Normal movies have exciting, memorable, flashy parts, but most of their run-time is composed of the necessary plot and character development. Cattet and Forzani dispose of all plot and character, creating ninety-minute movies where every single minute is marvelous.

This one is their “western,” criminals with stolen gold hiding out with locals and hitchhikers and some intruding cops. If you screenshot whenever someone speaks a character name, and chart the time-of-day intertitles preceding each scene, you can construct a logic puzzle to piece together who’s who and figure out who betrayed whom at what point – but if instead you focus on what the filmmakers are emphasizing, the movie is a sensual marvel of bodies and fire and the sound of stretching leather. Nice to see them get outdoors and work with bright, sunlit colors for once.

Elina Löwensohn (Amateur and Nadja) is the only actor I might have recognized – I think it’s her place where all this is going down. A writer named Bernier (Marc Barbé, a marquis in Don’t Touch the Axe – he must be the guy with the green ring) was staying at her place along with a lawyer who’s in on the heist. The three murderous thieves are the bald guy, the grey-haired guy and “the kid” (Rhino, Gros and Alex – possibly in that order). Returning with the gold they pick up three hitchhikers: the writer’s wife Melanie, the maid Pia and a child. One of the two cops gets shot in the face straight away, and the other lasts pretty long. Not positive who is alive at the end, but it’s one of the women based on the silhouette.

Michael Sicinski on Letterboxd:

There’s a subtle but crucial difference between Cattet and Forzani and other Eurotrash revivalists … The disreputable B pictures offer certain formal possibilities — jagged edits, dramatic wide angle cinematography, extreme close ups, and an expressionist use of color — that both commercial and art cinema never really explored any further. Corpses isn’t an exercise in nostalgia so much as a rejoining in progress, an exploration of those largely untapped potentials.

Premonition Following an Evil Deed (1995, David Lynch)

David Lynch’s mysterious contribution to the Lumiere and Co. anthology, now in high-def. I think police discover a dead body and inform the family, and in between there’s a weird alien lab with a brilliant burning-paper scene transition.

Festi (2014, Arcade Fire)

Someone is possessed by the ghost of Jim Morrison, who wants to murder Will Butler and Richard Parry, presumably for releasing solo albums. He chases them with a knife saying “these guys won a fucking grammy?” Richard dies running into an electric fence. Terry Gilliam cameos. This is a celeb goofoff with pretty bad camerawork.

Haha, creepy National twins:

Alone (2014, Jeremiah Kipp)

This is a nice eye-cleanser after the sub-amateur cinematography of the Arcade Fire piece.
Adam Ginsberg reads a Poe poem with gorgeous cutaways.

The Minions (2014, Jeremiah Kipp)

“You walked down the witches’ path, didn’t you?”

William helps pick up incredibly drunk girl on the sidewalk and get her home. But drunk girl acts very attracted to poor William, and reminds him of voiceover witch who is presenting him with moral dilemma. I don’t think this is out yet, so will say no more, besides that Kipp seems prolific, puts out consistently high-quality work, and is the only person who emails me to preview his movies and I’ll say yes.

Berenice (2014, Jeremiah Kipp)

I’ve just watched the Rohmer version – this one is set in modern day, so dialogue has been rewritten, and has a 100% more horrifying ending (she wakes up entombed, blood-spattered, her teeth having been removed by her bonkers fiancee). Hmmm both of the last two shorts ended up featuring regular guys who end up being creeps helping to carry passed-out women. Found this on IMDB under the anthology Creepers.

L’etrange Portrait de le Dame en Jaune (2004 Cattet & Forzani)

After Amer and Strange Color I’m out of Cattet & Forzani features, so catching up on the shorts. Of course it’s about a woman’s murder by a black-gloved stranger, but this time no fancy editing since it’s a single take shot through a mirror, which breaks at the end, so at least there’s a semblance of the directors’ favorite split-screen effect

Santos Palace (2006 Cattet & Forzani)

Watched in unsubtitled French and Spanish. Almost-affair-and/or-murder between barista and customer is interrupted. As usual, delectable editing and audio.

Chambre Jaune (2002 Cattet & Forzani)

Most of this is in such extreme slow-motion that it looks like Dog’s Dialogue-style stills. Music box song… black gloved hand holds a razor… somewhat storyless sex/murder/fetish flick. They love keyholes and the creaking sound of leather.

