When it comes to on-screen sex and violence it takes a lot to unnerve the French authorities, but Baise-Moi
managed it. Three days after the film opened it was pulled from over 60 cinemas across the country, causing a major rumpus, and only allowed back after it had been reclassified X, a category normally reserved for hard-core porn. The title translates literally as "Fuck me", which pretty well sums up the brash, in-your-face style of the film.
The classification was not inappropriate, given that the film features plenty of genuine, unsimulated sex. Anyone hoping for arousal, though, might do better to look elsewhere. Baise-Moi is written and directed by Virginie Despentes and Coralie Trinh Thi, working from Despentes' novel, and stars Karen Bach and Rafaella Anderson. Despentes is an ex-prostitute, while Trinh Thi, Bach and Anderson have all acted in porno movies, and what they give us here is sex as female vengeance, a screwing-and-killing rampage that turns the tables on a violent male world. The movie's been compared to Thelma and Louise, but a closer comparison might be with Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer.
As in most porno movies, the plot is the merest pretext. Nadine (Bach) is a part-time prostitute, Manu (Anderson) is a rape victim. When they meet up both have just killed, more by chance than design. On a whim they link up and take off across country, screwing and killing almost every man they meet. They kill a few women, too, just to even things up. The film's shot on crude digital video; technique is minimal and the acting is rudimentary. There's a certain raw energy that prevents the film from becoming totally depressing but the brief running time (77 minutes) comes as something of a relief. --Philip Kemp
Manu and Nadine lose their last tenuous relationship with main-stream society when Manu gets raped and Nadine sees her only friend being shot. After a chance encounter, they embark on an explosive journey of sex and murder. Perhaps as a revenge against men, perhaps as a revolt against bourgeois society, but certainly in a negation - almost joyful in its senseless violence - of all the codes of a society which has excluded, raped and humiliated them. Controversial for its violence and real sex scenes: a vividly nihilist road movie set in France.
Raffaela Anderson and Karen Bach
Running Time Approx 1Hr 13Mins
This is a DVD