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Dead in France



If more proof is needed — it’s not — the exploding heads, shoulder-stabbings and a good ol’ Wilhelm scream should do the trick later.

Directed and co-written by Kris McManus, the UK film centers around Charles (Brian Levine, who co-wrote), a lonely hit man who’s not only a virgin, but never even kissed a woman. He’s not gay — just a germaphobe. He’s itching to retire and sail away with a woman, and he’d like that woman to be Lisa (Celia Muir), his bosomy, bikini-clad house cleaner.

Charles doesn’t count on Lisa and her sleazy boyfriend (Darren Bransford, Psychosis) pulling one over on him (not to mention screwing all over his lush pad, allowing for one of the more amusing and memorable sex scenes in years.) What I didn’t count on was then being overwhelmed with several other characters that muddy the waters — a commonality among most Quentin Tarantino-esque crime-time thrillers.

What makes Dead in France brighter than the average overstuffed one is its emphasis on jokes. Not all work, but the energy is there. The black-and-white photography somehow radiates with life, and composer Adam Langston’s score bubbles at an Ocean’s Eleven level of effervescence. There’s enough good here to assume McManus has better projects in his future. —Rod Lott

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