December 26, 2001

Baise-moi (2000)

The Blurb on the box: "Described by the British press as 'the most sexually explicit film to ever reach our cinema screens', 'Baise-moi' is the brutal and shocking tale of two young girls, who after being subjected to violence, rape and humiliation in the degenerate society in which they live, break free to embark on an ultimately self-destructive road trip of sex and murder, always staying one step ahead of capture, but always hell bent on taking more and more risks."

Now when you read that, you usually think "Yeah, whatever" but I'm telling you now, you won't believe your eyes when you see this!!!

This is another one from 2000 when I'm sure the BBFC must have let its classification guard down. This is also complete and utter hardcore porn, with the parts played by real prostitutes (so I've been told but I actually think the people who told me that meant "porn actresses"), with lots of big guns and blood everywhere just for good measure.

Ok, so it's more like an uncensored reality television version of "Thelma and Louise" than a real hardcore porn ...but it still has lots more sex and violence than most people will be used to. Only one moment is truly gratuitous though and this is possibly the only film where the porn elements are not merely padding but are an integral part of the story.

The two girls, Nadine and Manu, are interestingly attractive and, although not overly gorgeous, are two certain "types" that most men go for. Whereas Nadine is tall, beautiful and sexy, Manu is short, cute and crude. Both will satisy the needs of 99.9 percent of male viewers anyway.

I prefered Nadine but that's because she has a certain Shania Twain quality about her from time to time that I liked. She also starts off as quite a cold calculating prostitute rather than a victim who seeks revenge, so she is the more interesting of the two characters.

As a sad aside, Karen Lancaume who played Nadine, committed suicide in 2005 by overdosing on sleeping pills.

Anyway, apart from the porno moments which are very explicit, there's lots of blood, guts and guns to drive the film firmly into the urban horror zone and almost, but not quite, to Tarantino level.

At one point the girls take out an orgy going on in a sex club which involves severe amounts of splatter and nastiness which can only be equalled by the "120 Days of Sodom".

On a storytelling level, the film falls down badly. It's only average and the script is below average at that. Characterisation is inconsistent and I get the feeling that the only reason the film is so watchable is due to the charisma of the leads rather than what they actually do or say. One of the main points of the original novel was that all murder is wrong whether provoked or not. This message is largely lost here.

Strangely enough you will find yourself drawn in by these girls and you will sometimes sympathise with them. Sometimes though they will alienate you completely as you wonder just what their motivation is later in the film. The feeling that they've really gone out of control is probably the point that the director is making. There is no hope of redemption for either of them and it is slightly sad that things turn out the way they do.

Anyway, I think this is another one which you will enjoy if you aren't in a full on horror mood. It's something that will make you think, but not too hard, and it's certainly something more extreme than you will have ever seen before!

By the way, the title "Baise-moi" means "Rape me!"... hmm, nice. Based on the 1993 "Feminist" novel of the same name, this is gritty, brutal stuff!

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