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Big Bad Wolves


Stars: Tzahi Grad, Rotem Keinan, Lior Ashkenazi, Ami Weinberg, Guy Adler, Nati Kluger

Director: Aharon Keshales, Navot Papushado

Who would dare make a black comedy about the rape and mutilation of young girls? The Israelis, that's who, and a right indigestible mess this turns out to be.

After a series of killings in which the victims are brutalised beyond belief before their heads are chopped off, the father of the latest victim proves to be Gidi (Grad), a former policeman. Meanwhile, four cops seize the prime suspect, a religious studies teacher (Keinan) - why the man is under suspicion is never explained - and, led by the maverick Micki (Ashkenazi), seize the teacher and try to beat a confession out of him.

Unfortunately, the beating is witnessed by a passing student, and ends up on Youtube. Micki, kicked off the force, kidnaps the teacher, but is beaten to the punch by Gidi, who chains both teacher and ex-cop in the basement of a deserted house whose soundproofing he's already checked (so why are both men gagged?).

So far, so pretty good, but this is where the film, which has already shown uneasy comic undertones, veers off into wildly comic blackness. Gidi keeps getting interrupted, first by phone calls from his mum (he says he's sick), then by the arrival of his dad (bearing soup) who proves to be even more bloodthirsty than his son.

When grandpa is rendered senseless by a drugged cake intended for (Who? Why?), the ex-cop in particular senses a chance to escape. Of course, there's a (quite chilling) twist in the tail, but by then you may have lost patience with this strange and vaguely distasteful hybrid.

David Quinlan

USA 2013. UK Distributor: Metrodome. Colour (unspecified).
107 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 05 Dec 2013