Jean-Pierre Mocky, one of Gaul’s most prolific helmers and, at age 73, certainly one of the most independent filmmakers anywhere, has a laconic field day with political corruption in “Spiders of the Night.” Producer-scripter-helmer Mocky also stars as a Paris police inspector investigating the deaths of candidates running for president of France. Pic has scant commercial prospects beyond Gaul, but entertains with its offhanded satire and game cast of primarily older thesps.
Inspector Gordone (Mocky) believes that the five men campaigning against the incumbent prez are in danger. When the favored contender is killed by falling debris while delivering a speech, his statuesque personal secretary, Denise Dupuy (Patricia Barzyk), joins the seasoned cop in his investigation. Main clues are a man who always addresses his deferential acolytes wearing a gas mask, and a network of sympathizers and enforcers at every level of society who have spider tattoos on their wrists. As clumsy as it is irreverent, the detective thriller — shot quick and dirty — boasts an infectious insouciance marbled with cutting barbs at the country’s power elite.