Ensalada Baudelaire (1978)

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“The Robinsons won’t be coming. Someone killed their pet monkey.”

Saw this “lost” Spanish thriller-at-sea under its English dubbed, re-release title, SEX AND VIOLENCE. It is initially quite mundane and almost wholly unassuming, as a husband and wife head out on their yacht and for the film’s first act appear to have an ongoing, if passive, domestic struggle to simply exist together within the same space. Not much dialogue or action occurs in the first 20 minutes, but the film justifies this hurdle almost immediately thereafter.

Another couple suddenly materializes in a paddleboat not far from where the husband and wife have dropped anchor, so to be neighborly the wife invites them aboard for a drink. Here’s where things begin to get unnaturally weird. The invited guests become rowdy, somersaulting around the boat and wantonly destroying the husband and wife’s property. It takes a turn for the worse when the mysterious man and woman reveal themselves to be more than just rambunctious tourists. What follows is an eked out terror that parallels the couple’s own captivity.

ENSALADA BAUDELAIRE (AKA: SEX AND VIOLENCE) is reminiscent of KNIFE IN THE WATER, L’AVVENTURA, and LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (each for reasons that are best left discovered by viewing it), but it stands on its own as both bizarro art and genuine exploitation, to say nothing of its stupefying CLUE-like choose-your-own-adventure ending.

Date: July 24, 2020