Friday, August 7, 2009
PLANET GRIFFIN'S Next Top Ten Movies That Move On Paper: Comics Undreamed Of! Pt. 19
Reaching the end of the Next Top Ten, PLANET GRIFFIN takes it back to 1997 with a french twist--- Over-the-top violence, sadistic pulp storytelling, and the thrills of sheer rampage... PERFECT COMIC FODDER!!! Ladies and Gentlemen...
Little over a decade old and it still retains that new car smell! JAN KOUNEN'S French grindhouse actioner caught the public imagination like a shotgun blast; wildly hailed at the time as '... A Sex Pistols version of Bonnie and Clyde meets Mad Max...'---starring VINCENT CASSELL, MONICA BELLUCI, and an extreme performance by TCHEKY KARYO.
The movie is based on a highly successful string of French pulp novels written by Joel Houssin (who also wrote the screenplay and is considered the trashier french version of Chuck 'Fight Club' Palaniuk). Everything in this film is morally deplorable, the violence is explicit and highly stylized, but never to the effect of being hokey--- Kounen and Houssin take their grindhouse thrills serious, seeing as how not one character in this film is a sympathetic one! This is definitely for a hard boiled audience, making for the PERFECT midnight movie and comic series!
Yann Le Pentrec is Le Dobermann (Cassell), a bankrobbing legend who only cares about the bigger score. Along for the ride is his lustfully mute girlfriend, Nat the Gypsy (Belluci), who's specialty is making things blow up big! In the insane attempt of pulling several bank heists at once, the Dobermann gang become the target of the sadistic Inspector Sauveur Christini (Karyo), a man who will break any and every rule, legal or moral, in his efforts to destroy them!
The stylized approach to this movie is just as manic as the books themselves--- the opening of an animated dog wearing leather, sporting a customized magnum, pissing on the opening credits and then morphing into the actual film is the surest sign that if you need a seatbelt to watch this flick, you don't need to see it!
The characters in the movie come straight out of a comic book--- with nicknames like 'The Abbott', 'Panther Lady', The Mosquito', and 'The Torpedo brothers'--- the morality in this flick is almost non-existent (one scene features Christini 'interrogating' a family, giving a live grenade to an infant to play with as a means of 'incentive'.), making the villains seem like heroes ( Rob Zombie tried this same method with THE DEVIL'S REJECTS with amazing results). The final reel of the film culminates with Christini's SWAT team versus the Dobermann gang in a wild shootout (akin to the True Romance hotel sequence) that takes place in a club known as JOE HELL ( the entranceway is a huge skull overlooking the french canal)--- giving the bloodbath to follow a supreme irony.
As a writer/creator myself, I'll say this for the record: DOBERMANN is just the kind of crazed delirium that the American mainstream comic medium desperately craves, but are afraid to reach for... And yet, it has no problem trying to crush the independent that actually attains it. I know this post is about movies-to-comics-in-theory, but this flick overall serves as a fantastic example of throwing caution to the wind in your creativity and not apologizing for it!
PLANET GRIFFIN serves this entry up with a high recommendation to all of my Grindhouse Goodfellas out there! Keeping the knees clean and the backs straight, stay tuned to PLANET GRIFFIN for the conclusion to The Next Top Ten!
Dobermann Movie Intro - Click here for more blooper videos