Director Bertrand Tavernier's black comedy about a bumbling West African police chief who decides to take revenge on his oppressors. Stationed in a remote town in Senegal, ineffectual police chief Lucien Cordier (Philippe Noiret) is routinely harrassed by thugs and nagged by his adulterous wife Huguette (Stephane Audran). Pushed to the limits, Lucien finally flips, embarking on a killing spree aimed at ridding himself of his tormentors and anyone else who has ever slighted him.
United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: French ( Dolby Digital Stereo ), English ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (1.66:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Cast/Crew Interview(s), Interactive Menu, Scene Access, Trailer(s), SYNOPSIS: Based on pulp master Jim Thompson's Pop. 1280, Bertrand Tavernier's Coup de Torchon is a sardonic thriller that remains true to its source's spirit, even as it transposes the action from the American South to colonial West Africa. Lucien (Philippe Noiret) is the bumbling police chief of Bourkasa, a dusty outpost in rural Senegal. Badgered by local thugs, Lucien initially comes across as a pathetic oaf unable to stand up for himself. Things at home are scarcely better, as Lucien finds himself harried by his nagging wife, Huguette (Stéphane Audran), who is carrying on an affair with a man she claims to be her brother (Eddy Mitchell). Without warning, Lucien embarks on a nonchalant killing spree, murdering everyone who has ever mistreated him. As he sets about 'cleaning the slate,' Lucien intensifies his affair with ditsy Rose (Isabelle Huppert), all the while pining for the newly arrived schoolteacher, Anne (Irene Skobline). Remaining above suspicion even as bodies pile up, the seemingly witless Lucien gradually develops a twisted logic for his actions, animating his crusade with an evangelical purpose. By movie's end, Tavernier leaves little room for redemption, leaving the joyless Lucien mired in a moral quagmire of his own making. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: Ceasar Awards, Oscar Academy Awards, San Sebastian International Film Festival, ...Clean Up (1981) ( Coup de Torchon ) ( Clean Slate )