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Le Festin de la Mante

The Praying Mantis

Belgium 2003
produced by
Marc Levie
directed by Marc Levie
starring Lou Broclain, Yann Chély, Sacha Kollich, Adèle Jacques, Hugues Hausman, Michel de Warzée, Serge Swysen
screenplay by Marc Levie, Erik Vanderbosch

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Julien finds lovely Sylvia at the side of the road, they immediately fall in love & he takes her home. & since she seems to be obsessed with nature & plants, he builds her a greenhouse in his garden, as a token of their love.

At first everything is fine, but after a while, Sylvia refuses to have sex with him, she even refuses to sleep in the same bed with him ... & at the same time she has visions of killing him right after intercourse.

Initially Julien thinks little of it, interpreting it as one of her whims, but one day he catches her having sex with Patrick, a local casanova & adrenaline junkie, & first he beats Sylvia up then leaves in anger.

When he later, at a friend's, receives a phonecall from Sylvia though, Julien realizes he has to go back to where he found here though to find some answers, instead he finds a corpse ...

Patrick in the meantime seems to have the time of his life with Sylvia, wouldn't she turn violent towards him every time after sex, like scratching his chest or even trying to strangle him. So after a while, Patrick decides to beat it ... but somehow he just can't forget her ...

Julien now returns to Sylvia, having found out she is a sort of Praying Mantis - & among Praying Mantises, the female eats the male after sex -, & only because of her love to him she can't have sex with him. But without sex, she starts to wither, so Julien agrees to bring Patrick back to her, as a mate. & after long persuasion he succeeds, & he watches them having sex in the greenhouse, even accompanies them on his cello. Then Sylvia, as expected, strangles Patrick.

Julien is quite turned on by that & persuades Sylvia to have sex in the greenhouse with him too, at the climax of which he blows up the greenhouse ...

But another Sylvia-larva has already hatched.


An erotic fantasy-love-story that for some reason never gets off the ground: It's to restrained in its depiction of sex to really be provocative, too sweet in its story to be over-the-top, too predictable to be mysterious (that Sylvia is a praying mantis is pretty much given away in the title), & too dull to be entertaining. Only  certain (small) amount of good-hearted humour make this not a total failure.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD