HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Treasure City
Piccadilly
Parallel
Invasión
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Agony
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Lemebel
Hands of Orlac, The
Cats
Death has Blue Eyes
Caveat
Kala Azar
Duplicate
Flashback
Gunda
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Vanquish
Bank Job
Drunk Bus
Homewrecker
State Funeral
Army of the Dead
Initiation
Redoubt
Dinner in America
Death Will Come and Shall Have Your Eyes
PG: Psycho Goreman
Maeve
Sound of Metal
Things of Life, The
Auschwitz Escape, The
Jungle Fever
   
 
Newest Articles
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
   
 
  Coup de Torchon Getting Away With It
Year: 1981
Director: Bertrand Tavernier
Stars: Philippe Noiret, Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Pierre Marielle, Stéphane Audran, Eddy Mitchell, Guy Marchand, Irène Skobline, Michel Beaune, Jean Champion, Victor Garrivier, Gérard Hernandez, Abdoulaye Diop, Daniel Langlet, François Perrot
Genre: Comedy, Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Lucien Cordier (Philippe Noiret) is the Chief of Police in an East African French colony, not that anyone ever takes him seriously, and not that he ever makes any arrests. He lives with his wife Huguette (Stéphane Audran) and their lodger Nono (Eddy Mitchell), who might be her brother but is actually her lover, in their apartment which overlooks the local convenience which has no roof, leaving the smell to linger in the air of his home. He has requested that it be moved, but this is indicative of how much weight his opinion carries because nobody listens to him. He is the town's doormat, a standing joke: or he is until he picks up a gun...

Jim Thompson's novel Pop. 1280 was adapted by Bertrand Tavernier and his prolific co-writer Jean Aurenche who changed its setting to an area where they apparently believed that their lead character could get away with his lawbreaking. Often described as a comedy, it's not exactly hilarious, more eccentric and to an extent, playful as it follows what looks to be a harmless bumbler as he decided enough is enough and starts to fight back by killing off those around town who have slighted him and are troublemakers in general, always getting away with it because nobody apart from the victims is really bothered.

I hesitate to call Coup de Torchon (translated literally as Clean Slate or Clean Up) "quirky", but it does have a off balance charm about it, mainly due to the superb performing of Noiret who was obviously in his element. His partner in crime, for a while at any rate, is an abused young wife he has taken a shine to called Rose Mercaillou (Isabelle Huppert at her most flighty), and her husband is one of many on his list of potential targets for what he has done to her. Also on the hitlist are a pair of pimps who humiliate him and some fellow officers who at one point kick him up the arse - twice - to illustrate some nebulous point.

While Lucien doesn't precisely go on an indiscriminate killing spree, there is something more than a little crazed about him. Outwardly he seems to be the same old policeman the locals either ignore or push around, but after we see him blow away a couple of those who irritated him, he takes on a new light in our eyes - and there appears a new light behind his eyes too, a newfound slyness and confidence. He even sees to it that the toilets are taken down by an act of sabotage that has the official who would not listen to him take a tumble into the pit of shit.

Still, the cruelty lurking in all this takes the edge off any easy laughs that might have been elicited in other hands, as does the racist nature of the white characters. It's as if living in Africa has altered their mindset to make them believe they can get away with whatever they like living among foreigners who they constantly look down on, whether its prostituting them, cuckolding husbands, or as Lucien does, resorting to murder. By having what Tavernier initially presents as a kind of mischief maker as the anti-hero, you could be forgiven for thinking the film condones Lucien's actions, but as the tale draws on the mood grows more sinister as he realises what he has started may not finish well. In truth, these later scenes are too heavy compared with the first half, but overall Coup de Torchon keeps a firm grip on the attention. Music by Philippe Sarde.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3775 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: