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I seem to recall something of a critical fuss when this film was released in 1971, but it's now hard to see why. It's quite good.
It would be fun to describe this as the best Jim Thompson adaptation set in French West Africa, but it's true to Pop 1280 (inexplicably reduced to 1275 here) in its fashion. Quite sleazy, with Noiret at his best, and notable performances by Stephane Audran as the flagrantly unfaithful wife, and Isabelle Huppert as a trivially disposable mistress. All very nasty, a bit depressing, and very good.
Yet again, a documentarian insistently inserts himself into the proceedings, evidently unaware that his subject is far more interesting than his bland and banal thoughts about her.
Just because it's stupid does not mean it is not entertaining. I think it happened like this: In 1980, John Carpenter bought the rights to some unused Monty Python skits, only he took them seriously and worked them into a film treatment, which was rejected by every third-rate producer in town. Some years later, a video game company picked up the rights, but couldn't get it to work, so they sold it to Neil Marshall, who made this movie. Marshall made sure that the editor made cuts every half second throughout the movie.
Oh, yeah. It's about the end of the world, sort of, but not really.
Admirers of "Descent" (of which I am one) may or may not like this. Wait for the comic-book adaptation.