Girls with Balls Review – French, feminist and funny! Grimmfest 2018
“It’s called Girls with Balls because they have more balls than you.”
A French feminist horror-comedy laced with risque jokes, strong women and all the team spirit your heart could desire. Girls with Balls is a gory, self aware and hilarious addition to a genre that can often go terribly wrong. The directorial debut of Olivier Afonso, a well known name in the makeup and special effects world, has a brilliant cast of women including Manon Azem (Lone wolf Morgane), Louise Blachère (Bespectacled, frumpy badass M.A) and Camille Razat (the peppy mascot Lise) who, along with the rest of The Falcons (Go, Falcons!), create our unique band of ragtag ‘victims’.
We open with a singing cowboy (Orelsan) who happily narrates the bleak fates that are awaiting our female protagonists. It’s a bold choice to begin a film with an instant spoiler but, in all honesty, we didn’t come to this film for its narrative twists now did we? The cowboy promised us blood, death and volleyballs and the film delivers them all as a spike straight to the face.
After a glowing volleyball victory The Falcons (Go, Falcons!) are driving their mini-bus home when the unthinkable happens. Their van breaks down in the middle of nowhere. To make matters worse, a group of ‘redneck torture family’ types are having a sporting good time hunting them down. Lead by the repulsive yet adorably campy priest-like figure, portrayed by Denis Lavant, the cannibalistic group are chasing our girls down through the forest, picking them off one by one.
Fans of the horror genre are bound to know the approaching twists and turns of this slapstick journey. Yet, that is the point. This film knows the cliches, it embraces them, invites them on to it’s van and takes them for the full tour. We all know the rules. Don’t follow the creepy homemade detour sign. No monologuing unless you want to die. Don’t antagonise the weirdos in the backwater hotel. Never split up. These are the basics, but it’s impossible to be mad when they’re broken in such a self aware and purposeful manner.
There is a beautiful imagery to this film, the colours are bright and the sets and costumes are campy. My highlight had to be the soundtrack, it brought an upbeat and vibrant feeling to this corn syrup soaked comedy treat. Who knew Macho Man was a sexy strip tease song? Lise knows!
A strong female fronted story reminiscent of films like The Descent, but with more golden showers and chihuahua decapitations. The girls are strong, funny and smart…just maybe not all at the same time. They each have their own characteristics and walk the line between being clichés and being completely original.
Girls with Balls is a playful, absurd and purely delightful film that does the horror-comedy genre justice. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and neither should you.
This was one of my favourite films from Grimmfest 2018. I’m going to be updating with reviews on a few of the others very soon, so keep peeled for those! If you get a chance to see this film anywhere I highly recommend it! It is balls to the walls fun!