THE MISANDRISTS

 

JULY 5, 2018 -- In case you didn't know, a misandrist is a person who hates men; the polar opposite of a misogynist. Somehow writer director Bruce LaBruce created a harder than soft porn film about a bunch of women who hate men.

 

They are the Female Liberation Army (FLA) - an obvious knock on the SLA (Symbionese Liberation Army) of the 70s and 80s. They are based in a remote area in Germany, posing as a school for wayward girls, and led by Big Mother (Susanne Sach▀e). Most of the girls are former prostitutes and petty criminals who were sexually abused by men at some point.

 

The film opens with a man limping and peeing in the woods, on the running from police with dogs. He comes upon two of the girls from FLA kissing in a lea. The girls Isolde (Kita Updike) and Hilde (Olivia Kundisch) decide to take the man back to the school and hide him in the basement. STOP! Yes, this is straight from "The Beguiled" and from the recent comedy "The Little Hours".

The biggest difference is that for most of the film, Isolde and Hilde are the only ones who know he is hiding. But the man is not the only thing Isolde is hiding. Part of the rules for the girls staying there is that they must engage in frequent lesbian sex and so far, Isolde has yet to fully participate.

 

This has not been a problem for one of the other new girls, Editha (Lo-Fi Cherry) who is having a grand old time with her new friends, but she too is hiding something. And that something keeps bothering Ute (Victoire Laly) who was Hilde's former lover before Isolde came around.

 

The rest are either "nuns" who all teach a variety of classes and one unexplained "nun" who we only get glimpses of from time to time as an artistic red herring. But they all pass muster when a policeman comes around looking for the runaway criminal.

 

Throughout the film Labruce tosses in more devices disguised as sex scenes with the premise that the FLA will fund their attacks on men by selling lesbian porn. Their plan is almost flawless if not for the variety of flaws found in all of the girls. A graphic reassignment surgery that the the girls perform on the hidden man, after they discover him, is reminiscent of the surgical chop job in Clint Eastwood's "The Beguiled". OUCH!

 

The humor runs from deadpan to dark to Monty Python-like. When things get dull, LaBruce tosses in a lesbian sex scene, but stops just short of hard core porn.

 

"The Misadrists" is a mostly humorous and ambitious comedy that draws on recognizable themes. It is for mature audiences and the surgery scene is graphic for those with weak stomachs.   -- GRADE C+ --   GEOFF BURTON

 

GEOFF BURTON

 

 

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