“Shit, it’s like fucking a zombie”
Baise Moi is a movie released in 2000 that is often associated with The New French Extremity. Co-directed by Virginie Despentes & Coralie Trinh Thi & starring porn actresses Raffaela Anderson & the late Karen Lancaume, Baise Moi is one of the most controversial films ever made & created a media frenzy upon its release.
The movie tells the story of Nadine (Lacaume) & Manu (Anderson) who embark on a killing spree after several incidents push the girls over the edge. Manu, along with one of her friends is gang raped in a garage. While her friend struggles, Manu just accepts what is going on & lies still, looking completely detached from what is happening to her. When she returns home, Manu’s brother realises what has happened, grabbing a gun he asks Manu who did this to her, when she refuses to tell, Manu’s brother calls her a slut, implying she enjoyed it. Manu grabs the pistol & shoots her brother in the head. Nadine, who works as a prostitute, has an argument with her roommate, who she kills, taking the rent money. One of Nadine’s friends, a drug dealer is then killed in a drug deal. Nadine meets Manu after she misses a train & the two end up driving away from the station to embark on a killing spree in some sort of statement against society.
Baise Moi is one of those movies that is always going to polarize opinion. In my mind this movie is utterly offensive & disgraceful. Before I review the movie as a whole, let me explain why I made that last statement. I am no prude & I am also a huge fan of extreme cinema. I will stand up for films that most people criticise like Cannibal Holocaust, Irreversible & A Serbian Film. The problem with Baise Moi is the rape scene. As I have already stated I am no prude. I have no problem with graphic or explicit scenes but Baise Moi’s rape scene is filmed to excite. Rape is a hideous act & when portrayed on the screen should be shown as exactly that. The rape scene in Irreversible is brutally explicit & shocking but it shows the crime for what it is, utterly depraved & horrific. The rape scene in Baise Moi is filmed to excite & arouse. This is fundamentally wrong. A rape scene is not a scene that should be filmed for people to get their jollies from. It’s not a question of how explicit the scene is, it is the manner of the filming. The scene shows a hardcore close up of vaginal penetration & dwells on the sexualisation of the scene. This is, in my mind utterly repulsive & unforgivable. If the scene had been filmed showing a disgusting crime, the movie would have carried some power, as it is, this scene condemns the whole film as offensive crap.
As for the rest of the movie, well to be honest it’s not great either. The plot is paper-thin at best & focuses on the sensationalist aspects of the movie. Apart from the aforementioned rape scene there are several hardcore sex scenes in the movie. Nadine is shown having sex with a client & later the two girls have sex with two guys in a hotel room. These scenes are highly explicit containing full penetration & fellatio. There are also some strong scenes of violence thrown into the mix. Sadly the plot just isn’t up to much. The whole idea of two marginalised women going on a killing spree just seems forced. If Manu had tracked down her attackers or Nadine hunted down the dealers who killed her friend it would have made more sense. Instead it all seems random & unfocused. The two lead actresses actually put in decent performances & are much better than you would expect from porn stars. The ending also manages to illicit some emotional impact. Sadly that is all I can say about Basie Moi that is remotely positive.
Baise Moi is a movie that relies on cheap sensationalism & sleaze. The UK version of this movie is censored. The penetration during the rape & a gun inserted into a guy’s arse have been cut, but make no mistake the movie is still incredibly explicit & has strong scenes of hardcore sex which are unusual for a film with an 18 certificate. Avoid this film at all costs, offensive, crass & just plain awful.