Baise Moi

Baise Moi (2000)
Alpha Video
Cast: Karen Bach, Raffaela Anderson
Extras: Trailer, Critical Blurbs, Flashcard, Still Gallery

Everything that you may have read about ’Baise Moi’ is true. Unless you’ve read that it’s worth seeing. This French film was banned in its native country and has gained notoriety for being controversial, but the truth is that it’s just boring and pointless. The plot (as it were) deals with the lives of two women, Manu (Raffaela Anderson) and Nadine (Karen Bach). Manu is gang-raped, but acts decidedly non-plussed about it afterwards. She then kills a man who becomes overly concerned about her plight. Nadine is a prostitute (and part-time illegal documents smuggler) who murders her nagging roommate. This duo meets by chance and embarks on a crime spree. The remainder of the films portrays Manu and Nadine robbing, drinking, killing and having sex, the last two items being graphically portrayed in the film.

’Baise Moi’ never moves beyond this point. The movie’s sole purpose for existence is to show these women performing cruel and immoral acts. Those who have read social or political messages into the film are fooling themselves (and trying to placate their consciences for having watched it) and the critics who have compared it to ’Thelma & Louise’ did so purely due to lack of imagination. Yes, the film does present sex scenes, which are more realistic than those shown in American films, but that is no reason to publicize this pitiful film. The acting is terrible, the story hard to follow, and the ’special effects’ would make H.G. Lewis cringe. Those expecting to find ’Baise Moi’ challenging, thrilling, or titillating are in for a severe disappointment. The movie is never sexy, exciting, or engaging. Imagine the worst direct-to-video movie that you’ve ever seen, now double that, and you’ve got ’Baise Moi’.

Some bad films are partially redeemed by impressive DVD presentations, but that also isn’t the case here. ’Baise Moi’ was shot on high-end video, but the image is terrible. It is incredibly grainy and there is severe noise in many of the shots. One could imagine that this look was intended to heighten the gritty feel of the story, but it simply makes for an ugly transfer. The movie is presented full frame, but often characters hang off the edge of the frame. Colors are nearly non-existent in some shots, as the film has an overall dark and washed-out look. The French Dolby 2.0 Surround audio track provides clear dialogue, which shows only a hint of distortion at times. However, musical cues are the only sounds which come from the rear. The English subtitles are yellow and easy to read.

The DVD features a trailer for the film, which is shown full-frame. There is also something called a ’Flash Card’, which is similar to the trailer (and looks as if it may have come from the film’s website). A still gallery displays original posters and pictures from the film. The best extra are the critical blurbs, some of which are very funny, making them the highlight of this DVD.