The Plumber (1979)

At first simply grating, the presence of a hard-edged, macho plumber who damages more than he repairs and returns day after day soon turns menacing for the intellectual wife of a distracted doctor.

Siskoid

With The Plumber, Peter Weir shows that horror, things that fill us with fear, dread and anxiety, need not lead to bloody murder. An anthropologist trying to write her newest book finds life unbearable when an obnoxious plumber enters her apartment to check her pipes and ends up staying for way too long to fix/destroy her bathroom. It certainly trades on the mistrust people with higher education have of the blue-collar working class, but the thrill comes from more than the woman's classism. It's also the story of a woman's space invaded by a strange man, while her husband ignores her problems in the pursuit of his own ambition. Throughout, the movie is a little ambivalent about whether or not the plumber is sinister or not, and we're allowed to think that his extremes are translated through her point of view. Some viewers may well cheer the plumber on, rather than this colonialist from the intelligentsia. A lot of fun and rather more thought-provoking than it would first seem.

2 years ago

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