Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Exquisite Cadaver (1969)

Director: Vicente Aranda

Starring: Capucine, Andre Argaud, Judy Matheson, Teresa Gimpera, Carlos Estrada, Luis Induni

More info: IMDb

Plot: A woman torments the man who murdered her lesbian lover and his wife has lots of questions as to why he's been acting so strange.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Probably

Good slow-burn thriller with some very nice technique and a story that's compelling enough that you're likely to sit through it until the end to get all of the answers...or you'll just flat out fall asleep during the first ten minutes. I saw the trailer for this at the end of a flick from Something Weird Video (on their DVD-Rs they usually tack on enough trailers at the end to make it a total of two hours) and it was so visually striking and unusual that I just HAD to see it. A lot of the imagery in the trailer comes from Carlos's acid trip.

It's too bad I can't find the trailer anywhere so you can see for yourself. It's rather hypnotic. There's a really nice scene between Carlos and his wife as they sit on a park bench. Their conversation is shot from one angle and the camera focuses on the one speaking while the other is out of focus. It could easily be gimmicky but when it happens, it's so subtle that you're wrapped up in it before you realize it. It's the type of thing that you might easily see used as a gag in a modern TV commercial.

I can't leave without mentioning Marco Rossi's moody score. It stayed with me for days afterward. That's probably the best way to put it. There's atmosphere and a smooth vibe throughout the entire picture. I really dug it but there's something about it that kept me from drifting off. I've seen lots of pictures from this era that were slow moving and many of them bored piss out of me. I think the difference here is the direction. This isn't some cheap erotic Eurotrash horror flick. This is reaching above the typical conventions of a Giallo, horror or thriller for something different. Now that I think about it, it was probably the music.

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