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La machine à découdre (1986)

The insane Doctor Enger is obsessed with his plan to build a hospital to cure blind children, and goes on a killing and kidnapping spree with the police in pursuit.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean-Pierre Mocky ... Ralph Enger
Patricia Barzyk ... Liliane
Pierre Semmler ... Steff Muller (as Peter Semler)
Jean-Paul Massoni ... Le maire
... Betty (as Françoise Michaux)
Sophie Moyse ... Rubis
François Toumarkine ... Thomas Bourne
Georges Lucas ... Pierre Bertin
... Henri
Jean Abeillé ... Maurice
Isabelle Strawa ... Yoyo
Allan Dan ... Jack Mironi
Hervé Pauchon ... Sam
Sophie Vanacker ... Jeanne
Ariane Kah ... La voisine de Betty (as Ariane Kha)
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Storyline

The insane Doctor Enger is obsessed with his plan to build a hospital to cure blind children. He has a chance encounter with Steff, an unemployed man who is selling his gun to make ends meet. Enger takes the gun, shoots a bartender, kidnaps Steff, and launches a killing and carjacking spree. He is accompanied the entire time by the naked or nearly-naked Liliane (in real life, a former Miss France). Enger apparently does all this in order to further his plan. The police are in pursuit but are unable to catch him. The mayor, up for re- election, is forced to do damage control. Written by Anonymous

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Comedy | Thriller

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7 May 1986 (France)  »

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Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: Une vague nouvelle (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not essential Mocky... at all.
16 January 2006 | by See all my reviews

I'm one big Jean-Pierre Mocky fan but I have to admit a few of his projects left me baffled at how bad they were. Especially Il Gèle en enfer (see my review on the site), and very close on the list, this one. It's a curious choice that Mocky decided to put this one in his nice DVD collection. Well I'm glad I had a chance to see it, although it amounted to a rather depressing experience. The story is straightforward enough and not uninteresting: a doctor gone bonkers accidentally gets a gun ("la machine à découdre", a pun in French) and decides to use it to raise money from the rich on the French south coast in order to build a hospital for children of war-torn "thirld world" countries. The problem is, Mocky as an actor isn't up to the task (though he does look deranged, grimacing and sweating a lot; on the DVD, he quotes a review finding him "perfect as an actor"!); but he gave himself better roles in earlier movies. His wife-to-be Patricia Barzyk is naked during the whole film, and she sure looks nice. But there are a lot of gratuitous, pointlessly violent scenes. The film is not that very well made (but then no Mocky film is, and it doesn't matter that much), but here there's little to enjoy: no fun, poor action, poor acting (even Mocky regular Jean Abeillé is wasted in a short and awful scene); and horrible music of its time (1985)... still, interesting to see for a Mocky-liker like me (and it made me discover the actor Peter Semler)... but one to be left scratching one's chin to... Another Mocky film, La Bête de Miséricorde from the early 2000s has apparently a similar subject, with a priest-like man killing those who complain to him about their life in order to relieve them... I have a feeling I'll like this one best when I get to see it!


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