A Raw Slice From the Delicatessen, Please17 Apr 2020
I’m couch ridden today. It would seem some really nasty snot gremlins have taken up residence in my nasal passages and are doing everything possible to make me feel utterly miserable angerufen. You’d think they’d be satisfied with just cramming all their buddies and their buddies buddies into my nostrils to the point where my head feels like its about to explode but they aren’t. No, they feel the need to bungee jump down my throat and sometimes the bastards break the cord so the coughing fits that ensue really wreck havoc on my already throbbing head. If only Uncle Fester were around, I could borrow his head vice and pop those annoying little buggers out of my system altogether.
But I have no idea where Fester is, so in my weakened state I subjected myself to even more torture, compliments of NetFlix. Although I use the term “torture” loosely as actually one of today’s choices was pretty good.
My .02 Cents Horror fans far and wide give me shit because I do not like to watch Foreign films. Some drivel about how I am really missing out on great, quality horror (I usually filter them out at this point but I’m pretty sure what they are saying is drivel.)
Here’s my problem with foreign horror: For starters, I tend to multitask when I watch movies at home, and having to keep my eyes constantly on the boobtube to read the subtitling (since I speak very little foreign languages) is a bit tedious. Secondly, the foreign horror flicks I wind up watching are usually…. well….. lame if you want to know the truth. And coming from me, that’s pretty bad considering I usually like some pretty lame stuff!
So I thought I would try Marc Caro’s & Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s 1991 direction of Delicatessen (judging by the directors’ names, you would be safe in presuming its a French treat.)
Starting out we see a barren town with run down buildings and beat up cars. It’s filthy, as are the people, and money is basically obsolete. We learn from the word go that payment is usually in the form of bartering for grains, or shoes, etc. I’m not really sure if the setting is post apocalyptic, or perhaps set in the past after some war-torn era; judging by the cars and clothing, I’d guess the 50’s or so. First up we meet Clapet, the local butcher who seemingly takes great pride in his meat. We also see someone trying to flee Clapet’s establishment (which doubles as a boardinghouse) only to meet his death at the end of our friendly butchers meat cleaver. Hence the set up.
It’s quickly evident that the world is starving to death and forced to eat anything that walks, which seems to be humans (apparently all of the rodents and pet life has disappeared.) Clapet is one of the few who has little to no remorse about slicing and dicing people while people have little to no remorse about eating the very people sliced and diced. Survival of the fittest I guess.
So a new tenant, Louison, moves into the apartments above the Delicatessen and Clapet’s daughter Julie takes an immediate fancy to him. The basis of this movie is Clapet wanting to kill Louison for food (as well as revenge for “taking his daughter away from him”) and Julie trying to do whatever she can to prevent it from happening.
Delicatessen tries to be darkly humorous, with a few subtle scares thrown in for good measure. Dialogue is lacking and bloodshed is minimal, and more often than not cuts erratically from one scene to the next, which left me scratching my head as if I missed something important. I think the most effective parts of the movie were the setting, which was dank and dirty and ominous; and the character’s development of their expressions and mannerisms (trust me when I say there are no beauty queens in this one!) The actors are what kept me involved all the way to the end. The prolonged annoying sound effects were definitely not.
Although I can’t say I did not enjoy Delicatessen, I also can’t say that I did. I kind of enjoyed it. Who knows? Maybe I should watch it again when I am not doped up on Sudafed and Robitussin. Maybe then I would enjoy it more.