Saturday, January 15, 2011


Xavier Gen's Frontier(s) is the weakest entry in the "French New Wave Horror" cannon.  Essentially a remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with a little of The Hills Have Eyes thrown in for good measure, it has all the hallmarks of "New French Extremity"-- brutality, gore, relentlessness.  It also has a very good performance by by Karina Testa as Yasmine, perhaps one of the toughest final girls in all of history.  What it lacks, unlike other French films such as Martyrs, Inside, and Irreversible, is originality. 

Riots have broken out all over Paris.  Young Yasmine and her friends decide to take advantage by doing some looting.  Unfortunately the cops are quick to catch on and Yasmine's brother is shot. Soon, the gang is on the run.  We learn that Yasmine is pregnant and she has no intention of keeping the child.  We also learn that the gang she runs with are just a bunch of dumb hooligans.  When the gang splits up, half head to the countryside with the other half to join later.  What awaits in the countryside is horror not seen since The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake.  The difference here is that the "family" are a bunch of inbreed neo-nazis who also happen to be cannibals.  They decide Yasmine will be the new "mother" of the master race.  Understandably, Yasmine is not having it.

I did not hate or even dislike Frontier(s).  I was just underwhelmed.  There are a few things I did like about the picture, one being the feral children that are abandoned in the old mine.  We only catch glimpses of them, and they are not really evil or bad.  They are just animals.  Another thing that the film did right was to give me the willies with all the graphic cannibalism. It is very brutal and the cooked meat looks like pork (delicious pork).  It just grosses me out.  I can handle a lot: hell, I sat through AntiChrist, but I hate seeing people cooked and eaten.  I also liked that one of the cannibals looked like a very skinny Pamela Anderson.  What the hell?  What kind of inbreeding produces someone like that? 

In conclusion, if you are having an inbred cannibal movie night, I would recommend adding Frontier(s) to your queue.  If you have having a French New Wave Horror night, skip it and watch Martyrs or Inside instead.

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