FRENCH DEMENCE VOL. 1
Reviewed by: Zombie Boy
What's it about
This is Volume 1 in what will presumably be a series of French short horror film collections.
Is it good movie?
There are no special features on this disc, and the packaging is all in French, and I could find no IMDb listing, so I have very little information to go on. I donít know if the shorts contained here all have something in common, were part of a contest, or are considered up and coming French filmmakers. There are eleven short films here that are disparate in both theme and approach and length (each between 6 and 34 minutes long). Unfortunately, I couldnít do much with most of them.
The best of the crop, Underzone, is unfortunately among the shortest, at 7 minutes. It concerns a ragtag band of soldiers fighting an unseen hostile creature. The twist ending is not much of a twist, but I still thought it worked pretty well. Reptil is another good (and short) one, concerning the absolute strangest suicide method you will ever see. On the negative side of things is a ridiculously pretentious piece of crap called Fine, which is actually in Spanish. That and Guedro, a frenetic and bombastic sensory glut, embody all the stereotypically bad things people say about French films.
As for the rest, for the most part they are harmless, though I did notice a tendency for them to have endings that go beyond ambiguous, into the realm of making no sense. One of things I love about foreign films is how they are unafraid of letting the audience fill in the blanks, but most of these surpassed that and just felt unfinished. There are a few bright spots here and there (the opening short is at least wildly bloody) but overall I was more bored than anything else.
Video / Audio
Video: I assume each short was shot on DV. The presentation here sucks across the board. Lots of interlacing errors and soft colors throughout. There was no TLC involved in this transfer.
Audio: No specs on the audio. Each short gives the option of the native French audio or a version with English subtitles (youíre effed if you speak any other language, I guess).
Some of these shorts were mildly amusing or entertaining, but overall this collection failed to hold my interest. Maybe there is a cultural barrier; I must be some piggish bourgeois American, because I simply didnít get most of these shorts, and was actively annoyed by the others. Oh well.