Murderous Maids

"Very Good"

Murderous Maids Review


One of history's most perverse accounts of murder, naturally it took place in France.

Murderous Maids tells the story of two sisters that are just a little to close and a little too sociopathic... which means plenty of incestual lesbianism capped off with the murder of their employer. This story -- a true-ish account that occured in the 1930s -- was told in film once before in the lackluster Sister My Sister, and it keeps cropping up in plays, books, and popular culture. In fact, this version of the film is based on a novelization of the events called L'affaire Papin.

This French film feels more faithful to the events than Sister at least, though the passing of time seems to have warped reality considerably. Sylvie Testud and Julie-Marie Parmentier make for an extraordinarily creepy pair of sisters. Testud plays the somewhat homely and manipulative control freak; Parmentier the naive and baby-faced kid who goes along with whatever sis says.

Maids doesn't pack much into its 90 minutes of storytelling, unfortunately. The girls' fights with their mother come across like silly teen rebellion; the real incitement to murder never translates well from the girls' brains to the screen. Sure, it's provocative and, by definition, quite scandalous, but as a character study the film is a bit flat.

The new DVD of the film adds a couple of interviews plus the 1933 Vanity Fair article which recounted the original crime.

Aka Les Blessures assassines.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 94 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 22nd November 2000

Distributed by: Rialto Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Fresh: 48 Rotten: 5

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Léa Papin, as Christine Papin

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