France is a nation long at the forefront of things that are awesome. De Sade, Bataille, Sartre, Rollin, one could make a long list. But for todays purposes, lets talk Grand Guignol. A Parisian theatrical movement founded in the late 19th century which continued until the early 1960's, it served to horrify theatre goers with its gross displays of up front and gruesome gore. Performances usually involved two or more short plays run back to back, and audience member were said to variously faint or even throw up. In other words, a great success. I'm not entirely sure why the movement faded out when it did, perhaps two world wars and general cultural change were the reason but I like to think that one of the writers saw Blood Feast and promptly decided "Screw it, we've been beaten by the best". Or whatever the French equivalent would be, probably involving the word merde. Fortunately the spirit of Grand Guignol did not entirely die, instead one Michel Ricaud brought it to cinematic life in the 80's, mot glorious of decades. Sexandroide thusly is a set of three tales, lasting just under an hour in duration and delivering quite the mighty blast of sex and gore. First up a lady at a bar falls afoul of a villain with a voodoo doll and her photo. Next we have a goth chick meet a ghoul, with impressively horrific consequences and finally a lady and a vampire result in bizarre amusement. To say more would be to spoil the fun (besides others here have detailed events). Though none of the segments have any real plotting the insanity levels are high and by and large I think it best to see such fare with a clean slate. Suffice to say that the first section is something of a warm up, the middle contains some very nasty fare including some violence that looks rather too real to not be real, and the finale has (probably unlicensed) use of a classic pop tune that will have many viewers laughing out loud. Production values are generally porno standard, though Ricaud does muster occasional visual style, particularly when dealing with the voodoo doll man, using his shadow and shots of his hands and arms rather than dealing with him head on. The gore is nasty, it is more HG Lewis than real a lot of the time, but the mean edge gives it a real kick and best of all, the violence is entirely inflicted upon nude or near nude women. This is probably morally indefensible, but I don't have any problems with eroticised torture in cinema so it didn't bother me. I was more peeved by the fact that despite the title, there are no androids in the film at any point. Seems like a deliberate misnomer, whats up with that? Basically, if you like nudity, torture and utter lunacy this is the film for you. If you don't like these things, stay far, far away. Gets a hugely satisfied 8/10 from me though, job well done.
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