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Adrián García Bogliano
Magdalena De Santo
Assumpta Serna plays a lawyer who passionately defends 'criminal scum'. Her latest defendants though have no quarrels in singling her out as their next victim. They steal her car, find keys to her country villa and decide to rob the place at the next opportunity. Unfortunately, the lawyer's family turns up at the villa, a struggle ensues and the husband is killed. But this is only the beginning of the nightmare... Written by
Coto de Caza is an obscure Spanish gem and one that is well worth seeing. The film is a bit like exploitation flicks such as The Last House on the Left and The House on the Edge of the Park, although the point this time is not just to see innocent people put in danger. Let Sleeping Corpses Lie director Jorge Grau takes the helm and the film is clearly taking a swipe at the legal system that often lets criminals get away with their crimes. For this reason, it might not appeal too much to exploitation fans as there's not a great deal of sleaze or nastiness, but those who are looking for a little more than just exploitation will find plenty to like here! The plot focuses on Adela, a defence lawyer for criminals. She gets a couple off the hook and they repay her by stealing her car. After finding the keys to her country villa, they naturally decide to rob the place; but trouble starts the lawyer's family turn up, and in the struggle; the husband ends up getting killed. However, this is just the start of the unfortunate lawyer's ordeal...
The point of the film is actually very well expressed as, at its heart, Coto de Caza is a depiction of the idea that if you don't put criminals in jail, they will commit more crime. This film was made over twenty years ago in Spain, but its social commentary is certainly relevant to modern day Britain and probably elsewhere in the world too, making the film poignant even today. The plot moves rather slowly and not a great deal happens in the first half of the film. However, the film is never boring and the scenes at the beginning succeed in building the characters and setting the scene which does benefit the story later on. As mentioned, there not a lot of sleaze in the film; but that doesn't hinder it too much as there's enough going on elsewhere and the action we do get treated to is generally very good; a sequence involving fire towards the end is certainly worth the wait too. Overall, Coto de Caza is an excellent little film and really is well worth seeing. It's also a shame that it's so hard to get hold of as this film is ripe for re-discovery!
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