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S & M: Les Sadiques - Carnie Film Production Print E-mail
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Written by Jay Creepy   
Tuesday, 08 May 2018
Severed Cinema Review of S & M: Les Sadiques from Carnie Film Production

SEVERED CINEMA REVIEW OF S & M: LES SADIQUES

S & M: Les Sadiques Movie

Directed by: Alexander Bakshaev
Written by: Alexander Bakshaev, Sarnt Utamachote
Produced by: Alexander Bakshaev, Ludwig Reuter, Mimi Robin
Editing by: Alexander Bakshaev
Music by: Kevin Kopacka, Alexander Zhemchuzhnikov, Brom, Sean Black
Cinematography by: Alexander Bakshaev
Cast: Nadine Pape, Nikolaus Sternfeld, Sandra Bourdonnec, Kevin Kopacka, Harry Baer, Thomas Lee Rutter, Bang Viet Pham
Year: 2016
Country: Germany
Language: German (English Subtitles)
Runtime: 1h 9min


Studio: Yellow Bag Films
Distributor: Carnie Film Production
 

This is the second film by German creator, Alexander Bakshaev I have watched (my first being The Devil of Kreuzberg, see review here) and it is quite a different beast. In the original, I compared somewhat to the films of Jorg Buttgereit – as I do to a lot of German films because he's one of my fave directors. However, with the rather longer running time, S & M: Les Sadiques, (his first full length feature) brought to my mind Jean Rollin. Meh, I know the poster states a tribute to Jess Franco, and I could see that, yet the dreamy surreal quality has Jean Rollin slapped all over it. Either way, it's a throwback to the lost era of arty Euro horror with a dash of kink.

We begin with two girls indulging in an evening’s entertainment of kissing, candles, and chaining up. Afterwards, our main girl, Marie, trundles into town on the train, stopping off to kneel by a shrine devoted to David Bowie – why? Well because, Christiane F was a great film from the early ‘80s, and David Bowie was the master of cult. Arriving at her destination all excited, she's told she cannot stay that night. “But I phoned.” she tells her friend, Ralph, who's timidly tying his house coat. His new flatmate, Ben, is an animal in bed and a serious painter who doesn't like to be disturbed. She states she has nowhere to stay. “Well find somewhere.” comes his reply. I reckon this friendship has just hit an all-time low. We can hear Ben's voice; “Ralph, darling!

Luckily, she meets Tom, who works in a bar. He invites her to his place and a sleep on the sofa after she's poured out her issues with Ralph. Tom fools about, but then seductively removes one of Marie's gloves and the music turns a little sinister, as does his expression. Marie is left pondering as he buggers off to make them a cuppa. Hmm, not so lucky then. It isn't long before she has to run like hell from the apartment due to his vicious advances. “Fuck,” he curses after giving chase, “I should have brought the needles!

Now she's a stranger on the dark streets with her gear left behind at Tom’s place. Marie turns to her suspicious minded Uncle Franz. She explains to him she has dropped out of college and run away from her father to be independent. Her pride gets in the way and she leaves in the end. All options exhausted, she sleeps on the stairs in an apartment building. There she meets a lady, Sandra, who takes an interest in her. Sandra is played by Sandra Bourdonnec, the lady with a family curse from The Devil of Kreuzberg.

Then comes the next day. Marie has a private giggle over Sandra's collection of dildos, and handcuffs. There's some Marquis De Sade paperbacks, and photos of nude men. Hey, Marie does with the paperbacks what I sometimes do with old books, sniff them. She tries on some leather gear she finds and Sandra walks in. She explains how nobody gives her orders – especially men. She goes on to say how she photographs men because they are meat. As they get closer, Sandra decides to involve Marie in her world – a murderously serious world of S & M as Sandra photographs proceedings.

Find us a toy.” demands Sandra. “I want a young, naïve guy. Bring him here! So that we can play with him.” Marie heads off and gets with a bloke, Corrado, portrayed by director, Kevin Kopacka, but has doubts. Returning to Sandra, she stands by the door like a teenager knowing she is in a lot of trouble as Sandra hisses out her disappointments. Marie brings her a whip so Sandra can take out her frustrations on her naked body. Afterwards it appears that beating her troublesome lesser companion has cheered Sandra up, but she asks if Marie is in love with Corrado. She denies this, but the next night is back with him again. The cracks and tensions begin to show between Sandra and Marie's relationship heading towards violence.

As I stated before, this is a totally different creature to Alexander's short movie, The Devil of Kreuzberg. It keeps the fantastic visuals as before, but adds so much in quality and the angles of cameras. Many of these scenes would make wonderful album pics by experimental bands. It all moves creepily slow, yet not to the point of being tedious in any way. It allows time for every set piece to construct and build itself. S & M: Les Sadiques isn't a horror film, it's a dark erotic thriller. I'd say it’s driven by the soundtrack as well. From the eerie background tunes, to Corrado's song, and the wonderful female busker near the conclusion, it all sweeps through perfectly. Berlin has never looked so gloomy and sinister.

My big criticism has to be the finale. There are too many loose ends. It tries to be natural, but fails somewhat because it becomes its own worst enemy by teasing so much leading up to the last ten minutes. However, the cast are great. Sandra and Nadine bounce off one another (in personalities and in the flesh) to make them believable, whilst Kevin Kopacka plays his character rather low key, but effective enough. Oh yes, and hats off to Nikolaus Sternfeld as Tom, for his rabid manic expressions and that line about the needles. Marvellous.

Uncle Franz is played by Harry Baer, a German actor with around forty years of acting experience behind him. Must have felt like royalty entering the film. Incidentally, there's a fella on the train leering at Marie near the beginning. He's played by Thomas Lee Rutter, an underground gent known for quite a few short flicks and Feast for the Beast.

S & M: Les Sadiques is a recommended example of how underground filmmakers still exist and are well in Germany.

S & M: Les Sadiques Screenshot

S & M: Les Sadiques Screenshot

CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGE
S & M: Les Sadiques Screenshot

S & M: Les Sadiques Screenshot

S & M: Les Sadiques Screenshot

S & M: Les Sadiques Screenshot

S & M: Les Sadiques Screenshot

S & M: Les Sadiques Screenshot

S & M: Les Sadiques Screenshot

S & M: Les Sadiques Screenshot

S & M: Les Sadiques Screenshot

S & M: Les Sadiques Screenshot

S & M: Les Sadiques Screenshot

S & M: Les Sadiques Screenshot

S & M: Les Sadiques Screenshot

S & M: Les Sadiques Screenshot

 RATING:
 MOVIE: 1 
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