A respected police commissioner has a reputation as a fervent opera lover, but by night he also enjoys plunging into the transvestite scene. In addition, he harbors a longing for his very ... See full summary »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gaby Hart
Bert Sanders
Chris Brine
Jappe Claes ...
Colonel March
David Hyde
Harry Cleven ...
Serge-Henri Valcke ...
Harry Wellman
Romy Haag ...
Eva Robins ...
John Van Dreelen ...
Minister Weinberger
Norma Christine Deumner ...
Pascale Jean-Louis ...
Mark Verstraete ...
Police Officer
Hugo Van Den Berghe ...


A respected police commissioner has a reputation as a fervent opera lover, but by night he also enjoys plunging into the transvestite scene. In addition, he harbors a longing for his very own sister. When he learns that his wife has been murdered, he tries to implicate the set-designer who has designs on his sister. Written by Hannelore Goossens

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Release Date:

7 May 1987 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

Make-up for Murder  »

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French certificate: -13. See more »


Orfeo and Euridice
Written by Christoph Willibald Gluck
Sung by Marianne Kweksilber, René Jacobs (as Rene Jacobs), Magdalena Falewicz
Orchestra: La Petite Bande and Collegium Vocale
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User Reviews

Eurotrash classic
23 January 2004 | by (san francisco) – See all my reviews

Look, I'm not suggesting Mascara is an even vaguely good film, but... who cares, it's a classic sample of Eurotrash culture. Another masterpiece from the "quality" merchants at Cannon film, I'm just surprised it hasn't found a solid cult audience in the midnight movie circuit or 1980's retro sleaze market(uh, is there such a market?).

It has Charlotte Rampling, queen of Eurotrash (remember the Night Porter?) who, oddly enough, has the most "straight" role here. As usual, she channels Lauren Bacall (good looking woman, she), and gets through a fairly lackluster part. She's always better than her material and wears some very stylish togs for someone who just works as an interpreter. Michael Sarazin, former pretty boy and Jacqueline Bisset boyfriend (he was in a good tv version of Frankenstein) is now a little long in the tooth, but still has a striking appearance and soulful eyes. Here he's a somewhat unbelievable Police Superintendent and has some wild scenes that come off... shall we say, a trifle campy. Derek de Lint (from Unbearable Lightness of Being, a fav film of mine) is a heterosexual costume designer for the opera. De Lint, a popular star in European film, must have taken this part for the money. He's mostly a foil for Sarazin and love interest for Rampling.

But there's more. Next we have cult performer Romy Haag (a well known transgender artiste from the 70's through 90's, friend of Bowie's, etc.) as the madam-manager of an underground club where closeted bigwigs go to hear drag queens, etc. lip sink to opera (yes, when there's operatic music that's a sure sign of Eurotrash). Topping it off is the gorgeous Eva Robin's (that's how her name is usually spelled), Italian transgendered star of music, tv, fashion and film as a character with the absurd name of "Pepper". Now Robin's is about as unlikely a "Pepper" as I've ever encountered. She looks gorgeous and has a scene that prominently displays her manhood front and center. This was a good 5 years before the Crying Game. Shameless exploitation? ... you bet. But what happens next is a shocking reminder of how much violence there really is against transgendered people and how it's often reported with a kind of titillation rather than as a human rights issue. The cinematography and mood in this film are striking, even as the script and some of the acting are laughable. It all made me want to take a trip to Europe, wear something fashionable and walk around some nameless urban landscape late at night looking for a niteclub to go to as blue signs flash "cambio, wechsel, change."

Mascara could be a good date movie, if you're dating someone with really sleazy, bizarre tastes. I found it infinitely more entertaining than Showgirls, and look how beloved that flick has become since it had its initial flush down the toilet?

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