HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Don't Breathe 2
Closing Time
Cryptozoo
Weathering with You
Rim of the World
Love & Basketball
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
Trapped
We Need to Do Something
Falbalas
Vanguard
A-X-L
Injustice
Bigfoot Hunters
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls Nite Out
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
   
 
Newest Articles
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
   
 
  Diabolique Yeah, Yeah, Diabolical
Year: 1996
Director: Jeremiah Chechik
Stars: Sharon Stone, Isabelle Adjani, Chazz Palminteri, Kathy Bates, Spalding Gray, Shirley Knight, Allen Garfield, Adam Hann-Byrd, Donal Logue, Diana Bellamy, Clea Lewis, J.J. Abrams, O'Neal Compton, Bingo O'Malley, Stephen Liska
Genre: Horror, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Mia (Isabelle Adjani) gets up one night to visit the bathroom, unaware that she is being watched through the window by a Peeping Tom. An ex-nun, she is the wife of Guy Baran (Chazz Palminteri), a cruel man and headmaster of her private school who keeps her under his thumb largely by intimidation. She has one ally in her plight, and that is fellow teacher Nicole (Sharon Stone), who also happens to be having an affair with Guy, but has grown to despise him over the months, and now that tonight Mia is suffering some kind of heart attack that he doesn't do anything about, he could be signing his own death warrant...

Whereas director Jeremiah Chechik was signing his own career death warrant with the double whammy of this and The Avengers in the space of two years, a pair of remakes that effectively derailed his prospects for ever helming a proposed blockbuster ever again, but then, that's what happens when projects viewed to be guaranteed moneymakers end up failing badly. In spite of that, Diabolique's bastardisation of Henri-Georges Clouzot's classic horror-thriller has gone onto secure a small following over the years since its flop release, and not only among those who like to laugh at bad movies; granted, most of them never saw the creepy, sinister original.

But this film acknowledges that most of those watching this would have no intention of watching an old black and white French movie from the fifties anyway, as made clear in a scene where a slobbish Shirley Knight stumbles across a showing of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? while channel surfing and observes that she'll watch it when it's in colour. Was this the remakers having a dig at those who couldn't stand to watch any movie more than ten years old, which may well have been most of their potential audience? And were they trying to get into the good books of those viewers who loved the original and were dubious about the quality of the newer incarnation?

The filmmakers were fighting a losing battle if that was the case, as the main problem with the plot was that it had been so influential back then, with Alfred Hitchcock being one of its admirers, that it spawned a new genre of chillers with supposed twist endings, leaving a few generations of moviegoers resolutely unsurprised by the devices that Diabolique implemented as if they were as fresh as a daisy, and not as mouldy as leftover cheese. By the time the two women have planned and executed their plan to drug and drown Guy in the bathtub, then dispose of the body, you'll most likely be way ahead of them, especially when the deceased seems to be making waves as if he were still alive and waiting, watching.

What Chechik and company did bring to the table was a dose of radical feminism, so that here all men are worthless, and the females are the ones who have to prevail, with any attempt to collaborate with the opposite gender doomed to failure. It's not only Mia and Nicole who underline this, as Kathy Bates shows up as a cancer survivor detective for some off-colour humour and digs at the menfolk; indeed, you could almost see this as lesbian in its leanings, something Chechik does little to dispel as he frames his two leading ladies as if they were starring in a gay ABBA video. What they should have been aiming for was outright camp, something you can see hints of in various performances, yet with its dejected air there's not much to tickle the funny bone as the story drags badly. Things do liven up for one of the most boneheaded, "Right on, girlfriend!" endings of any thriller, as they forget about class and restraint and prove they had no decent notion of how to wrap any of this up sensibly. Music by Randy Edelman. Oh yeah, and that is future superproducer J.J. Abrams with the video camera.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2577 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
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: