Wednesday, October 21, 2020

golden oldie.


Day 21 of 31 days of horror and we're off to France (which is in Europe, near London for our American readers) for probably one of the greatest old folk featuring films ever.

Apologies for the shortness of the review but I've got stuff to do today.

Plus I really need the toilet.

So without further ado, laydees and gents I give you....

La Nuit de la Mort (AKA Night of Death! 1980).
Dir: Raphaël Delpard
Cast: Isabelle Goguey, Charlotte de Turckheim, Betty Beckers, Michel Debrane and Ernest Menzer.

 “What could go on in a place like this?”

Luscious librarian type and Nicola Roberts alike Martine (the copper topped, slinky hipped Euro-tottie Goguey, last seen in Paradigma) has just gotten a new job at a local old folks home, the not at all creepily named Deadlock House caring for - and occasionally cuddling - the elderly residents.

Arriving a day early, much to the chagrin of the home's director - the frighteningly efficient Hélène (the magnificent Beckers, all French fancy and no knickers, probably) - Martine is quickly introduced to the carer she's replacing, the leggy blonde Nicole (de Turckheim) who is understandably peeved that she's getting replaced without being consulted as well as to the hulking, wooden of legged and bowl of haired handyman Jules (Debrane) before being sent off to the attic to unpack her bags.

In the meantime it seems that bossy bitch Hélène has warmed to the thought of having Martine there a day or so early because it means she can put her to work without having to pay her.

Well, that's the French for you....and they wonder why Britain chose Brexit.* 

Martine slowly parted Hélène's beefy curtains...

Joining Nicole on her rounds, our ginger princess is finally introduced to the residents, of which every single one appears to be an egg and cress sandwich short of a picnic basket.

Whilst all this lady-based cuddling and cuppa business is going on poor Jules just stands in the background lusting quietly after Nicole whilst rubbing his thighs and trying to hide the smell of warm milk emanating from his crotch area.

Yup, most definitely French.

Apparently taking a shine to her new employee and impressed with her work, Hélène offers Martine the night off to spend with her boyfriend before starting the job good and proper, which is nice because the rules say that she wont be allowed out for at least twenty eight days after her contract starts.

But that later that very night, whilst Martine is doing the dirty in the back of her beau's Fiat Uno, Nicole is dragged from her bed in the middle of night by the ancient, turkey necked residents who, after stripping her naked tie her down to a picnic table and gut her before finally eating her whole.

Tho' they may have spat that bit out.

Aye Son!

With grass in her hair, egg in her pants and mud on her knees, Martine returns to the house the next morning and is surprised to find Nicole (and her collection of seventies cocktail dresses) gone, the result of a blazing argument over Nicole being prettier than her according to Director Hélène.

Thinking nothing of it, our red headed raver gets on with her chores, closely watched by jittery Jules in-between his daily burnings of mysterious bags of ladies clothes and whipping the residents.

As the days go by Jules it seems is becoming more and more obsessed with marrying our heroine (just as he was with Nicole), the old folk have taken to forcing Martine to drink what looks like fresh vomit at meal times and she's found the burnt remains of Nicole's suitcase behind the bins.

Suffice to say Martine (although not the brightest tool in the box) is by now beginning to suspect that there's more to Nicole's disappearance - and the batty old folk - than meets the eye and decides in her best Nancy Drew fashion (tho' not fashions which is a shame) to investigate.

""Can you smell petrol?"

As the clues keep a coming and the kooky crinklies get more crazy, Martine begins to understand the true meaning behind the bizarre lunch ritual that the potty pensioners partake in on a daily basis and discovers just why they're all so concerned about her weight.

And if that wasn't enough, there's also the little problem of the town's resident murdering mentalist, nicknamed The Golden Needle Killer for Martine to deal with,  as well as the most important thing in her life; deciding what film to go and see at the cinema with the local milkman on her next day off.


Coming across like a bizarre French adaptation of an unmade Pete Walker script, writer/director (and sometime actor) Raphaël Delpard's little seen La Nuit de la Mort is one of the creepiest, blackest (in both humour and atmosphere) films to come out of the early eighties and a surprising departure from what's normally associated with the French horror genre.

Imagine The House of Whipcord spliced together with bits of Rosemary's Baby and populated by an entire cast of Ruth Gordon's and your halfway to understanding the sheer genius of this movie, played just the right side of camp by all involved and directed in a pleasant, surprising non fussy style by Monsieur

Whilst there may be no real surprises in the plot, it's the sheer creepiness of both the characters and overall atmosphere of the movie that makes it so great.

Your dad's custard cousins yesterday.

And what characters!

From the brilliant Betty Beckers as the delightfully evil Hélène to the flame headed floosie that is Isabelle Goguey via Michel Debrane's jizz-stained Jules and the entire cadre of oldies everyone is perfectly presented in such a playfully perverse manner that you can't help but become involved in the whole sordid story.

For once a film that is totally and non-ironically highly recommended.

*Well that and the fact that it appeared we were a country of thick as pigshit xenophobic cunts.

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