Tuesday, January 29, 2019

LET THE CORPSES TAN (Blu-ray Review) - Kino Lorber

Directed By: Helene Cattet, Bruno Forzani
Written By: Helene Cattet, Bruno Forzani
Starring: Elina Lowensohn, Stephane Ferrara, Bernie Bonvoisin
Color/92 Minutes/Not Rated
Region A
Release Date: January 8, 2019

The Film
If you're not familiar with the duo of Helene Cattet and Bruno Forzani you may be familiar with their two previous features, Amer and The Strange Colour Of Your Bodies Tears, a pair of films that add a strong arthouse style and vibe to the duo's love for Italian genre film, most notably the giallo. The duo has gained noteriety in the cult film community because of their flourishing direction and dizzying editing. Their films have been devisive among fans with some fans being turned off by the arthouse style and other gobbling up their contributions to the genre. If nothing else, their films are interesting companion pieces to the genres they are love letters to.

LET THE CORPSES TAN is Cattet's and Forzani's homage to the Euro crime and spaghetti western genres. The plot is one that you've heard before and could fit either type of film, a gang thugs steal a load of gold bars and escape to a sparsely populated, crumbling cliffside village to hide out. The gang will soon find trouble with the lusty painter and her guests including a writer, and another sexy woman and her son that are already at the villa. Soon a pair of motorcyle cops arrive on the scene and the film plays out with a lengthy showdown within the stone walls and rocky hills between the two groups filled with floods of color, intense closeups, extreme violence and multiple double crosses. The film's progression is framed with intertitles displaying the time, often times showing the same scene play out from various character's perspectives.

Cattet and Forzani deliver an onslaught of intense visuals, colors, extreme closeups and violence. The duo focus on the styles of the spaghetti western and the crime films that came out of Italy during the 1970s using signature camera angles and music cues. The traditional plot should have allowed for something more cohesive, and linear, though I know that isn't Cattet and Forzani's style, their approach often leads to the images on screen being a bit an incomprehensible mess of flying bullets and various closeups of appendages. I think characters are cheated a more fleshed out and well rounded existence had they been given more to do than just show up and shoot every fucking thing. I frequently found myself asking why or what, and never really receiving any sort of answer, it seemed to be decisions and action for the sake of decisions and action. There was no development in these characters, they're very much paper doll versions of who we are introduced to and become nothing more, even when they perform some sort of double cross or their intentions change with the wind.

I liked a lot of what I saw and I certainly found myself entertained but I can't help but wish the duo helming this picture turned their style down a few notches and instead of being barraged with style I would appreciated a film that had more developed characters and a more practical storyline. There still would have been plenty of room for Cattet and Forzani to blow their artistic load all over the place but at least there would have been some substance to it. I think there's a good movie in LET THE CORPSES TAN and a great movie hanging around right outside of it, especially for fans of the genres that Cattet and Forzani are proclaiming their love for but the duo are perfectly happy getting their nut and leaving us with blue balls.

The Audio & Video
Kino Lorber gives LET THE CORPSES TAN a home on Blu-ray with a 2.35:1 anaormphic widescreen transfer that looks and sounds exceptional. The look and sound of this film are its strong suits and this Blu-ray gives the vivid colors, intense use of shadow and silhouettes and distinct textures the proper treatment. The bombardment of sound comes through with a 5.1 or 2.0 DTS-HD audio mix that is mixed and layered very well with the dialogue and score and sound effects complimenting each other nicely. The film's dialogue is in French with optional English subtitles. The subtitles are timed perfectly and translated well for easy reading.

The Extras
Special features include an audio commentary track with film critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Queensland Film Festival Director John Edmond and a trailer for the film.

The Bottom Line
I appreciate LET THE CORPSES TAN but I wanted to love it. If you appreciated Amer or The Strange Color Of Your Bodies Tears than I think you'll appreciate this one as well.


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