After watching the new French-Belgian Netflix offering “Girls with Balls,” I’m convinced that filmmakers have come down to making films that solely serve the Instagram following that comes loaded with star power. Because if that isn’t the reason why this film exists, then what is? Unimaginative, unfunny and relying too heavily on one-note sequences, this gorefest is vile, unwatchable thrash of the highest order.
There’s no premise in the film. A women volley-ball team takes an unexpected detour to land up with backwood freaks splattering them like chopped vegetables for no sensible reason. Sure there’s this random strip-tease from the hot, mean-o of the group but that isn’t enough reason for anyone who is even remotely insane to go on an ambush. But if the country singer who straightens everything out by singing a self-aware parody of the forthcoming killings is to be believed, this splatter-comedy doesn’t need to provide that answer.
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So since this is also a self-aware review, I’m going to give a few insights into this trashy Netflix by-product named “Girls With Balls.” The all-girls volleyball team named Falcons flees away after one of the mean one (played by Manon Azem) tackles a headway and scores. She has issues with the captain (Anne-Solenne Hatte) of the team and is always bullying everyone else. There’s the geeky one who is always the butt of jokes and a lesbian couple because we are being woke in 2019. There is also the jealous duo of best friends – One of whose boyfriends cheating on her (Camille Razat). The coach is a dick and loathsome especially when there’s a scene where there is unwanted animal brutality that could have been easily chopped off.
However, these one-note characters are not the biggest problem in the film. My biggest gripe with it was its normalization of the entire male vs female troop in exploitation cinema. There’s a very forced, tired glib that aims at empowering the genre into fresh territory where women are not just props. But in spite of its many attempts, it ends up being exactly that. Moreover, there’s french legend Denis Lavant in a negative role – strolling past the runtime with a supposedly menacing, one-note devilishness. Sure, he’s having fun but the ardent fan in me was hugely disappointed with the choice of starring (and producing) this atrocity.
Olivier Afonso, who has a background in makeup makes sure that an otherwise thrashy exploitation comedy is served with fresh technicalities, but that doesn’t make up for the tastelessness of the entirely rudimentary routine that the film follows. Sure, “Girls With Balls” bases itself on B-movie aesthetics and doesn’t need to make sense, but when things like these end up on Netflix one has to question the basics of filmmaking – Why is there a volleyball team instead of any other? Why are there cannibals who have no motive whatsoever killing these girls? And why does this have to present it like those nudist comedies and then don’t serve anything even remotely similar? I might sound like a perverted wannabe with that last question. But well, you can’t possibly go on calling yourself subversive when you are nowhere close to it.