Review: ‘Bad Genres’

Stubbornly true to its title, "Bad Genres" is a routine police procedural stuffed with corpses and MacGuffins and set in the transsexual, prostitute, gigolo, pedophile, corrupt-police and serial killer milieu of Brussels.

Stubbornly true to its title, “Bad Genres” is a routine police procedural stuffed with corpses and MacGuffins and set in the transsexual, prostitute, gigolo, pedophile, corrupt-police and serial killer milieu of Brussels. Stilted, sinister botch from vet director Francis Girod features a stunning, award-caliber perf by Robinson Stevenin (son of actor-director Jean-Francois) as a doe-eyed cross-dresser who falls for a hunky thug who looks like Ben Stiller’s evil twin.

En route to visit his senile grandma (Micheline Presle), Bo (Stevenin) sees police inspector Paul Huysmans (Richard Bohringer) arrest his big-shot father for pedophilia. The confoundingly pretty Bo is reluctant to testify against his dad, who molested him as a boy and drove Bo’s mom to suicide. Meanwhile, some vicious lunatic is stabbing transvestites and prosties at an alarming clip. Bo’s high heels carry him/her from crime scene to crime scene while pining for Johnny (Stephane Metzger), a drug-addled, sneering waiter who co-runs a gigolo biz for older women. By the time the unmasked killer asks for his gun, the viewer wants to scream “Shoot yourself, already!” Alexandre Desplat’s faux vintage-Hitchcock score is a nice touch.

Bad Genres

Belgium-France

Production

A Pyramide Distribution release (in France) of an Ognon Pictures, France 3 Cinema, K2, RTL-TV production, in association with France Television Images, with participation of Canal Plus. Produced by Humbert Balsan. Executive producer, Marie-Astrid Lamboray. Directed by Francis Girod. Screenplay, Girod, Philippe Cougrand, based on the novel "Transfixions" by Brigitte Aubert.

Crew

Camera (color, widescreen), Thierry Jault; editor, Isabelle Dedieu; music, Alexandre Desplat; art director, Perrine Rulens. Reviewed at UGC Les Halles, Paris, Aug. 28, 2001. French dialogue. Running time: 109 MIN.

With

Richard Bohringer, Robinson Stevenin, Stephane Metzger, Micheline Presle, William Nadylam, Frederic Pellegeay, Ginette Garcin, Stephane De Groodt, Charlie Dupont, Veronika Novac.
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