Merry Christmas Eve everyone! Let me tell you all about a fantastic Christmas movie that not a lot of people know about - I sure didn't until recently by way of the LBFS. Behold, the 1989 French film 3615 Code Père Noël.
I'm here to tell you that when I saw this screened downtown last week, everyone was a little floored by it. It wasn't just the insane subject matter, but also that the movie was actually as good as that f*cking trailer.
Père Noël aka Game Over is an exceptionally well made movie. The marvellous production design and the kinetic way in which director René Manzor films it is really something. The world created is at times fantastical - you will wonder how such a house could exist - but the relationship between Thomas (Alain Lalanne) and his grandfather (Louis Ducreux) keeps the movie well grounded. And due to its European origins, it is not shackled by the usual Hollywood conventions. Bad things happen, and the best case scenario for our little protagonist is a wicked case of PTSD.
|Thomas (Alain Lalanne) ready for action in Game Over.|
One might ask how a film like this could've been made considering the amount of peril Thomas (the character and the actor portraying him) is exposed to here. Well, it becomes clearer when you learn said actor is the director's son. I wonder how many times the words, “don't worry, he's fine” were uttered on set. Hell, man. I say we need to be getting back to these kind of narratives, like the awesome stuff Henry Thomas was doing in the mid-eighties like Cloak & Dagger and The Quest. The only good example of this I've seen recently was Cop Car.
But anyway, if this premise seems familiar to you, you're not alone. I believe the filmmakers tried to sue the makers of Home Alone when it was released just a year later. I think the crux of their argument was that Home Alone writer John Hughes had been vacationing in Paris during Game Over's theatrical run. Who can say? Regardless, I'm so glad there's a French R-rated version of Home Alone out there. It warms the cockles of my black, black heart.
|Art by Sagan Lee.|
Sadly, there hasn't been a release of this - maybe 20th Century Fox had it buried! - which is a damn shame. This movie not only deserves to be seen, but also cleaned up to fully show off its great cinematography and set design. Are you listening Scream Factory???