Neko’s taking a break from her usual haunts somewhere in the ghost infested Far East to take a look at “Frontier(s)”, a creepy new horror DVD of the slasher genre from France… just being released on Region 2 in the UK by Optimum Home Entertainment on July 7th. Of course, your Favorite Catgirl Princess has been able to look at this a wee bit early, just to give you her impressions of what it’s all about.
Our synopsis for this one reads as follows: “2007. The French presidential elections are a face-off between a conservative and an extreme right-wing candidate. The banlieues are ablaze. After a failed robbery, a gang of small-time crooks splits up and goes on the run from the police, some of them seeking refuge in a seedy hostel, deep in an industrial wasteland. Unbeknownest to the robbers, their hosts are a bunch of Neo-Nazi cannibals, who will go to any lengths to turn their fascist fantasies into reality. Our young protagonists’ ordeal begins and, subjected to all kinds of mutilation and torture, they learn the true meaning of universal suffrage.”
Well….. Nazis AND crazy cannibals…… Can Neko pass up giving this one a try? I don’t think so!! Let’s all “Read On”, shall we?
Let’s get all the “Tech Stuff” for this release out of the way…..
|Actors||Karina Testa, Aurélien Wiik, Patrick Ligardes, David Saracino, Maud Forget, Samuel Le Bihan, Chems Dahmani, Amélie Daure, Estelle Lefébure, Rosine Favey, Adel Bencherif, Joël Lefrançois, Jean-Pierre Jorris, Hervé Berty & Yannick Dahan|
|Certificate||18 years and over|
|Screen||Widescreen 2.35:1 Anamorphic, Feature Running Time: 103 mins approx.|
|Languages||French ; German – Dolby Digital (5.1)|
|Region||Region 2 PAL – Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players. (Naturally, you sillies!)|
There….. Now as to the film itself.
Neko was really wondering if this film could actually pull it off. I mean, US films like “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” or “The Hills Have Eyes” would have you believe that the deserted wastelands of the United States are just crawling with clans of mutant inbred cannibals….. and the sheer size of the US actually does make such completely uninhabited wilderness areas possible. It’s why such films work……. This works in Australia too…. or maybe the wilds of the old Eastern Bloc……. But France?…the Home of the flaky Croissant???
Could such places even be available to populate with these “Urban Myths”? Admittedly…. Neko-chan’s knowledge of France and it’s geography are more limited than say, her understanding of the jungles of Upcountry Thailand, but this premise seems at first glance to be a bit much to ask her to swallow……
Anyway….. since I get the feel that this is set in some “near future” almost apocalyptic time, I’m willing to play along and assume it’s not only possible, but downright likely.
So….. the story revolves around our heroine, Yasmina (Karina Tesra), who finds herself drawn into a stupid bank robbery plot masterminded by her brother, her ex-boyfriend and their mutual friend that gets her brother shot and killed. The rest of them are forced to flee, the police hot on their heels, so they split up and make a bee-line for the safety of Holland…. This means that they end up lost of course, somewhere on the “frontier” near that border where they decide to spend the night at an Inn run by some fairly unsavory characters, the Von Geisler family in the form of Aryan She Wolf, Gilberte (Estelle Lefébure); the twitchy, Klaudia (Amélie Daure); and their brute of a brother Goetz (Samuel Le Bihan).
Now…… Neko-chan has seen some dives in some movies before…. but this Inn screams “Run Like Hell!” in no uncertain terms. But do these people hear that warning creeping up the back of their neck like big hairy spiders? Nope….. but then in movies like this they never, ever do….
The guys think they’ve struck it lucky when the find out that Gilberte and Klaudia are a couple of horny sluts…. creepy, nasty sluts….. but sexy in that “bad girl” trailer trash sort of way that very stupid guys in slasher movies ALWAYS fall for. Things get tense following this, and the two guys end up as the first victims in what is going to be a very bloody encounter here.
Then Yasmina and her ex, Alex (Aurelien Wiik) arrive. They don’t know that things are amiss until they get to visit “the Farm”… and when Alex goes to the bathroom, he decides to look around, only to discover his friend’s body hanging upside down, hooked by his ankles like a slaughtered pig. Time to make a run for it…. but too late!!! The clan isn’t ready to let them go. Seems they need both “meat” and breeding stock…. Unfortunately their gene pool is getting a bit shallow…. there are tunnels full of mutant freaks in an abandoned maze of mining tunnels to attest to that. Yasmina isn’t all that Arayan….. but beggars can’t be choosers, even when trying to breed the “Master Race”.
From this point, we’re in familiar territory. The Nazi cannibals capture our heroes… they escape. They get chased and some creative bloody mayhem ensues. Yasmina gets caught.. again… There is the requisite horrible family dinner scene. Yasmina goes “Rambo” and escapes….. again. There is some more chasing…. sorta like in a very very blood spattered “Scooby-Doo” episode…. and we get eventually to the final, no holds barred fight to the death for the survival of Yasmina. Cue end credits.
And boy…. while we’re at it, these are some extremely well armed Nazi cannibals. Shotguns… Mauser rifles,….Lugers, a snazzy MP-40 submachine gun and even a freaking Bren Gun! If only they’d had some of those neat “potato masher” grenades they could have restarted WW2. Makes you wonder why they needed to resort to the standard maniac arsenal of sledgehammers, bolt cutters, and various pointy thingees.
This one moves along. It also takes absolutely no prisoners….. don’t expect it to wimp out and do very many off screen “suggestive” kills. Nope… this one likes to get in your face with the violence….and once it gets there it wants to kick your teeth in. Heck… they even cook a guy to death in some freaky steam cabinet like a lobster!! It reminded me why I don’t usually watch “slasher films”. For your Favorite Catgirl, they just creep me out too darn much. In the world today, they just strike too close to home for comfort. I’ll take a horde of hopping vampires to serial killers any day. “Frontier(s)” gave me a bad nights sleep…….
So… what then is my rating for this one? Well, given that I had my reservations at the start that this one was even possible, I’d say that by the end, it had me firmly convinced that I wont be visiting the pastoral French countryside any time soon…. Neko gives “Frontier(s)” a firm 4 “Meows” out of 5 for taking it’s admittedly silly premise and making it terribly, horribly real. In my opinion, any film that has me waking up all sweaty and scared at 3 in the morning has done it’s job as a horror movie.
Naturally…there’s a Trailer… so here goes!!