Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Sexandroide – review

Director: Michel Ricaud

Release date: 1987

Contains spoilers

This is strange, so very, very strange. From what I can work out French (the very sparse dialogue is in French, though the lack of subtitling isn’t an issue as it is that sparse and there is little in the way of story) but I have seen claims that it hails from Belgium.

What it is, very much, is Grand Guignol… and, if we want to give it a cinema label, torture porn. But I actually think the former is the more accurate descriptor. It is an anthology of “acts”, unconnected (except thematically), and it is the third one that concerns us. However to mention the first one has a drunk woman stripped and tortured by voodoo. The second is the most Grand Guignol of the three and has a woman sadistically tortured by a monster (I’ve seen him described as a zombie, but I wasn’t so sure about that). Interestingly, despite the screams she also seems to garner masochistic pleasure from the events.

the mourner
Number three is our vampire section and I kind of lied about the thematic connections in that, whilst there is a little bit of sexual violence towards the head of the piece, it really isn’t the theme of this last scenario. It starts with an unseen person removing the lid of a coffin. Inside it is a man. A woman enters in mourning clothes and sits by the coffin. We see his fingers twitch and his eyes open. She stands and leans over the coffin.

the vampire
He starts leaking a milky fluid from his mouth as he grabs at her. He’s out of the coffin and starts violently ripping her clothes off (although, as a tell, we can see the actress actually tries to accommodate this at times). He holds her from behind and we notice that she already has a heavy makeup to imitate the living dead she will become – unnoticed really under her veil but too obvious here. He bites her, blood spills and then he leans her against the coffin and he gets back in.

do not disturb
She awakens as a vampire and… starts to dance… to (a very muffled) Tina Turner (2 tracks)… oh Lawdy, its bad. Despite her nudity it is probably one of the most unerotic dances you are ever going to see and it goes on and on and on. This is what I meant about this not being thematically the same as the previous sections. In those torture was inflicted on the female lead, to which we were voyeurs, and whilst the effects weren’t always the best per se they were quite effective. In this we are tortured by bad interpretative dance. However the vampire seems to appreciate it. She climbs into the coffin, dry humps him and the lid is lifted back on. The last thing we see is the hanging of a ‘do not disturb’ sign on the side of the casket.

blood at mouth
That’s it. The first two parts were disturbing in their sadistic edge, and effective at what the film maker was trying to do (whether that’s your cup of tea or not). The third piece was just poor, from the makeup to the dance. As its an anthology I’m only scoring the vampire section, as per normal, and that can’t deserve more than 1 out of 10. The imdb page is here.

No comments: