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Trouble Every Day (18)

Review by: Simon Bell | Rating: Two


NEWLYWEDS Shane and June Brown are on their way to honeymoon in Paris, but Shane slips off to the airplane toilet to jerk off while summoning an image of his new bride, crimson-soaked and freshly-butchered. So, with seconds gone, you get the firm impression this ain't going to be all midnight strolls along tree-lined avenues of Saint Germain de Prés and sipping Pernod in street side cafes of the 3rd Arrondisement.

A pharmacist for a major American drugs corporation, Shane isn't merely on a jaunt to sow his seed as God intended, but to pursue the key practitioner of a medical experiment that tested the boundaries of the human libido. It seems (nothing's clear cut in this movie) that Shane was used as a guinea pig, stuffed up to his eyeballs with uncontrollable and animalistic lust before an antidote could be brewed.

Our contemporary vampire manages to track down the scientist's home, an elegant old stone mansion on the outskirts of Paris, and meets the wife, Coré , also quite clearly exposed to the same debilitating research herself. (This is Betty Blue's Beatrice Dalle at her horniest: We've already seen her steal the show in one of the nastiest murder/sex scenes in screen history, involving the chewing off of a lip and the toying of thick flaps of skin.)

Understandably, Shane's on a mission also to satisfy his gruesome cravings that could possibly keep him from chomping on his sweet, adoring bride. Chambermaids have other uses evidently...

Vincent Gallo, last seen in his own directorial debut "Buffalo 66" before he promised to give up film altogether, stars as Shane. June is played by Tricia Vessey, notable from "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai". Both do their best, but look a little muddled with the whole enterprise themselves.

It doesn't help that most of "Trouble Every Day" unfolds minus much dialogue. Claire Denis (helmer of the impressive Beau Travail), however, makes nice use of the cannibals' bestial physicality and the Nosferatu-like shadow.

We're also unmistakably in David Cronenberg territory here, but without the sick humour that usually goes with it.

Trouble caused trouble when it showed at Cannes 2001. But among the hoo-ha being made about Gaspar Noe's Irreversible at this year's Riviera screenings, one wonders what's worse? Being anally raped or eaten alive from the genitals upwards? I guess it's all about mise en scene.



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