Tuesday, April 03, 2007

SATAN/SHEITAN - Teenage kicks!

Note to all spotty Chav teenagers, kicking it Ali G style in cheap clubs, sporting fake Burberry scarves and shoplifting from petrol stations. In no conceivable universe does the hot French chick in the little skirt fancy you. You are a spotty chav. If she invites you to her deserted country mansion to party, it's not because you are Da Bomb. If her horny peasant-chick friend starts masturbating your "dog", that's not hip urban slang for bedroom hi-jinks. She's really masturbating your dog. And if she acquiesces in a three-some, it's not because you're The Shit, it's because she's the side-kick of an insane-io French devil-worshipper with HUGE fake teeth. And, while you're at it, keep clear of all biting goats, decapitated plastic dolls and mad DJs in luminous pink ski goggles.

Such is the egregious world of the first feature length film from the Kourtrajme collective - a bunch of young, anarchic French artists who rose to fame on the back of some whacky short-films distributed virally through YouTube and their own website. In this case, writer-director Kim Chapiron unites with actor and money-man, Vincent Cassel to give us a flick that aims to be funny, sexy and scary in turn. It sort of succeeds.

Back in the day, horror films used to be scary and sexy but, when done properly, they were also satirical and political. Then, with the SCREAM movies, we got films that weren't so scary or so funny, but were satisfyingly clever in playing with the genre. At present, Hollywood horror doesn't bother with sexy, satirical, political or even imaginatively scary. It's just cost-effective mass-produced gore enacted by blandly good-looking teenagers, predicated on the belief that the teenage male demographic doesn't want anything more.

Where does SATAN fit into all this? It's at least honest in its base intent. If teens really just want hip-hop music, hot slutty looking chicks, Vincent Cassel with HUGE comedy teeth and gore without context, then this film is going to deliver without any pretence or any guilt. Pure, unadulterated campy trash that glories in its own excess and unwholesomeness. So, while I can take or leave this movie, bar the final five minutes which freaked me out, I'm simultaneously repulsed and impressed by the balls-out trashiness of the enterprise.

SATAN/SHEITAN was released in France, Belgium, Russia, Turkey and Mexico last year and in the UK at the end of February 2007. It is now available on Region 1 and 2 DVD.

No comments:

Post a Comment