Purists may object to Tavernier's treatment of Jim Thompson's excellent if sordid and sadistic thriller, Pop.1280, but this eccentric, darkly comic look at a series of bizarre murders is stylishly well-crafted, and thoroughly entertaining. Transferring the action from the American Deep South to French West Africa in the late '30s, Tavernier elicits a characteristically colourful performance from Noiret as the manic but outwardly easy going slob of a cop who initiates a private vendetta against the town's more obnoxious citizens by resorting to murder. Strange insights into the effects of racism and the complicity of its victims, embellished with black wit and an elegant visual sense.
Cast and crew
Jean Aurenche, Bertrand Tavernier
Philippe Noiret Isabelle Huppert Jean-Pierre Marielle Stéphane Audran Eddy Mitchell Guy Marchand