Rent The Escapees (1981)

2.8 of 5 from 49 ratings
1h 42min
Rent The Escapees (aka Les paumées du petit matin) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Synopsis:
Two female patients one rebellious (Laurence Dubas), the other despondent (Christiane Coppe) flee the grounds of a mental hospital and drift across the French countryside. After finding refuge among a band of gypsy-like exotic dancers, they cross paths with a petty criminal (Marianne Valiot), an aging fortune-teller (Louise Dhour) and a quartet of swingers with sinister intentions.
Actors:
, Christiane Coppé, Marianne Valiot, Patrick Perrot, , , , , Patricia Mercurol, , Céline Royce, , , , Pearl June, Doriane Caschette, , Alexandre Zagor, Patrice Chéron, Lesley Blanc
Directors:
Producers:
Monique Samarcq
Writers:
Jacques Ralf, Jean Rollin
Aka:
Les paumées du petit matin
Studio:
Redemption Films
Genres:
Action & Adventure, Drama, Horror, Lesbian & Gay, Thrillers
Countries:
France
BBFC:
Release Date:
09/02/2009
Run Time:
102 minutes
Languages:
French
Subtitles:
English
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
Colour:
Colour
BBFC:
Release Date:
05/02/2018
Run Time:
107 minutes
Languages:
French LPCM Stereo
Subtitles:
English
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • Trailers

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Reviews (1) of The Escapees

Spoilers follow ... - The Escapees review by NP

Spoiler Alert
10/05/2018

Marie (Christiane Coppé) has an incurable inability to communicate with the outside world, and has been in care on three separate occasions. We first see her sitting in isolation, rocking to and fro forlornly in a chair in the misty gardens of a stately asylum. It’s the classic, haunting type of scene French Director Jean Rollin excels at. Curiously, Marie begins a rapport with fellow inmate angry, loud Michelle (Laurence Dubas), and together, they plan to escape from the institution. Once again, Rollin’s predilection for a young female duo as main players comes into play here. The two girls instantly find comfort in one another, their more tender scenes illuminated by Philippe D’Aram’s melancholy score.

To steer Rollin away from his favoured theme of supernatural horrors, Jacques Ralf was drafted in to co-script the story, much to Rollin’s discomfort. Unusually, some of the more ‘talky’ scenes were cut by the director, who usually refrains from cutting much at all. We are still left with a wordier storyline than we’re used to. Long considered a lost film, it was with great anticipation the eventual project was found – and it is that reason more than anything else that ‘The Escapees’ has not enjoyed great acclaim among Rollin aficionados: the hype put the film on a near-impossible pedestal.

Having said that, events are very slow-moving here, and not hugely filled with incident. But then, that’s a trademark of Rollin. This, however, doesn’t lend itself to the typical dream-like atmosphere due to its very real setting. The two girls’ adventures are a curious delight especially an almost surreal and rowdy erotic dance performance in the middle of a freezing night-time junkyard, and so is a very haunting set-piece in an abandoned ice-rink (Coppé was hired partly because of her proficiency as a skater).

Two increasingly disillusioned girls meeting a disparate band of other disillusioned people: dreamers, outcasts and drifters. This may not make for the most scintillating narrative, and some scenes do drag, but ‘The Escapees’ contains more than enough Rollin-esque touches to keep me happy. Equally, the oppressively drab, unfriendly, rainy, cold darkness of many of the locations still somehow comes across as being strangely poetic. Regulars including Natalie Perrey, Louise Dhour (“Sometimes it’s better not to know what your immediate future holds,”) and mighty Brigitte Lahiae (and Rollin himself) are reassuring just by being there, even if their characters are further examples of the kind of people and societies the two girls are trying to escape. The hopelessness of their ambition is compounding by a very sad finale which seems nevertheless to be tragically inevitable.

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