Archive for December 19th, 2009
Christmas time already. Only seems like 2 minutes ago it was Halloween and this whole project was just about to begin. 2009 has had some great films so far for this project, but we must now look towards a lighter part of the year, good will to all men, Merry Christmas to all. Here’s this weeks to get us in the Festive mood:-
- The Return of the Living Dead (Homage to Dan O’Bannon RIP)
- Black Christmas
- Santa’s Slay
- Christmas Evil
- Don’t Open Until Christmas
- Silent Night, Deadly Night
- Silent Night, Bloody Night
- Santa’s Claw
Thanks, and Merry Xmas!
I’ve made the slight amendment this week due to the passing of Dan O’Bannon. Living Dead will be included early as tribute. Festive films will commence from Monday, Santa’s Claw will hopefully be included next week.
Calvaire, UK title ‘The Ordeal’. This is a close description of what is forced upon a young singer, looking for fortune and fame, Marc Stevens (Laurent Lucas). Leaving his home town, he sets off to take his act to the big city, losing his way on the country roads; his van breaks down and is met by some strange but helpful rural living folk. Bartel (Jackie Berroyer) offers a room for the night and gets to work o fixing the van. The next day, Marc realises he’s stumbled onto a strange community of males who soon mistake him as Boris’ lost wife, Gloria and lover to local village leader Rob Orton (Philippe Nahon). It’s a brutal situation to be in with some nasty beatings, dressed in a frock, nailed to a fence and raped by crazy inbreeds. Horrific.
It’s beautifully filmed with dynamic cinematography care of Benoit Debie, which sets the Belgian countryside off with a cold wintery chill, you actually feel like you’re there with Marc and can truly feel his anguish. A scene in the local Inn also harnesses this feeling of closeness as the village males hug and dance together to a crazed piano composition; you actually feel like you need to push them away. With the claustrophobia.
Philippe Nahon is brilliant as always, notable for his role as The Butcher in Noé’s ‘Seul Contre Tous’, here offers an equally memorable performance. Lucas is believable and emotional in his role which is traumatic viewing.
It’s a great film which takes influences from Deliverance, Last House, Straw Dogs etc in that crazed local derangement destroys the life on an innocent through misfortune and wrong place at the wrong time. Captivating to watch due to it’s quirkiness and somewhat black comedy script. I love the crazy bloke looking for his dog in the woods, and happy late in the film when he mistakes a calf for his Belle. It’s also good to see Brigitte Lahaie take some brief screen time. Director Fabri Du Welz is yet another young director to look out for future work.