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(aka "Crimen Ferpecto" or "Crimen Perfecto" or "The Perfect Crime" or "Crimen ferpecto")

 

directed by Alex de la Iglesia
Spain/Italy 2004

 

Narcissistic charmer Rafael (Guillermo Toledo) is the best salesman in the women's department at Madrid's mammoth department store Yeyo's. He can talk any female customer into expensive clothes and jewelry and any female co-worker out of her clothes. After the previous floor manager keels over dead (while dressed as Santa for the holiday sale, no less), Rafael's only rival for the position is older Don Antonio Fraguas (Luis Varela) and the end of the day's sales totals will determine which one gets the job. With Don Antonio ahead, Rafael makes a $12,000 Euro fur coat sale at the last moment and celebrates his victory with Roxanne (Kira Miró) in the store after hours. The next morning, however, Rafael discovers that Don Antonio has been given the floor manager position after the fur coat sale check bounced. Don Antonio humiliates Rafael by appointing him duties that normally go to new hires like changing the mannequins. When Rafael yells at the customer whose bounced check cost him the floor manager position, Don Antonio fires him in private. When Rafael makes some remarks about rumors of Don Antonio's "handling" of customers in boyswear, the older man attacks him with a jagged coat hanger and the struggle results in Don Antonio impaled on a clothes hook in one of the fitting rooms. Looking under the door, Rafael spots the shoes of a possible witness but is unable to identify him or her. After closing, Rafael tries to dispose of the body in the furnace but it does not fit. When he returns with a massive cleaver from kitchenware, he discovers that the body is missing. Unable to find the body by opening time the next day, Rafael nearly cracks under questioning from the police (after Don Antonio's wife called to day he had not come home) but discovers that lovesick homely co-worker Lourdes (Mónica Cervera) has disposed of the body for him and wants Rafael's eternal love and devotion in return. As Lourdes insinuates her own influence into Rafael's new empire (she makes him fire all of the pretty salesgirls and replaces them with homely ones who - much to his annoyance - increase sales by 20%). As she introduces him to her family and presses their relationship, he fears getting caught less than being turned into a "normal" boring person. With a little prodding from his warped conscience in the form of Don Antonio - green-skinned with a clever in his head - to get rid of Lourdes and so begins a Hitchcockian cat and mouse game.

The purposefully mis-pelled Spanish title EL CRIMEN FERPECTO is a play on the Spanish title of Alfred Hitchcock's DIAL M FOR MURDER which was EL CRIMEN PERFECTO (also the Spanish title of the utterly awful remake with Michael Douglas and Gwyneth Paltrow). Deservedly nominated for 6 Spanish Academy Award nominations, THE PERFECT CRIME is yet another wicked black comedy from Alex de la Iglesia merging the hilarious with the grotesque in the tradition of his LA COMUNIDAD and PERDITA DURANGO. Toledo's Rafael (who was born in the store while his mother was shopping and considers it his home) knows exactly what he wants - a $14,000 Euro sports car, the floor manager position, as many beautiful women as possible - and believes he will do anything to get it. His apartment is almost bare but he tells us he would rather have nothing than a house full of vulgar objects. He applies the laws of the jungle to life and work (he stalks his customers through the aisles like prey and can talk them into buying anything yet when he loses the floor manager position because of a bounced check, we see the other side of his character in a simultaneously hilarious and uncomfortable tongue-lashing scene. In giving the audience access to Rafael's racing inner thoughts, he places us in a position to actually identify with and sympathize with a fairly nasty character; also managing to make those seemingly decent people he holds in contempt look grotesque in comparison. Likewise, de la Iglesia also makes the obviously loopy Lourdes a sympathetic character (especially when you meet her family). De la Iglesia himself is quoted in the making-of as saying it's his funniest film yet and I'm inclined to agree.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 22 October 2004 (Spain)

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DVD Review: Tartan Video - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Tartan Video

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:38:11 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

2.34:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.1 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Audio Spanish DTS 5.1 (half-bitrate); Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Tartan Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.34:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by director Alex de la Iglesia (in Spanish with English subtitles)
• The Making of THE PERFECT CRIME (4:3; 16:00; in Spanish with English subtitles)
• Theatrical Trailer (4:3; 1:34; in Spanish with English subtitles)
• Trailers for MILWAUKEE MINNESOTA, THE DEATH OF MR. LAZARESCU, THE CAVE OF THE YELLOW DOG, and THE BO

DVD Release Date: March 13, 2007
Amaray

Chapters 16

 

Comments

Tartan's Region 1 DVD is a PAL-NTSC conversion which is particularly frustrating since De La Iglesia keeps his actors and camera moving in virtually every shot resulting in heavy combing. The usual Tartan options are available here for the Spanish track (DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1, and Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo downmix). The DTS and 5.1 tracks sound fairly similar. Despite the combing, this may be the only game in town if you want English subtitles for the director's commentary (I have no confirmation if the Region 2 UK disc from Ricohet Releasing has the translated commentary) and making-of featurette (which shows what a hands-on director de la Iglesia is and reveals some subtle use of visual effects and the making of the hilarious scene of Lourdes' ravishment of Rafael which the director likens to a scene from JAWS).

Reportedly, the Spanish R2 release from Twentieth Century Fox has English subtitles as well but it is likely that they are not extended to the extras (which include the commentary, making-of, and deleted scenes). The French release features the same extras as the Spanish one (plus interviews and a press conference) but splits the feature and extras between two discs which may improve image quality. The Australian release has burnt-in English subtitles and 2.0 audio only.

 - Eric Cotenas

 



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PAL-NTSC conversion artefacts

 


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Tartan Video

Region 1 - NTSC

 




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