Mar 10, 2018

From Ear to Ear (1970)



Taglines: "More Terrifying Than PSYCHO... The shock ending of all time!... How long does it take a razor sharp knife to slice... From Ear to Ear"



Meet cousins Elisa (Nicole Debonne) and Josine (Danielle Argence).  They both live with Lucile's mother Béatrice (Liliane Bert).

Danielle Argence was quite the cutie back in her day.

Lucile (Solange Pradel) is Josine's sister. She is completely catatonic and must be waited on constantly by the the rest of the family (Josine's father is deceased).

Elisa and Josine are resentful of Lucile.  The catatonic girl costs the family a lot of money.  Josine thinks of all the steaks she could buy with the money they spend on her medicine.

Only the mother isn't resentful of Lucile.  But money is getting tight, and she doesn't know how much longer she can afford to support her vegetative daughter.

Elisa and Josine are really close.  I mean, really close.

Elisa fetches Lucile to bring her outside for some fresh air

While Elisa has sex with her boyfriend Bruno (Jean Genin), Josine begrudgingly watches Lucile out in the yard.

This is the magazine Josine is looking through.

Elisa gets flirtatious with Bruno, her boyfriend

When Elisa is going through a suitcase she finds in the closet, she comes across a baby doll missing its arms.  She notices that Lucile appears to be completely horrified by the presence of this doll.

Elisa taunts her with it.  Indeed, the cousins are constantly venting their resentment with cruel treatment against Lucile.

Note that this movie was also called The Coffin, and featured that creepy armless baby doll in the advertising.

Elisa and Josine convince Béatrice to go away with Borgo (Robert Lombard) for the weekend.  They plan to hold a party while she's gone.

Apparently, partying in 1970 France meant putting on big fake noses and funny hats.

After the party, things start to get a bit out of hand.  Bruno carries Lucile downstairs to do god-knows-what.

Don't do anything you'll regret, Bruno.

For some reason Bruno starts stuffing cigarette butts in Lucile's mouth.

Elise and Josine just look on.

When Bruno passes out, Elisa and Josine randomly decide to wrap a rope around his neck and hang him.

They tie the rope to the ceiling, then the two girls pull, killing the dude.

The next morning, the girls wake up and see Bruno hanging there.  Horrified, Josine and Elisa act quickly to cover their murder.

But Lucile is a witness to the murder.  Elisa does the unspeakable and rests a couple of items at the foot of her bed which she hopes will literally kill her with fright.

It's the armless doll.... and the coffin of her dead brother.  We learn from a flashback that Lucile has been catatonic all these years after seeing the remains of her brother many years ago.


But Lucile manages to muster the will to crawl from her bed and phone the police.

It ends with Lucile living happily ever after, frolicking on the beach with the handsome neighbor.  THE END

From Ear to Ear is a dark film; nihilistic and heartless from beginning until the end... or at least until the last minute before the frolicking happily-ever-after beach scene.  I don't quite get why the film earned an X rating, as there is precious little nudity.  Perhaps, it was simply the bleak sordidness that warranted the label.

It would have been nice to have some scenes outside the villa; literally every scene (except the final cheesy beach scene) was on the villa grounds.  Plus, the same things happened over and over - for instance, Josine and Elisa curl up to watch TV together at least three different times.

Still, it was well acted and well executed.  From Ear to Ear is a twisted tale that simply would never make it in today's sanitized film industry, and I'm very glad I watched it.

★★★★☆

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