Knife and Heart


In the candid, sultry world of the gay porn industry, we are introduced to the producer/boss Anne, played by Vanessa Paradis, who longs after her distant ex Lois, who is also the editor of the films. The company gets a shock after finding out about the brutal murder of one of their actors, and the notion that there are more to come. Their lives start spinning out of control as they continue to film, despite the impending threat and go on the hunt for new performers. Inspiration is even taken from the deaths, with their latest porn being titled: Homicide.

Paradis leads this motley crew astoundingly well, and is utterly captivating be it in the neon nightclubs longing after Lois, or shouting down police officers for not keeping on top of the investigation. Her ability to entice yet keep everyone distant is a complete show-stealer of a performance. Everyone longs after her, and the most interesting relationship is between her housemate and actor Archibald (Nikolas Murray). His flair for performance and loyalty to his boss and crew makes him a beloved member of the film, and provides the perfect dose of sarcasm when needed.

The murders are surprisingly violent, as the vigilante takes his victim’s lives with a dildo that has a hidden switchblade, and bleats a manic scream of pleasure and despair through his black latex mask. The sounds of this are usually overlapped with a sex scene, as the noises from both deafen you. It is a bizarre yet enrapturing situation of cheap porn and murder, backlit by the red glowing light which encompasses both cases. Director Yann Gonzalez helps mould the gentle yet racy aesthetics of the whole movie, complimented by a perfect soundtrack of composer M83 creating a fantasy daydream atmosphere.

While it may not make waves with the general public, those seeking a gaudy, raunchy thriller will find it hits the right notes. It blends in all levels of sexuality, kicks, fetishes and desires without being entirely tasteless. The emotional transitions between a picnic on the grass, to a flashback of young love captures the innocent sensuality of the film. The pace is slightly lacking at times, as each murder brings about a new revelation, and you wait for the intensity to build – but find that it fades like a disappointing drop in a nightclub. But it is held together by a brilliant and funny cast, and the powerful finale of sadistic lustful murder.

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