Review: ‘The Bloodettes’

"The Bloodettes" may sport bargain basement production values and the sexual politics of a Russ Meyer exploitation pic, but it nevertheless reps strangely compelling viewing. Sophomore feature by Cameroonian helmer Jean-Pierre Bekolo sends two feisty babes through a bizarre nighttime adventure as they try to dispose of a corpse.

Digitally shot Cameroonian-French sci-fi satire, “The Bloodettes” may sport bargain basement production values and the sexual politics of a Russ Meyer exploitation pic, but it nevertheless reps strangely compelling viewing. Sophomore feature by Cameroonian helmer Jean-Pierre Bekolo (“Quartier Mozart”) sends two feisty babes through a bizarre nighttime adventure as they try to dispose of a corpse. Use of Godardian intertitles and other highbrow touches should get egghead crowd stroking their chins at a few further fests, but distribution prospects will be limited to tiny releases at best in Francophone African and European territories.

In a nameless African state sometime in the future, the secretary general (Balthazar Amadagoleda) dies while having sex. His erstwhile partner, prostitute Majolie (Adele Ado), freaks out and calls on her best friend, sassy Chouchou (Dorylia Calmel), to help her get rid of the stiff. As this farcical project gets under way, the girls cross paths with a ruthless politician (Emile Abossolo) determined to take advantage of the situation, a sleazy taxi driver (Venant Mboua) and other dodgy men, plus a mysterious power called Mevoungou that shapes events. Tech package is slapdash, but dancehall soundtrack is rousing if repetitive.

The Bloodettes

Cameroon-France

Production

A Quartier Mozart Films (Camaroon), e4 Television production. (International sales: IDE, Paris.) Produced by Jean-Pierre Bekolo. Executive producers, Michel Gue, Pascale Obolo, Jim Fink, Andre Bennett, Lisa Crosato, Adrienne Silvey. Directed, written, edited by Jean-Pierre Bekolo.

Crew

Camera (color, DigiBeta), Robert Humphreys; music, Joelle Esso, Adam Zanders; production designer, Thierry Bekolo. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Visions), Sept. 10, 2005. French, English dialogue. Running time: 92 MIN.

With

Adele Ado, Dorylia Calmel, Emile Abossolo, Essindi Mindja, Josephine Ndagnou, Balthazar Amadagoleda, Venant Mboua.
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