The Second Coming of Suzanne from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Some movies are self-reviewing.

Here is the blurb from the DVD box:

"Meet Suzanne ... pure, sweet and so very innocent.

Three men are unavoidably drawn to her:

  • There's the tormented artist, driven to capture her angelic beauty on canvas.
  • And a right-wing columnist who is captivated by her "flower child" radical life-style.
  • Plus an offbeat filmmaker who is convinced that the pristine Suzanne is the Messiah. In his bizarre film-within-a-film, the crucifixion becomes a frighteningly real crucifixation. The film crew's accountant tries to keep the movie's final scenes from being shot. Can he succeed ... or will it be too late?"

I didn't make up that "crucifixation" part. It really says that. Let me add that the entire film was based on a song, Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne," a famous hippie anthem which drones on and on throughout the film (see album link below to hear a sample).

You'll notice that I omitted the film's date from the top of the page. You get to guess the era:

a. 1946-1959

b. 1960-1966

b. 1967-1974

c. 1982-1993

d. 1994-1999

e. 2000-2006

Pretty obvious, isn't it? Two IMDb commenters said it better than I could have:

(1) One of those post-psychedelic burnout non-movies that came out of the avant-garde independent cinema fringe in the early 70s. Sondra Locke portrays a female Christ figure for a bunch of young filmmakers ... and really that's about it. Chock full of drawn-out senseless images and pseudo-spiritual kakadoodie, the most troubling thing about this terrible movie is its smug air of self-importance ... the film is as hollow as a hat and struts through its duration with the pride of a peacock.

(2) Hard to sit through and almost impossible to follow, "The Second Coming of Suzanne" puts you through the same kind of torture that Suzanne is put through by Logan and the makers of the film-within-a-film. The movie tries to be arty but that's just an excuse to cover up its brainless and non-existent storyline and the terrible and amateurish acting by everyone in it.

It has all the usual requirements for hippie-era filmmaking: a nearly complete lack of dialogue, youth gangs wearing mime make-up, Seventh Seal rip-offs, sitar music, psychedelic "trips," dream sequences, paintings coming to life, and of course a crucifixion. 

Oh, and nudity. The reason I watched it, of course, was to see pre-Eastwood nudity from Sondra Locke.

Here are some sample captures:

Hey, Sondra, nice headlights! Young Richard Dreyfuss played the accountant (a tiny role).
Gliddy glub gloopy, Nibby nabby noopy, La la la lo lo
If Ingmar Bergman did not exist, we would have to invent him
Crucifixion or crucifixation? You make the call.

The film was produced by a well-known TV actor named Gene Barry, the only film he ever produced, presumably to give his son Michael Barry a chance to write and direct a movie. It would be the last time anyone in showbiz would ever hear of Barry the Younger.  On the other hand, Barry the Elder, who also played the right-wing columnist in this film, would go on and on like the Energizer Bunny. As I write this, 32 years after Suzanne was made, and nearly 50 years after Bat Masterson debuted, Gene is still working. And he was already 42 when Bat Masterson went off the air! According to IMDb, he had a small part last year, at the age of 86, in Spielberg's War of the Worlds. (It was a bit of symmetry. He was also in the 1953 version of the film.)

In all those years, The Second Coming of Suzanne is the worst film (per IMDb rating) in which he is credited as an actor!

Oh, well, as I said, some movies are self-reviewing.



  • No features
  • No widescreen



Sondra Locke shows her breasts in a sex scene with Paul Sand, a Joe Namath lookalike.

A busty hippie chick is topless in the background of at least one shot.

The Critics Vote ...

  • No major reviews online


The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 3.9/10, based on only 44 votes.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

Our own guideline:

  • A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre.
  • B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. In order to rate at least a B-, a film should be both a critical and commercial success. Exceptions: (1) We will occasionally rate a film B- with good popular acceptance and bad reviews, if we believe the critics have severely underrated a film. (2) We may also assign a B- or better to a well-reviewed film which did not do well at the box office if we feel that the fault lay in the marketing of the film, and that the film might have been a hit if people had known about it. (Like, for example, The Waterdance.)
  • C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by people who enjoy this kind of movie. If this is your kind of movie, a C+ and an A are indistinguishable to you.
  • C means it is competent, but uninspired genre fare. People who like this kind of movie will think it satisfactory. Others probably will not.
  • C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie, but genre addicts find it watchable. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film, but films with this rating should be approached with caution by mainstream audiences, who may find them incompetent or repulsive or both. If this is NOT your kind of movie, a C- and an E are indistinguishable to you.
  • D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-. Films rated below C- generally have both bad reviews and poor popular acceptance.
  • E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre.
  • F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.


Based on this description, this film is a low E-, saved from an F by some good photography. It is kind of an interesting 1970s time capsule but you can't watch it for more than a minute here and a minute there.

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