Tuesday, June 14, 2011
bad/awesome flixxx review: Don't Deliver Us From Evil (1971)
"O Death, old Captain, it is time.
beyond the doldrums of our days
Though black as pitch the sea and sky
you know our hearts are full of light
Pour us poison to revive our souls!
It cheers the burning quest
that we pursue
Who cares for Hell or Heaven
In the depths of the unknown
we seek out the New!."- Anne & Lore
I've had this film on my hard-drive for over a year, and since we are in France for the next few days, I finally decided to watch it. A friend gave it to me to watch a good while ago, and from the title and within the context of the other movies she shared with me, I just assumed this was some cheesy eighties horror flick. I was completely wrong. This is a "very hard to watch" dark thriller filmed in the French countryside around 1969 or '70. Its been touted as the only French film ever banned in France (which I never checked to see if that was true or not, but it doesn't matter, that may be some old boast to get folks to watch it). Its easy to see why it was banned: the time in which it was made, the manner in which the girls conduct themselves, and the subject matter. It would be easy to chalk it up to some pervert's dream, but what I believe we are dealing with here is something much more interesting. A French film originally entitled "MAIS NE NOUS DELIVREZ PAS DU MAL", translated into English, I present to you: DON'T DELIVER US FROM EVIL!!! (There is no trailer that i can find, well, maybe one with japanese subtitles, but I decided just to pop quick clip so you get a little taste.)
Ill start off by saying this film must be seen to be fully enjoyed. That being said, before I run it down and spoil it all for you, let's talk about the nature of this film. I said it was hard to watch. The girls in this film look super young and they get up to no good. They try to seduce dudes, and then one after another, these older men seem to fall victim to their lusts and uncontrollably try to force themselves on the girls. I hate to use the word rape, I hate to watch anything that feels like theres going to be rape (there never actually is) but these men DO try to force themselves on the girls multiple times, and it feels like they probably WOULD rape these girls if they were allowed to or if the girls didn't keep escaping (On second thought, even the fact that these men are putting their hands on these girls constitutes rapish behavior, even if the girls are egging them on and lewdly provoking them). That put aside, its not really a movie DEDICATED to provoking one to feel uncomfortable about rape. The movie seems to be more about why these two girls who, resistant to the ideals taught to them by their nuns and parents, dedicate their lives to worshipping Satan. Beyond provoking the audience to be stirred by actions that are jarring to watch, Joel Seria (the director) created a film that asks us about the interaction between parents and young adults, specifically amongst the rich. And about the relationship between the church and parents and their children. And this was 40 years ago that he's hinting about corruption in the church.
The film begins in a nunnery in France with two girls, Anne & her best friend Lore sneaking into each other's bed at night and writing in their secret diary about getting other students in trouble and their continued dedication to their lord and master, Satan. They are at the end of the school year and are about to have a big summer vacation. Both girls families are wealthy, but it seems that Anne's parents are probably super rich. When the school year ends, Anne's parents decide to go on a 2 month summer vacation and leave her home alone to get up to no good. Only Lore's mother is the least bit concerned about what the 2 young girls are up to, but not concerned enough to actually do anything to keep tabs on them.
Throughout the movie, led mostly by Anne's charge, the girls get deeper and deeper into the throngs of evil deeds. Starting mildly, then being influenced by some bawdy literature, the girls become fascinated with committing crimes. They poison the retarded gardener's favorite bird, they seduce the field hand and almost get Lore raped in the process. They let all the cows out into the field, then they set the field hand's house on fire. Then Anne kills one of the gardner's birds in her own hand, crushing the life out of it. It disturbed her so much that afterwards, she went and repented. But then she's right back to doing evil. They have there Satanic ritual where they get the gardner to act as the bishop dude, and they recite these vows, place a ring on each other's finger, prick another one, and drink of each others blood, and then take the bread of christ they stole from mass on top of the finger blood. Then they march out to the lake with candles and incense and paddle out to the middle of the lake. Then they kick the gardner in it, teasing him until he tries to rape them. Then later they come upon a dude who's broken down on the side of the road. Not sure, but it looks to be the postman who has scoped them out earlier in the flick. They fixed up this old chateau and were staying in it. He was creeping hard. They strip down to there undies and begin to ask him lewd questions. When Anne leaves for firewood, he immediately jumps on Lore and begins to try to get her. But then Anne comes back and kills him with a stick of wood. They freak out and hide his body in the lake.
Everyone gets suspicious of the car sitting near the town, and wonder about where the dude went. School starts back and the girls are shipped off. An inspector comes to question the girls, and Lore starts to break down because she thinks they are going to be caught. But Anne has a plan. After coming to believe that they are done for, but believing staunchly in her vows to Satan, Anne invites the Inspector to their school play where her and Lore are going to recite some poems. Then it cuts to a dance by these 8 year olds(?) dressed up as parrots on stage, and after its over, the curtain falls. When it rises again, we have one of the most brilliant scenes I've watched in a very long time. I won't ruin for you, but you can watch it for yourself below, if you think "fuck it, I'm never gonna watch this movie." These chicks were nothing if not dedicated. I was not prepared for this one. I give it two thumbs up on some kind of different scale. This is by no means a bad movie, and its awesomeness is of a different sort. It definitely made me cringe many times, but if you're into something that will make your heart race, there's a CURRENT of hecticness running through this one that I could feel as soon as I put it on. The movie feels as evil as the little girls want to be for their lord. (This movie is actually up on youtube right now if you want to watch the whole thing!!!) Enjoy.
!!!!HUGE SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!! / !!!! one of the sickest scenes ever!!!!!