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The biggest goal in my life as a horror collector is to find and watch as many obscure horror movies as I can.So when I get poor quality DVD-R copy of "Moon and Midnight" I was more than happy.I don't speak French,so most of the plot went beyond me,but here is the general gist:Helene(Sylvia Fennec)is the straight laced girl who falls in love with a strange and decidedly sick young man.On a visit to his family,she discovers his father is a sadist and his nymphomaniac sister likes to see men beaten up for excitement.Her boyfriend turns out to be the strangest of them all as he murders young men with a glove fitted with razor sharp claws.Even stranger is the fact Helen covers up for her lover's crimes and eventually marries him.The film takes place in some sort of a strange stone castle and has plenty of surreal touches including one Nosferatu-like character.I'd like to check out English subtitled print,if it exists.
"Midi-Minuit"(the expression) has two different meanings in
1)continuous showings in the movie theaters from noon to midnight,which allowed the audience to watch the movie up to five times .
2)the name of one of the first Parisian theater showing erotic movies. The connection with the movie I'm writing about escapes me,I fear;there are some erotic scenes (very mediocre ) but not more than in the average French movie of the early seventies in the wake of May 68.
"Midi-Minuit" has one asset:Daniel Emilfork,the strangest sinister-looking guy in the French cinema,but once more in a dud.Sylvie Fennec's moment of glory was short-lived (circa 1970)and the rest of the cast remained unknown ;their amateurish playing ,a desultory screenplay ,the Nouvelle Vague vices (cult of youth and of bodies,filming on location -the director don't even know how to use the splendid
landscapes of the Provençal Garrigue-,wealthy people with inflated egos doing nothing but contemplate their navel,or making "art",or doing bad things (human sacrifices,black magic,who knows?).
"Midi-Minuit " looks like sub-Vadim stuff;and Roger Vadim,we've seen better !
I have seen a synopsis of this film suggesting vampirism, sadism, nymphomania and surrealism and there is a reviewer who watched it without subtitles and still enjoyed it. maybe it works better without translation, I certainly found up to four lines of subtitle at a time just a little excessive. And if the dialogue in any way merited such pretentious presentation, it certainly passed me by. There were elements of interest here, but the direction was so wayward, the editing so bad and the aforementioned dialogue so awful that all was lost way before the end. If you feel with 70s French cinema, some of Vadim's experimental films to be less than involving, Robbe-Grillet's lesser works rather slow, then steer clear of this and seek out someone like Jean Rollin who does at least usually come up with some fine imagery and have some idea of what he wants to achieve.
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