Catharsis (2001 Cattet & Forzani)

Their most explicitly gruesome movie. A La Jetee low-frame-rate loop-film. A man arrives naked in a room, is killed and chopped to bits by gloved stabber played by the same man, who then arrives naked in the room, etc.

La Fin de Notre Amour (2004 Cattet & Forzani)

Guess I saved the most disturbed one for last. Entirely told in still images, man seems like a more artistic Frank from Hellraiser, very into razors and masochism, then leather-clad woman shows up and they destroy each other in creative new ways.

I ran out of screen shots – may have used the wrong one for the wrong movie…

Series of short twist-ending horrorshows. Quality was higher than I predicted. I watched in small batches over the course of the month – this 2+ hour collection is probably more wearying to watch all at once.

Woman violently kills her husband, apologizes for not doing it more peacefully but she’d run out of time due to impending apocalypse. Nacho Vigalondo also directed the fun Timecrimes.

Babysitters make up story of Mexico City heart-eaters. Story is true! Babysitters’ hearts are eaten, little girl lives. I must’ve missed where Bigfoot came in. Adrián García Bogliano made last year’s Here Comes the Devil.

Doppelganger strangles his other, ad nauseum. Reliant on shock music. Ernesto Díaz Espinoza is known for action stuff like Kiltro and Mirageman.

Slow-mo, dialogue-free man-vs-dog underground fighting ring. Marcel Sarmiento made a good-sounding abandoned-asylum movie called Deadgirl.

Lazy dude keeps getting bitten by the same spider. We see the dude from spider POV sometimes. Then baby spiders hatch from his ear. Not as good as the Creepshow episode. Angela Bettis is a Lucky McKee collaborator, directing Roman and playing the lead in May.

The one about Japanese girls farting. Nothing to see here. Keep moving. Noboru Iguchi also made Zombie Ass and Bad Butt – I am sensing a trend.

Surfer with first-person camera dies. Not as good as the Cuaron version. Andrew Traucki made a shark movie called The Reef.

Hydro-Electric Diffusion
Live-action cartoon WWII soldier dog fights nazi stripper fox. Even better than it sounds! Thomas Cappelen Malling’s only other credit is Norwegian Ninja.

Kidnapped, tied-up girl is injected with Cabin Fever virus, dies. Awful high-pitched whine on the soundtrack. This is the worst. Jorge Michel Grau did the well-reviewed We Are What We Are.

Executioner cannot focus on his head-chopping job because the dude committing harakiri keeps making funny faces. Yudai Yamaguchi worked on Tokyo Gore Police, directed two comedy-horror baseball movies and something called Meatball Machine.

Animation is nice but it’s about a sentient, murderous piece of poop. Anders Morgenthaler made the enjoyable Princess.

New definition of torture-porn? Jackoff competition, loser is killed with a stake up the ass. One guy makes it to round 14 then finds himself on the wrong end of the contest as a girl has sex with him while chainsawing him to death. Odd. Timo Tjahjanto made the suicide/devil-cult segment of V/H/S/2.

The shortest segment, and nearly the second in a row to be toilet-based. Ti West has been all the rage since House of the Devil.

Huge relief because it stars a colorful parrot who does not get killed or hurt. Talking parrot gives away dude’s affair during his proposal, he gets knifed. Banjong Pisanthanakun made horrors Shutter and Alone.

The great Cattet & Forzani explore new realms of color and slow-motion with a woman receiving oral sex and blowing soap bubbles. I hope they make another movie soon.

Prostitute in financial trouble accepts job to be videotaped stomping kittens to death. Kinda the saddest one. Simon Rumley is known for Red White & Blue and The Living and the Dead.

Director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett decide their segment will stand out for featuring a real death, and plan to kill a caged duck on camera, but they don’t know how guns work and end up shooting each other. By far this is my favorite Wingard movie.

Hospital prisoner/patient has valuable movie film under his skin, but also has subcutaneous bullets for self-defense. Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat features prominently, and it rains blood at the end. Hunh? Srdjan Spasojevic’s only other credit is snuff-movie thriller A Serbian Film.

Notably bad acting and editing. Mad Max dystopia turns out to be fantasies of dying druggies. Jake West does DVD-extra docs for horror movies including the feature Phantasmagoria on the Phantasm series.

