Les Morsures de L'aube (Love Bites) (2001)
Director: Antoine de Caunes
Antoine (Canet) is a party animal who lives out of a gym locker (I’m not kidding). One night, he uses the name of a wealthy club hopper named “Jordan” to get access to a jumping shin-dig. Shit goes sour when the dude that threw the soiree forces Antoine to search for this enigmatic Jordan and his gal pal Violaine (Argento). Antoine has to fight through the jungle that is the Parisian nightlife and seek out these two dark birds. Oh…I almost forgot…Jordan and Violaine might be vampires.
Asia Argento is like a drug to me. Every time I think I kick the habit, it comes back again to bite my crotch two fold. I recently felt the craving and went on an Asia Argento film shopping spree. "Les Morsures de l’Aube" is the first one that the mailman slapped into my box (before I hacked him into Rice Krispies squares…me no like my mailman) and here’s the scoop!
If you’re expecting a horror movie coming into this one (I did), think again. The flick has more in common with Martin Scorsese’s "After Hours" and Tarantino’s "Pulp Fiction" than a pure horror movie. Much like a “long island iced tea” this cocktail has all kinds of ingredients in it. You get your film noir vibe, your black comedy thang and your light horror elements. Although the drink was mostly sweet, I did get some sour aftertaste on occasions.
On the quenching side, the movie definitely sucked me in with its gripping premise. I was right there with our hero the whole way as he jumped from weird club to weirder club looking for that Dolan dude. The scary/funny scenarios he kept getting himself into also had me grinning. It's not every day you see a duder get pissed on by a group of angry mechanics (they actually wanted to gang-bang him, but had no rubbers…LOL) or see a sick hombre tie someone to a chair to let his abused/raving mad dogs take a bite out of him. Add to that, one weird ass S&M club (funny scene), an incredibly bitter club bouncer (the man is just ANGRY) and a small bar owner’s obsession with toy cars (funny shite) and you get an adventure through a very weird world that will surely entertain your grey matter.
When it came to its humorous elements and its wacky situations, this film was on top of it all. It’s when the horror elements kicked in that this drink developed an aftertaste. Now don’t get me wrong, Asia’s gothic presence made my day, scratch that…my week! I mean, there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing Asia Argento strut her sweet stuff under green lasers in a night club. But for the love of Bram Stoker...what was the vampire angle all about? Maybe it was me, but I didn’t get it. Were they vamps? Weren’t they? I DON’T KNOW! The film doesn’t help to clear that up and keeps it vague the whole way until its conclusion, at which point, a Van Helsing-like character, a staking and a supernatural element are slapped in. Now if the flick would’ve been clearer in what it wanted to communicate in regards to the vamp jive, maybe I would’ve bought it, but as it stands now, it’s just too hazy and made the more “horror”-oriented conclusion feel out of place and unsatisfying.
On a whole though, I still had some fun with this little ditty. The story moves fast, the situations were daring, the cast was endearing, the style groovy when it was on, the dialogue pretty sharp and Asia showed her sweet, SWEET ass. If that’s not an after-party hangover cure...I don’t know what is. LET'S GO CLUBBING!
Much like my grandma, this one is PRETTY dry. We get a dog, a dude and a chick being shot. We also get a staking and some off-screen stabbing. Come on! Where’s the blood? This is the French club scene after all!
Guillaume Canet (Antoine) sold me. He played the self absorbed, baby-faced club hopper to a T. Asia Argento (Violaine) looks the part and her lips are to die for, but I will admit that I had a hard time grasping what she was saying at times. It’s hard enough to comprehend a French accent in the first place, but try a French/Italian accent. Gerard Lanvin (Etienne) is very natural and likeable as the best friend. Gilbert Melki (Dogman) plays “insane” very well.
T & A
We get some not-so-appealing male/female nudity at an S&M club. The good news is that Asia Argento also gives us a bush/butt shot. The bad news…she keeps her bra on…damn…back to my “Blue Rose Hotel” tape I go.
De Caunes was actually more restrained visually than I thought he would be. We do get the occasional flashy shots, the crazy angles and some slow motion, but I expected more visual excess from the man. That’s not to say the overall vibe is not effective though.
We get a very varied score that goes from techno, trip hop to French blues. Solid!
You can do worse that jumping on this Parisian club-hopping train filled with crazy characters, odd situations and fine ass Asia Argento. I wasn’t bored once during the film and had a good time overall. But if you’re looking for scares, vampires or horror...stay away, there’s none of that stuff here. One thing’s fer sure, I've got to hit that Parisian nightlife…IT IS WHACK YA'LL! Got to love the horny, chain-smoking, bread-loving and champagne-guzzling French. Vive la France!
I saw this film in French with no subtitles. So if you find this gal, expect to understand French.
Actor Vincent Perez ("The Crow: City of Angels") has a very kool cameo here.