15 April 2015 | mp28
Let's not be too harsh on poor Joël Séria
San Antonio ne pense qu'à ça (San Antonio doesn't think about anything else) is adapted from the series of French novels by Frédéric Dard, and director Joël Séria(of "Do not deliver us from evil" fame) tries to transfer to the screen the sheer madness, absurdist humour and mock sexual frenzy of the books. A valiant effort with mixed results : the movie is sometimes very funny, in a silly, raunchy way, but some of the jokes fall quite flat, especially when the hero directly addresses the audience. Why ? Partly because the books work thanks to Dard's great writing which does not translate easily into images, and partly because Philippe Gasté, although he has the looks, is a lousy actor, plain and simple. Unfortunately he's almost always on screen. To add insult to injury, Jeanne Goupil, who can usually act, gives her worst performance ever as Miss Tenebra, the villainess who keeps four dwarfs as pets/henchmen and feeds them like otaries. The good news is that the rest of the cast is top-notch : Pierre Doris is the ideal Bérurier and Catherine Ohotnikoff shines as his chubby, foul-mouthed and nymphomaniac wife Berthe. Most of all, Jacques François is peerless as the Old Man, San Antonio's boss.
So, what you have is an uneven but completely mad movie, which sometimes reminded me of Jess Franco's "El sexo esta loco" a.k.a "Sex is crazy", with lots of nudity and even some gore (a man is impaled, a woman cut to pieces) but it's all in a very cheerful and silly way.