The line between ‘art house’ and ‘grind house’ cinema is not nearly as wide as you might think…
After rocking the crowds during TIFF 2017, Let The Corpses Tan returns to the screens of Toronto with the same grimy heat that made it such a favourite the first time out.
After stealing a truckload of gold bars, a gang of thieves absconds to the ruins of a remote village perched on the cliffs of the Mediterranean. Home to a reclusive yet hypersexual artist and her motley crew of family and admirers, it seems like a perfect hideout. However, when two cops roll up on motorcycles to investigate, this dusty hamlet erupts into a hallucinatory battlefield as both sides engage in an all-day, all-night firefight rife with double-crosses and dripping with blood.
It’s weird, it’s bent and it riffs on SO many different genres…but that’s why Let The Corpses Tan works so damn well. It’s a kaleidoscopic maelstrom of violence that at first glimpse actually looks stylistic and shallow but peels back so many fascinating layers the more you let the story unfold.
Adapting from the pulp novel by Jean Patrick Manchette and Jean Pierre Bastid, the writing directing duo of Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani take the sleaze of a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western and drench it in the Corsican sun to great effect.
This movie quite simply looks like a million dollars as they borrow from everyone ranging from Dario Argento to Alejandro Jodoworsky himself. With an undeniable hypnotic quality, this is the kind of film where you don’t necessarily know what the hell is going on from one minute to the next as it keeps us as an audience balancing on a sweaty razor’s edge and we just can’t look away.
It’s a glorious homage to the collision of sex and death as Cattet and Forzani who aren’t afraid to push some buttons have taken the dirty and dusty nature of the Italian western and given it a genuine Euro trash layer of sleaze to it all.
Every frame of this film is designed to make us an uncomfortable as humanly possible and the enigmatic Elina Löwensohn as Luce captures that to a tee. These characters exist in a world of sweaty boredom and while there are some classically bohemian tendencies on the surface, there’s evil ideas a foot and they’re existing in an environment that allows them to fester in some glorious cinematic ways.
I can’t say that Let The Corpses Tan is going to be a movie for everyone, but for those who want something with a bit of flare that will challenge the mind and assault the senses, you should get down to the TIFF Bell Lightbox and take this experience in ASAP.