Dammit. I’ve been excited for Let the Corpses Tan (Laissez Bronzer les Cadavres) since I first heard mention of its existence. After Amer and The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears, I’m in the bag for whatever Belgian duo Helene Cattet and Bruno Forzani do. But Corpses is making the fall festival rounds and there’s a new trailer that’s…I hesitate to use the word perfect, but it shows precisely what I hoped to see.
Let the Corpses Tan looks like a spaghetti western had a bastard child with a ‘70s Italian crime picture. So, you know, everything I could ever want from a single movie. It's a definite departure from the neo-giallo trappings of Cattet and Forman's last two features, but I'm way, way into what they're putting down.
Here’s a really, really, ridiculously long description from the Toronto International Film Festival (thanks Screen Anarchy):
TIFF Vanguard veterans Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani weaponize their aesthetic proclivities into an all-out bombardment of sensational style as they methodically adapt every devilish detail from the cult novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette and Jean-Pierre Bastid. A gang of thieves absconding with 250kg of stolen gold arrives at the abode of a listless artist caught in a bohemian love triangle. The scenario quickly escalates into a desperate day-long firefight between cops and robbers throughout the remote ruins of a Mediterranean hamlet — and genre and art-house tropes collide in a relentless reverie of action spectacle, exquisitely photographed on Super 16mm film.
Pivoting from the giallo-inspired imagery that enveloped their previous films, Cattet and Forzani trade in their razor blade–laden gloves for the bullets and biker jackets that characterize the pulpy Italian poliziotteschi crime films of the '60s and '70s. Still persistent of course is the filmmakers' signature penchant for the haptic fetishization of the human body, here most sensorially depicted whenever the film allegorizes the dire straits of its characters via a silhouetted cast of "Fates" pantomiming all manner of delirious depravity to an Ennio Morricone tune.
Mixing in some sun-baked spaghetti western imagery for good measure, Let the Corpses Tan is a wicked distillation of action cinema's core cinematographic ingredients (from crash zooms to whip pans), now radically redeployed for maximum visceral impact and delivered like a celluloid shotgun blast to the synapses.
Again, I don’t have much to add. That says it all.
Let the Corpses Tan screens in Toronto and just got added to the Fantastic Fest lineup, because I needed another reason to be bummed I didn’t find a way to make it this year.
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