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Chantal

USA 2007
produced by
Michael Raso (= Michael Beckerman) for ei Independent Cinema (Seduction)
directed by Tony Marsiglia
starring Misty Mundae (= Erin Brown), Julian Wells, Darian Caine, Andrea Davis, Casey Jones, Julie Strain, Lizzy Strain, Louis G.Villaescusa, Wayne Edward Sherwood, Ward Boult, Shelly Jones, Crystal Keith, Patrick Legett, Tony Marsiglia, Chris D. Nebbe, Anthony Newhall
screenplay by Tony Marsiglia, loosely based on the film Chantal by Nick Philips (= Nick Millard), music by John Abella

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Naive country bumpkin Chantal (Misty Mundae) arrives in Hollywood to become an actress, no, a  star, in a mere week, but when she wants to check into a posh hotel, she is only ridiculed by the deskclerk (Patrick Leggett), and now two blocks down the road, she is threatened by a hooker (Julian Wells) with a knife. Finally she finds a room in a rundown hotel, but Pablo (Tony Marsiglia), the perverted and heavy-breathing manageer of the fleapit, charges the white out of her eye for nothing but a small and filthy room.

Chantal tries to get an audition at one of the big studios, but all she is offered, is a threeway with a security guard (Louis G.Villaescusa) and his sleazy pal (Wayne Edward Sherwood) - and when she runs away, she is attacked by a lunatic, only to be saved by Lisa (Andrea Davis), seemingly the first friendly face Chantal bumps into in Hollywood. Lisa promises to help her out, and invites her to her place she shares with photographer Victoria (Darian Caine) to make some headshots right away ... but this doesn't turn out quite as planned when Victoria turns out to be a dominatrix forcing Chantal to strip and have sex with Lisa on cam.

In tears, Chantal returns to her hotel, only to find out that the manager has given away her room to someone else and thrown her stuff into the garbage ... so Chantal finds herself out in the gutter wearing nothing but a torn dress - when Tracy, the hooker who threatened her with a knife at the beginning of the film, finds her, picks her up, takes her home, bathes and feeds her. And all Tracy, who introduces herself as an escort, asks of Chantal is to accompany her to one of her clients, who has asked for two girls, and Tracy's usual partner-in-crime has fallen sick. Chantal expects the two of them will accompany Tracy's client, a film producer (Chris D.Nebe), to a movie premiere, but the guy instead forces the girls to strip and have lesbian sex at gunpoint ... but wile at it, Chantal realizes how much she loves it, and that she has fallen in love with Tracy. Tracy though tells her that she is not one to be trusted, and as if to prove her point, she steals the money Chantal got for the job at the film producer - which Chantal only notices when she wants to check into the posh hotel from the beginning of the film again. However, this time the desk clerk has pity with her and gives her a room anyways - and she's so grateful she makes love to him in return ... but then the deskclerk calls his pals and they gangrape poor Chantal.

In tears and bruised and battered, Chantal returns to the place of Lisa and Victoria, having delusions of getting her headshots after all - but once there, she accidently shoots Victoria with the gun she stole from the film producer ... but Victoria isn't really dead, as the gun, just like everything else in Hollywood, is only fake. What's more, rather unexpectedly, Lisa and Victoria have made Chantal a star after all - on a lesbian porn site ...

After many references to private planes throughout the film, Chantal's story ends on an airfield, where a final delusion is cut short by rotor blades ...

 

Director Tony Marsiglia at his best: Built upon the template of Nick Philips' 1969-film Chantal - one of his weaker efforts to be quite honest -, this one tells a sleazy and slightly clichéd little story ... but seen through the eyes of an artist. So instead of a 90-minute-series of sex-scenes, expect surreal and/or allegoric images, weird and creepy sequences, a peek into a parallel world populated entirely by freaks, and imagery that's by far closer to David Lynch than to anything ever encountered in sexploitation cinema.

A rather remarkable film, actually.

Shot back-to-back with Marsiglia's Lust for Dracula by the way.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

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On the same day
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you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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out now on DVD