There is nothing original in this 1984 film in New Orleans. We have seen it all. The ex-cop turned serial killer after a long sojourn in prison for rape. The woman activist who is teaching self defense to other women. The divorced father who is taking care of two girls. The victims chosen among the female haphazard or not of the main cop who arrested him a long time ago, in order to get even with him, to get his revenge. The Mardi Gras turned into crime peddling. The three cops keeping one woman under surveillance and protection killed one after the other and the woman assaulted. Etc. So what makes this film special? The cool character of the inspector, slow and fast at the same time, Pondering and following his instinct at some other time. Professional and yet yielding to prostitutes a little too easily and too often, and forgetting his ties on the place of intercourse. Having a problem explaining his younger daughter what a hard-on is. And the word is used twice in the film. There is also the perfect well built suspense founded and built on the shoes and the color of the shoelaces of the criminal. The absolute ruthlessness of this killer who enjoys raping his victims before they die by strangulation and then even eating a cookie and having a cup of coffee. That nonchalance is rarely expected nor found in a serial killer, though he may become so used to his deeds that follow a strict scenario that he may become easy-going about it. That's why the film is perfectly entertaining and Bourbon street on Mardi Gras is so colorful and fascinating. We would like every day to be a Mardi Gras, even if that is the paradise of murderers who can disguise the way they want and be absolutely unseen, invisible. And it all holds with a red silk ribbon. Marvelous detail that makes the film nearly sentimental, like the red badge of courage turned perverse and sociopathic.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne, University Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines, CEGID