Toronto Film Review: ‘Let the Corpses Tan’

The latest slavish homage to vintage exploitation genre tropes by Belgian duo Helene Cattet and Bruno Forzani, “Let the Corpses Tan” slightly expands one of the most rarefied bodies of work in recent cinema. This time the object of homage is (primarily) violent European crime thrillers of the 1970s, as opposed to the same era’s giallos, to which the co-directors’ “Amer” and “The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears” paid tribute. The shift in genre creates a comparatively more coherent narrative, with fidelity to the near-senseless horror plots no longer a requirement.

Otherwise this is a fetishistically precise recreation of a dead retro style, with no substance on the menu beyond the second-hand or accidental. Like a house made entirely of popsicle sticks, Cattet and Forzani’s movies are remarkable feats of dedication and detail, yet the nagging questions “What’s the function? What’s the point?” will continue to divide viewers. Commercial
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