This browser is supported only in Windows 10 and above.


“Crazy Love”

Posted by on

By Matt Singer

IFC News

[Photo: “Crazy Love,” Magnolia Pictures, 2007]

“Crazy Love” could only work as a documentary. If you tried to pass off this story, about a man and a woman who marry years after he blinded her by dousing her with acid, as an invention, no one would believe it. And yet here it is, complete with old photographs, newsreels and articles (“Acid Thrower Blinds Girl” screams a typical headline). They say it takes all kinds. Well, some of those kinds are severely deranged.

Burt and Linda Pugach met in the Bronx in the 1950s. She was a young girl he spotted one day on a bench; he was an unscrupulous ambulance chaser who would ask all of his female clients a simple question — “Yes or no?” Many said no, but enough said yes to keep him happy until he met Linda. After that, there was only one woman for him. Pity he didn’t tell his wife.

Their meeting is as cute as a sitcom but their lives even before their relationship were as stormy as something out of a Douglas Sirk movie (and who’s ever accused Sirk of aping reality too closely?). Burt was abused by his mother; Linda never had any positive male role models. And when Linda gets engaged to another man, Burt loses his mind. He hires men to threaten her in the hopes that she’ll be so afraid she’ll come running back to him. When that doesn’t work, he buys a gun and plans to kill her fiancé, but can’t bring himself to do it. So he hires someone else to knock on her door, claiming to have an engagement present. He throws lye in her face and blinds her.

Before we go on, a question: who throws acid at someone? This is how supervillains are created in Batman comic books! Actually, comic books might be the only other place where a story as straight-up insane as this one could come across as something approaching believable. It’s also the only place you’d expect someone to look like Pugach did during his darkest periods, with a thin moustache and beard and a downright Satanic gleam in his eyes. Even as he discusses those events with the hindsight of decades, Pugach still sounds a little off. Journalist Jimmy Breslin calls him “the most visibly insane man he’s ever met that’s not institutionalized” and it’s easy to see why.

Some have argued that “Crazy Love” tells a great story but that director Dan Klores doesn’t necessarily tell it in a great way. There’s a fair point to be made there; Klores isn’t a particularly revolutionary or formally experimental filmmaker. But consider how easy it would have been to turn “Crazy Love” into a freak show or a circus, the way the media did when Burt and Linda went through all of this the first time. Klores never does; and he gets candid interviews from both that run the gamut from charming to chilling. The portrait that comes out is well-rounded; even if you still can’t quite grasp how these two ultimately wound up together. But, really, who could? Even some of their closest relatives couldn’t.

Above all, “Crazy Love” shows us a glimpse of unvarnished humanity, where old people use phrases like “handjobs” and where a woman justifies her marriage to a man responsible for her disfigurement by calling herself “damaged goods.” Someone in the film suggests that Burt having to care for the woman he harmed was some sort of ironic revenge, and it is. But you couldn’t have written that into a script a million years. Not one anyone would buy, anyway.

“Crazy Love” opens in limited release June 1st (official site).

Watch More

Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

Posted by on
GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

Watch More

A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

Posted by on
GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

Watch More

WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

Posted by on

Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…


IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.


IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).


IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.


IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

Watch More