Wednesday, July 11, 2012

"Frontier(s)" DVD (director: Xavier Gens)

Under a shaky facade of political awareness and portending France's return to right-wing politics, sadistic French splatter-torture film "Frontier(s)" succeeds only in melding "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" with "Saw" or "Hostel". Sure, it's gritty, dirty, and absolutely packed with buckets of blood and hacked limbs, but the story feels awfully familiar. And the mid-film melodrama of a love confession is silly and totally unnecessary.

Set in modern-day France, a team of young Parisian thieves, while on the run to Amsterdam, aim to relax for a night in a roadside "hotel" and meet some lovely lasses who aren't shy about "tending their needs", and for free. Forward a bit (not a problem, as the sex scenes aren't very impressive) and our protagonists end up in an abandoned mine system in the middle of nowhere. They are pursued, tortured, and imprisoned by a former Nazi war criminal and his hackneyed "family", with an aim to create a "pure race". Blood, guts, torture, grime, chains, pigs, circular saws, a nasty Achilles-tendon get all this. Too bad there's not much else here to recommend. (Lions Gate)

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