Fantastic claymation. I was nervous since this is the third toilet-based short in the series but it’s completely wonderful. Lee Hardcastle has 20 credits from the last 3 years, and they’re all clay remakes of horror movies.

Death of a vampire, from the vampire’s first-person perspective, in just a few takes. I’ve seen most of Ben Wheatley’s movies, most recently A Field in England.

Sci-fi population-control short looks ike a video game cutscene, super slick, no idea what happened because I turned the volume down but someone was executed in the name of the government and someone else exploded. Kaare Andrews is the second director here after Ti West to have made a Cabin Fever sequel.

Brief Metalocalypse-looking animation becomes making-of segment, freewheeling live-action ideas that start with W (includes an Insane Clown Posse magnets reference), then the whole thing turns brutally insane and hilarious. Jon Schnepp directs/designs/edits Metalocalypse.

French people super-taunt an overweight girl until she goes home and cuts herself thin with knives. Xavier Gens made Frontier(s).

School janitor is a pedophile, a young victim takes revenge. No spoken dialogue, set to upbeat 1980’s montage music. Jason Eisener made Hobo with a Shotgun and Slumber Party Alien Abduction.

Dr. Strangelove-referencing nazi race-war sex-melee dystopia, ending the anthology in an orgy of bad taste. Yoshihiro Nishimura directed Tokyo Gore Police, obviously.

Watched this belatedly after loving their follow-up The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears. Some critics who’d seen Amer said that Strange Colour was the same ol’ thing, but I doubted that would be a problem since Strange Colour was supremely stylish and enjoyable, and sure enough, so was this.

I’m grasping the story even less here, or at least not grasping how they’re supposed to work together, except visually/stylistically. It’s in three parts, each following Ana at different ages. Firstly, young Ana is fighting to the death with the family maid Graziella over Ana’s dead-ish grandfather’s locket.

Then sullen teenaged Ana follows her mom into town, having sensual visions of escape.

Finally, adult Ana returns to the old family home, and is maybe murdered by a black-gloved stalker.

The directors are sound-effects fetishists (and use 1970’s movie scores) so the whole thing sounds as great as it looks. No familiar actors: Ana’s father Jean-Michel Vovk is in all the Cattet/Forzani movies and cab driver (murderer?) Harry Cleven was in a couple of Godard films. Can’t tell if the movies are all empty style or rich and deep, but they’re a total blast to watch and mysterious enough that, if having people over to watch weird movies was a realistic option, these would be the top contenders.

EDIT 2018: Had someone over to watch Amer, which is still awesome.

Amazing giallo tribute that outdoes any of the originals except maybe the peak Argentos. Apparently this is what this Belgian filmmaking duo makes – loving, intensely stylized fever-dream giallos – which makes me sorry I skipped their Amer a few years ago. Full-color widescreen lunacy with trippy credits, great but too-infrequent music, extreme close-ups, bondage, nudity and lots of knife murders.

Danish Klaus Tange returns home from a trip to find his wife missing. They live in a Lords of Salem apartment building full of odd neighbors and evil unopened rooms and hidden passageways above and behind everything, in which first a tenant named Laura and now Klaus’s wife have disappeared. Mysterious bearded guy lives in there and seems to know what’s going on, and Klaus has an Italian police detective on his side. Also there’s a grey-haired old woman who tells a story of when her husband disappeared into the walls, and she might in fact be Laura and/or the murderer, and I believe Klaus gets killed, but none of this seemed important at the time, even less so afterwards.

N. Murray in Dissolve:

The problem is that Cattet and Forzani have done this before—and with more focus. Strange Color gets at the voyeurism of giallo, and how investigating a mystery gives people license to peer into other people’s homes and lives. But the movie as a whole doesn’t say anything about male sexual desire and female sexual power that Amer didn’t already say.

J. Anderson in Cinema Scope:

One reason Forzani and Cattet’s films are so alluring and unnerving is how well they tap into giallo’s fundamental core of irrationality. They invest a new elegance and a renewed vigour into the “science of plotless shock and dismemberment.” O’Brien intended that phrase to serve as faint praise for Bava and his successor Argento, but it’s also suggestive of the careful manner in which The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears induces ever more advanced stages of dread and derangement on the viewer’s part.