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Trouble Every Day

An American research doctor travels to Paris for his honeymoon, but unknown to his new bride, he also plans make contact with a former colleague about some brain experiments that have gone horrifically awry. But the doctor is too late to repair a situation where ''jump on your bones'' has evolved into ''munch on your bones.''


Trouble Every Day takes nearly an hour to get going, but it ultimately tells the very choppy story of afflicted American researcher Shane Brown's journey to Paris to unravel the murky circumstances surrounding a former colleague's experiments, which have resulted in blood-soaked cannibalistic tragedies. First, though, we meet young Parisienne Core, who appears stranded on a road. She stops a trucker, who later turns up hidden in the high grass off the highway, dead and horribly deformed. Later, two punks are skulking around back at the boarded up house where Core's husband Leo usually keeps her locked up. The punks will eventually break into Leo's house, where one of them will have a sexual encounter with Core, who turns the tryst into a cannibalistic bloodbath. Meanwhile, in Paris, Dr. Shane Brown and his wife June arrive at their hotel to begin their honeymoon. Shane is mysteriously troubled by incidents that might have begun in Guyana and involve his pilfering of Leo's research. Shane embarks upon secretive inquiries into Leo's whereabouts. Shane learns of Leo's whereabouts but has his own messy encounter with the hotel maid, who he nibbles to death. An adorable puppy that Shane buys during his wanderings suggests a ray of hope for Shane's marriage, although some telltale blood in Shane's shower might arouse June's suspicions. Sound convoluted? It is. The going's rough and murky in this far-from-type-A, wannabe horror shockfest of arty pretentiousness, erotic content and self-delusion--this latter referring to the filmmakers' notions that Trouble Every Day might provide any appeal to filmgoers.


Vincent Gallo is appropriately creepy and sinister-looking as the twisted, tormented Shane, and Beatrice Dalle ably carries the burden of lethally lusty captive Core, afflicted by unslaked cannibalism. Tricia Vessey isn't given much more to do than be Shane's cute and clueless new wife, just as Alex Descas as doctor Leo is hardly challenged. Although his Leo is relatively passive, the script or direction should have burdened him with the angst of a conflicted and tormented Dr. Frankenstein whose afflicted wife craves Big Macs dressed in pants, not Thousand Island dressing. The supporting cast is fine, and everyone in this Paris-based story wins points by delivering most of their lines in English.


Points also go to blood 'n' guts director Claire Denis for guts, if not all the icky-drippy blood on display here. The guts have to do with the boldness required to take so much time to get to the story--almost an hour--by first introducing bites, er, bits and pieces of an array of seemingly unconnected characters and situations. Such frustrating unfolding of plot creates the, er, appetite for the story and, er, feeds, the question--what is going on here? Denis favors montages, slow and sensual pans, unusual camera angles, and snippets of graphic footage depicting frontal nudity, sexual encounters, bloodbaths. But as Shakespeare might have put it--the play's the thing, not the foreplay.

Bottom Line

Ouch! And we're not talking about cannibal bites. In fact, Trouble Every Day is a bite, er, bit of a twisted mess.