Dead in France (DVD Review)24 Mar, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel
$24.99 DVD, NR.
Stars Celia Muir, Darren Bransford, Brian Levine, Lee Cheney, Kate Loustau.
If you ever felt uncool because you’ve watched Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels more than once and still can’t understand a bloody word spoken by anyone without subtitles, there’s entertaining indie comedy Dead in France.
To be sure, the graphics mirror Ritchie (and Quentin Tarantino), but sassy Essex housecleaner Lisa’s (Celia Muir, who won Best Supporting Actress at the summer 2012 Los Angeles Cinema Festival of Hollywood for her role) Cockney accent is a whole lot easier to comprehend — and she’s easier on the eyes than typical rough-scrabble blokes..
Lisa’s visiting a rented villa in the Cote d’Azur in Southern France to clean house for socially awkward assassin and germaphobe Charles (Brian Levine, who co-wrote the script). He wants to settle down with her — after returning from his 100th (and last) contract hit.
Lisa may be looking for true love, but in the meantime she’s romancing bad boy Denny (Darren Bransford, who won Best Supporting Actor at the L.A. festival), who arrives at the villa to shag, drink, smoke and cause mayhem.
Needless to say, Charles is a buffoon on trust (especially with women). He calls rival Clancy (Kate Loustau) during an assignment to tell her of his retirement plans. Clancy flips out, eliminates everyone within range of her shotgun (with graphic effect), and vows to hunt Charles down.
Meanwhile, Charles’ £2 million payday from his last hit is stolen out of the boot of his car by two con men — one of whom by chance is buddies with Denny. It doesn’t take a Rhodes Scholar to see that all paths lead back to d’Azur.
Filmed entirely in black and white, low-budget Dead features requisite quirky characters and enough cinematic juxtaposition of crime and comedy to keep even the most hardcore Ritchie junkie in the loop.