The larder of modern French horror is not quite as well-stocked as I thought. After Malefique left a sour taste in my mouth, I figured I should give our Gallic chefs one more chance to serve up something really sumptuous. Alas, Frontière(s) is nothing but a flaky pastry with no filling that crumbles away to dust when you touch it.
The by-now familiar ingredients are all there: massive riots in Paris, unsympathetic characters fleeing a troubled past, the country villa from hell, even the obligatory camcorder to give the proceedings a proper air of "reality." Toss in a decidedly non-Aryan band of Nazi cannibals, a mine shaft full of deformed "children" (who all look about as old as the woman who apparently birthed them), and a charming pantry full of enough corpses to feed the Fourth Reich. Shoot the whole thing with frantic shaky-cam and cobble it together with quick cuts. Season with liberal amounts of gratuitous gore and mud. Voila! Instant horror movie!
That this overhyped mess is supposed to be a reaction to France's recent turn towards George Bush-style fascism is obvious enough, but just in case viewers are too clueless to get it, writer/director Xavier Gens has one of his characters actually say as much ("Bush" sounds so kinky coming from the mouth of a Frenchman). But if there is a message here, it's mumbled and muddled, like the anarchy tattoo on a teenager's ass.
I'm not going to waste any more time or words on this movie, and I recommend that no else does either. I would, however, like to thank the Philadephia Phillies for cleansing its putrescence from my palate and replacing it with a warm reminder of how it tasted the last (and only other) time they won it all. I was seven years old and I raced downstairs in my pajamas after my bath, just in time to see Tug McGraw pick up my hometown and carry it to victory. Most Philadelphians believe that Tug's ghost was in attendance last night. And for good reason. His son Tim (the country singer) surreptitiously sprinkled some of his ashes on the mound while throwing out the opening pitch of Game 3. Now that's a ghost story I can believe in.
Scorecard (out of ten skulls):
My psychological status:
Elated yet bummed (that I'm missing the parade)