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The Corpse of Anna Fritz (El Cadáver de Anna Fritz)

The politics of death and violation: how the Spanish recycled horror clichés and the role of the vulnerable female to hair-raising results

Anna Fritz (Alba Ribas) is a young and stunning Spanish actress, who has suddenly died. Her body is transferred to a city morgue, where an employee named Pau (Albert Carbó) becomes enchanted with the corpse. He takes pictures of the dead actor and sends them to two friends Iván (Cristian Valencia) and Javi (Bernat Saumell), who quickly accede to the hospital and demand to see Anna’s body. They then engage in a cocaine and alcohol fueled binge, and quickly lose their inhibitions, taking advantage of the beautiful body in many ways. Until the unexpected happens.

There is absolutely nothing new and innovative in The Corpse of Anna Fritz. Yet the film successfully recycles and combines many old artifices of horror. It uses a twist almost identical to Quentin Tarantino (in case you haven’t guessed it yet, then watch the film), but the debutant Spanish director uses it to entirely different results.

The Corpse of Anna Fritz is a tense and riveting tale of male perversion, which blends elements of Spanish horror (as in Jaume Balagueró’s REC, from 2007) and the tradition of American teenage slashers. The atmosphere is grey and somber, and there seems to be no way out, just like for the victims of Jason of Friday then 13th series. The sexual deviation of the men in the film is so repulsive that it inevitably leads to trouble and possibly very serious consequences. In the tradition of horror movies, being caught in the sexual act normally results in being attacked by the killer. Here, the outcome is different but no less pretty.

Female vulnerability and submission are also a central theme in the film. The young men are intoxicated by the prospect of an entirely lifeless woman, they simply cannot believe their luck. It’s boys behaving like boys, exploring their fears and curiosities without restraints. Ultimately, the film is also a comment on celebrity culture, and how young people become obsessed by the idea of touching, seeing, feeling and possessing celebrity.

The Corpse of Anna Fritz is out on March 8th, International Women’s Day, and you can watch it now on FlixFling.


By Victor Fraga - 08-03-2016

Victor Fraga is a Brazilian born and London-based journalist and filmmaker with more than 20 years of involvement in the cinema industry and beyond. He is an LGBT writer, and describes himself as a di...

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