The Italian crime films of the 1970s have inspired everyone from Martin Scorsese to Quentin Tarantino, but while these filmmakers piece-meal their inspirations—stylistically and thematically—Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani’s newest film seems to be a 1970s Italian crime film, through and through. The directing duo, escaping the red velvet- and shadow-infused Giallo worship of their first two films, are embracing open spaces, sunlight and the hallucinatory violence that cemented Italian crime films as a genre not for the faint of heart.
Let the Corpses Tan revolves around a remote village in the cliffs of the idyllic Mediterranean coast, a gang of thieves with five-hundred pounds of freshly stolen gold bars and the odd inhabitants of said village. Eventually, two cops make their way into the village and an all-day, all-night firefight takes place. The quiet hamlet explodes into a seemingly endless cavalcade of hallucinatory violence where blood spews and flows as quickly as the bullets from the firearms both sides use to dispense one another of life. Close-ups, rack zooms, POV shots and lots of dyed-red corn syrup emphasize the style, tone and inspiration of the film in the trailer. There is little in the way of dialogue or plot in the trailer, as it sets the playing field for what will follow, and Let the Corpses Tan seems to promise a moviegoing experience out of time itself. A temporal reality means very little to the auteurs Cattet and Forzani, as they seem hell-bent on crafting a piece of cinema that looks and feels like nothing else being made today—this could be for better or for worse. The Italian crime films of the 1970s are filled with stereotypes, the appalling treatment of women and a comically ignorant lack of reflexivity. Yet, judging by this trailer, the filmmakers seem to understand this, as their film appears to be both in love with and critical of the genre that inspired them to make Let the Corpses Tan. That being said, this is no mere taming of a dangerous genre, as the film looks to be as revolting, disconcerting and gleefully nihilistic as the works that inspired it. It wears its pulpiness on its sleeve and its ability to be self-aware will make it all the more fun to watch.
Let the Corpses Tan is based on the classic pulp novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette, and the cacophony of gunfire and agony is made melodic by the addition of music by the great Ennio Morricone. Everything seems set for this film to be a cinematic fever dream, the likes of which we have yet to see before. Let the Corpses Tan is screaming its way into New York City and Los Angeles theaters on Aug. 31, and its national rollout is set to follow on Sept. 7 via Kino Lorber.
Check out the trailer and poster for Let the Corpses Tan below.