. I can see why most reviewers didn’t like it.

Next: NASA adventures! Some kind of New Zealand forest wizard scout leader!
Previously: Mustache Sam, Bolshevik Doctor, Choppy McAxeFace

3 responses to “Sam Neil Update: Husband, Rich Dude, “The Scorpion””

  1. Brian says:

    I was expecting an “I got married!!1” blog post and instead got invisible Chevy Chase. Not sure whether to be disappointed or delighted.

    • pladd says:

      I actually wrote this post to update itself while I was gone, but it didn’t for some reason, so I just posted it today! There will def be more than one wedding related post soon, but I’m still working on them!

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