onsdag 10 februari 2010

Atomik Circus - Le retour de James Bataille (2004)

Since this is one of my favorite movies of the past decade I decided to translate my swedish review to hopefully gather some more fans of this delicious little scifigorefest, which everyone should own. So go and get it now! Or read the review and buy it later.

Jason Flemyng plays stuntman James Bataille (James Battle) who arrives in the little town of Skotlett in the french swamps (looking a bit more like Louisiana than France. A bit like the Cajun village in Walter Hills Southern comfort) to perform a motorcyclestunt during the annual Cow Pie Festival. He meets the mayors sexy daughter Concia (played by french singer Vanessa Paradis) and they both fall madly in love. Of course, the stunt fails miserably and James Battle manages to destroy the Mayors bar which results in a long prison sentence. A year later the village is planning the Cow Pie festival and by chance a slimey record company representative happens to be in town and gets really horny when he meets Concia, who just happens to dream about being a recording artist. In the meantime James Battle escapes from prison to reunite with his beloved Concia. To this mix we add all the weird inhabitants of Skotlett and the nearby swamp, for instance we have the guy who lives in a small cottage together with his dead, stuffed grandmother (Who James Battle manages to rip an arm of) or the guy who plans to perform in the Cow Pie talent show by squeezing on his dogs tumour so that the poor dog "sings". It's like a french comic book version of Deliverance.

And it gets even better.

While all of this is happening a meteorite crashes nearby and out of it emerges a swarms of evil, tentacled aliens who float around killing everything in their path. Escept the record company guy who only gets infected. In this movie infected means that he turns into a wandering tentacled alien in a suit who still wants to fuck Vanessa Paradis.


Atomik Cirkus is glorious entertainment from square one. One part twisted arthousecomedy, one part french comic book, one part musical (Vanessa Paradis performs a couple of really good rock songs throughout the movie) and one part scifigore. Brothers Thierry and Didier Poiraud direct a script based on a comic book that they wrote themselves and they do an excellent job, being flashy where it needs to be without overdoing it. The cinematography is superb and together with the lovely, dirty environments and the great special effects, Atomik Circus is a feast for the eyes. The wonderful aliens dominate every scene they're featured in and it gets even better as soon as they start to dish out gory death, which means lots of decapitatons by tentacle. Acting is generally good (with a cameo by Venantino Venantini who we've seen in many an italian exploitationmovie) and the only negative thing I can come up with is that the characters are a bit shallow and stereotypical. But who cares? Tentacled aliens goddangit! The only thing a movie needs! The one thing that stops the movie from a perfect ten though, is a somewhat ambigious ending where you get the feeling that the filmmakers didnt really know how to end this. Or maybe they were setting it up for an even wilder sequel? In the end, it doesnt really hurt the movie. Atomik circus is a delightfully shot, gory cult movie that will stay in my heart for a loooong time.

The only dvd I know of with english subtitles is the thairelease which is cheap, but I have no idea of the quality. It's still worth it.

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