Pink Floyd's father dies in World War II; his smothering, fat mother overcompensates; his grade-school teacher spanks him; his wife leaves him; his success as a rock singer creates stress.
Most folks cry, see a shrink, jog. But Pink smashes his TV with his guitar, has visions of flying floral pudenda, and drinks from a toilet bowl. Bad as it is, it's nothing lithium wouldn't cure.
"Pink Floyd The Wall," a movie from the successful rock album, is atrocious. It's also pretentious, superfluous, superficial, shallow, dated and bilious. I'd pay money not to have seen this jumble of gooey special effects, sappy symbolism and out-of-it animation.
The latter, directed by Gerald Scarfe, is strictly psychedelic leftovers, but without the sentimentality of the '60s to save it. Scarfe serves up everything from singing butts to bleeding crosses. The special effects include creeping flesh and a classroom full of kids like Miss Piggy meltdowns.
"The Wall's" over-all director, Alan Parker, takes it from there. He's carried away on a stream of consciousness -- from the trenches of Anzio, where Pink's dad fell, to present-day L.A., where Pink floats in his swimming pool full of bubbles and blood. And there are long shots of the hallway, close-ups of a maid's foot -- everything Parker every learned in Cinematography 101.
Meanwhile Pink, played with dismal success by Boomtown Rat Bob Geldof, takes forever to crack up. As the song goes, he is "Comfortably Numb," while we are uncomfortably aware that he's going to rip his face off, shave off his nipples or stick glass up his toenails.
Blessedly, when you think all hope is gone, that more groupies will suck on the fingers of more Nazi rock stars, that there'll be one more stop-action photo of blood drops on the indoor-outdoor carpet, Pink hits the wall we have already been driven up. PINK FLOYD THE WALL -- At the AMC Academy, K-B Cinema 7, NTI White Flint, Roth's Silver Spring West, Roth's Tysons Corner, Showcase Turnpike, Springfield Mall, Uptown.