“The Honeymoon Killers” is just one of several low-down movies inspired by the real-life Lonely Hearts Killers murder spree of the 1940s. But none has dug into the psychosexual implications of the story quite as relentlessly, nor as messily, as Belgian director Fabrice Du Welz’s “Alleluia.”
Spain’s Lola Duenas is a holy, obsessive terror as Gloria, a morgue attendant and bitterly divorced mom who falls insanely in love with cyber-gigolo Michel (Laurent Lucas) after one night together. When he confesses he dates lonely women in order to steal their money, Gloria abandons her precious daughter and vows to aid in Michel’s scams, masquerading as his sister.
Trouble is, before Michel can marry most of the women or otherwise gain access to their finances, Gloria goes crazy jealous and hacks them to pieces. The upside is that she remains professional enough to carefully dispose of the remains.
Michel is a nonviolent wimp who seems to really need Gloria’s all or nothin’ kinda lovin’, despite how much her savagery sickens him. This results in some really tense, but also uproarious moments — and that’s not even counting the fun Du Welz has with the scenario’s religious themes.
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The version I saw had serious digital grain issues, which may or may not have been intentional on the director’s part. There’s no doubt, though, that Du Welz was determined to bring us uncomfortably intimate to this twisted relationship and leave us, like Michel, unable to escape Gloria’s embrace.
☆☆☆ 1/2 out of 5
Cast: Lola Duenas, Laurent Lucas, Helena Noguerra, Anne-Marie Loop.
Director: Fabrice Du Welz.
Running time: 1:35.
Rated: Unrated, with violence, some nudity.