Marie-Laure Dougnac, Dominique Pinon, Karin Viard, Jean Claude Dreyfus, Ticky Holgado,
Anne Marie Pisani, Edith Ker, Mickael Todde, Boban Janevski
1991, 95 Minutes, Directed by: Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Marc Caro
A post-apocalyptic scenario set entirely in a dank and gloomy building where
the landlord operates a delicatessen on the ground floor. But this is an
altogether meatless world, so the butcher-landlord keeps his customers happy
by chopping unsuspecting victims into cutlets, and he's sharpening his knife
for a new tenant (French comic actor Dominque Pinon) who's got the hots for
the butcher's nearsighted daughter!
Delicatessen is a "Terry Gilliam presents"
movie, which only makes sense.
This is the type of movie I can imagine the director of Brazil and 12 Monkeys being very jealous
This French movie (with subtitles in the American version) is a dark and surreal
black comedy. While Delicatessen borrows its visual look mostly from Brazil
and is reminiscent of Alien 3, its content is wholly original.
Set in an Eraserhead-like post-apocalyptic future (although
everyone wears 1950s clothing - like they did in Blade Runner), Delicatessen
focuses on a decrepit block of flats owned by a butcher in which the
tenants hire handymen to fix things around the place - and then eat them!
Yup, you read right. This pattern is
repeated until the butcher's daughter falls in love with one unsuspecting victim and tries
to save him from his, er, unsavory fate.
Despite dealing with the taboo subject of
cannibalism, Delicatessen is surprisingly gore-free and not as gruesome as one
might expect. At times, it comes across more as a romantic comedy, albeit a slightly
offbeat one. In the end, Delicatessen might not be in everyone's taste (bad pun intended),
but if you're into let's say Monty Python comedies or the British comic 2000A.D.
then Delicatessen is definitely a movie worth sinking your teeth
into (groan!). If you're not, then you risk missing out on a tasty
confection (more groan!) . . .
(Incidentally, co-director Jeunet went on to direct the fourth Alien
movie, Alien Resurrection - a film which somehow just wasn't
as good as his efforts on this movie might suggest.)
Sci-Fi Movie Page Pick:A movie to sink your teeth into! Black-humored surreal French stuff. Yeah, as you might have gathered by now it's made by
the same folks who did City of the Lost Children and, well, it's even better!