Calibre 9 Jean-Christian Tassy

Calibre 9 Jean-Christian Tassy
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Back when I was reading unsolicited screenplays for a moderately sized production company, we came across a lot of scripts like Calibre 9. It seems that a common fantasy amongst males in their early 20s involves women masturbating with guns, being shot in the vagina, shooting bullets from their nipples and even, in one instance, getting impregnated from a voodoo-enchanted gun. The women, none of whom are ever given a great deal of dialogue or unique identifiers, were all either whores or virgins — there was no in between. And while we found it amusing — we even kept a pile of them in the office to see if any screenwriter names popped up on the registered sex offenders list — the surprising ubiquity in a male fantasy presenting itself in the form of the gun as an all-powerful phallus, taking down weak, interchangeable women, became annoying and culturally terrifying. Sadly, Jean-Christian Tassy's Calibre 9 makes some of those rudimentary scripts seem downright passable. It, like most of those works — some of which actually noted what Quentin Tarantino movie they planned to emulate in the action description — focuses on the style and sheer sensationalized fun of finding nifty new ways to kill people. After an abundance of terribly stylized nonsense involving a montage of a hooker screwing hordes of strangers, shooting up, flicking cockroaches off her coke mirror and getting the shit kicked out of her, she laments her life in a voiceover and is promptly murdered by her pimp. A mortician, or cop (or someone in a suit), pulls a gun out of her stomach, which, seeing as she gave birth to it, is haunted with her spirit. Without explanation, it winds up in the hands of city planner lackey Yann (Laurent Collombert), who whines in voiceover about becoming a slave to the man. And, like most adolescent works of indulgence, the villain is essentially anyone within the business world, which Yann and his ghost-hooker-gun take out vigilante-style in a series of tacky shootouts where slow motion bursts of bloodletting and smashed-in heads take precedent over logic or intent. Tassy's direction has no consistency or dignity, flying about from one zoom crash to the next, occasionally shifting perspective to that of a man's penis — about to urinate on the only female character that isn't a whore or maid. It exists merely to emulate a male id fantasy that, sadly, isn't particularly well formed, even in a glib, adolescent sense. The vaguely defined rage pointed at all men of means — oddly positing them as misogynist while hypocritically objectifying all women shown on screen — is so lazily defined that it's difficult to attribute any sort of socially abject message to the text. But there is a random close-up of a penis slipping in and out of a particularly weathered vagina, which pretty much speaks to the quality of the film on the whole. No supplements are included with the DVD. (Anchor Bay)