There’s really no way to review or discuss the new Spanish suspense thriller The Corpse of Anna Fritz without cutting right to the chase: it’s about a man who defiles the corpse of a recently deceased actress. And by “defiles” I mean precisely what you think: the movies deals with necrophilia in a very frank and graphic fashion, which is weird enough by itself, but then perhaps doubly so when once you realize that the rest of the movie is an oddly refined and crisply shot “locked room” thriller that some might even describe as “Hitchcockian” – if only Alfred Hitchcock directed a movie about a man who rapes a cadaver and quickly comes to regret that unsavoury decision.
The feature film debut from veteran Spanish TV director Hector Hernandez Vicens, The Corpse of Anna Fritz is about two rotten young jerks who convince a third rotten young jerk to let them sneak into a morgue in which resides the recently-deceased corpse of a particularly famous actress. At first the guys are content with simply ogling the body and concocting all sorts of daydreams about poor Anna Fritz, but eventually the alpha male of the trio takes the gruesome step we all saw coming: he decides to have sex with the corpse of the late Anna Fritz.
One of the other guys plays along, and another one refuses, a decision that leads to all sorts of tense arguments and accusations, particularly after the movie delivers an ostensibly unexpected mega-twist and promptly becomes a disconcertingly suspenseful mixture of I Spit On Your Grave, Deadgirl, and Shallow Grave. The frankly repulsive nature of the trio’s crimes seems to permeate the more conventional plot twists and double-crosses, which makes the film feel oddly audacious and tonally schizophrenic at the same time.
Crisply shot, appreciably efficient, and cut down to under 80 minutes all told, which certainly helps in the momentum department, The Corpse of Anna Fritz is a well-made and generally suspenseful import that has a little trouble getting past the innate repulsiveness of necrophilia once it’s time to start doling out the chases, escapes, double-crosses, and triple-twists.
– Scott Weinberg (@ScottEWeinberg)