Les nanars, c’est le panard: the worst of cinema is in “Nanar Wars”

Total happiness: here is the necessary book, the ultimate in cinephilia, the most curling reading, the anti-“Cahiers du Cinéma” (and that feels good). Two Emmanuel specialists in nanars, Vincenot and Prelle, have plunged for us into the galaxy of salvaged films, Filipino copy and paste, Korean photocopies, Pakistani stuff, in short, the films that we never see at home, but that flood entire countries. Fake Tarzan, fake Superman, fake Hulk, all of these rip-offs do exist. Made with pieces of string and wood glue, played by actors who speak Urdu or Tagalog, filmed by filmmakers who confuse the big and the small end of the camera, all these masterpieces are our joy.

In “Nanar Wars”, here are forty of those songs that we highly recommend: “Toofan”, by Kidar Kapoor (an Indian Zorro); “Jangli Mera Nam”, by Latif Shad (a Pakistani Tarzan); “Gorillas a Todo Ritmo” by Sebastian Almeida or Josi Konski (we don’t know); “Konga” by John Lemont (British King Kong)… The images alone speak for themselves: make-up with a trowel, costumes I found at my grandmother’s (and sometimes at Michou in Montmartre); sophisticated special effects (a kick in the camera to simulate an earthquake); frightened virgins rounded up in the depths of Bangkok, advantageous heroes with copious love handles, Turkish vampires with Prisu teeth… Each page is a dizzying plunge into the depths of the human soul (yes, yes!). Vincenot and Prelle have found a name for their irreplaceable science: nanarchaeology. It will soon be taught at the Sorbonne, guaranteed. FF

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Nanars Wars. The worst counterattack! By Emmanuel Vincenot & Emmanuel Prelle, Omaké Books, 192 p., 24.95 euros in standard edition, 34.95 euros in collector’s edition with poster and ten lithographs.Exhibition from December 2 to January 4 at the French Paper Gallery, 51 rue Volta, 75003 Paris, with signature on December 4 in the afternoon.Director of wonders and nanars, swimming champion, writer: the crazy lives of Henri Decoin

The poster of “Konga”, reproduced in “Nanar Wars”.

Extract from “Nanar Wars”

Death in Kong

A mad scientist obsessed with sex, Ugandan carnivorous plants and a great ape roaming the streets of London: all the ingredients of the unleashed nanar are united in this English production, to do with a cloud of milk.

One would have thought that the kingdom of His Most Gracious Majesty, populated by subjects usually so distinguished, had never versed in the production of low-level nanars but fortunately it is not, and our British friends have them too. their big fat turkeys, just like the barbarian nations that inhabit the rest of the world. The proof is with this croquignolesque imitation of King Kong, where all the budget is spent in the poster. This one sells us a disheveled action and special effects galore against the backdrop of Big Ben threatened with destruction but, well, in real life, the film is satisfied with three sets, two pages of screenplay and an actor in freewheel. As for the great ape who demolishes everything in its path, it does not appear until 12 minutes before the end credits.

But let’s start from the beginning. The first sequence features the crash of a tourist plane in the African jungle. The editing is particularly effective: the foreground shows the plane flying, and the next, the one where it crashes. We are in Uganda, and the passenger on the airplane is the famous Dr. Decker, a botanist who perishes in the crash. But in fact not at all, here he reappears in London, in great shape a year later, telling whoever wants to hear him how he survived the crash and how he was taken in by the members of the Baganda tribe. , very nice primitives. There, he befriended an adorable baby chimp, Konga, whose movie poster warns us that he won’t stay adorable for long. His stay in Uganda also allowed Dr Decker to be introduced to the ancestral knowledge of a powerful wizard, who questioned the scientist’s certainties. Now, as he elatedly explains to his assistant, the phlegmatic Margaret, he is convinced that there is a link between plant life and human life, and his goal is to create a serum based on the extracts. of tropical plants, capable of multiplying tenfold the power of an animal creature. Follow my gaze, a poor chimpanzee will soon take a bite in the butt …

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Before that, the first step is to cultivate African tropical plants, to extract the substantial pith: Dr. Decker turns the petunias he was growing in his greenhouse. cottage, replace them with large seeds brought from Uganda, and turn the heating knob all the way to the right. The assistant does not seem excited but since she is secretly in love with her boss, she prefers to keep silent and concentrate on the education of Konga, to whom she teaches to serve tea on a tray. It wasn’t long before Dr. Decker found the formula for the serum, a fluorescent green that immediately inspired confidence. A cat accidentally licks a few drops that have fallen to the ground, and the scientist immediately draws a revolver and nose the tomcat with lead, explaining to Margaret that it is too risky to let this animal suffer the effects of the mysterious substance. The following sequence allows you to discover the interior of the tropicalized greenhouse: Dr. Decker admires the exuberant growth of several giant carnivorous plants, which have a hell of a craving (the assistant must throw them, at a careful distance, pieces of net cute that they swallow greedily). Some, as big as calves, have articulated jaws which swallow everything within their reach; others, in the shape of a vagina placed on testicles, are surprisingly mobile, but the palm of lubricity is held by plants three meters high, penises-watermelons with a hanging tongue which wriggles. As we say in English: “Bon appétit! “.

It is thanks to these plants rich in magnesium and B6 vitamins that Dr Decker produces the neon green serum, and the time has now come to test its tonic power: the mad scientist injects Konga, and the baby chimpanzee is immediately transforms into an adult chimpanzee ,. A second bite later, he turned into a gorilla (actually, an underpaid actor, who doesn’t even get credit in the credits. To disgust you for having taken drama classes for twelve years) . The increasingly insane Dr. Decker hypnotizes him with a mini flashlight and gives him a long speech about the absolute obedience he expects from him. The animal nods. The scientist can now use it to quench his thirst for power and revenge. He begins by ordering Konga to strangle the president of his university (that of Dr. Decker, not that of Konga, which never had to exceed the Patent) then he goes to a rival of Indian origin, Professor Tagore. , and makes him strangle in turn. The next victim is Bob, the boyfriend Sabrina, a student of Dr. Decker, whom Konga strangles on her scooter, for a change.

Margaret ends up finding it to be a lot of strangles anyway, but what really turns her off is when she finds out that Dr. Decker is actually just a vulgar sex addict. As she catches him kissing Sabrina in the greenhouse, she unleashes her indignation as she pricks Konga’s butt again, who then transforms into a giant gorilla, devastating the lab, then the cottage, before grabbing the libidinous Dr Decker. Holding the latter firmly in its closed fist, like an ice cream cone, the primate, which has become uncontrollable, sows panic in the 1/6 scale model of London. Arrived at the level of Big Ben, the Queen decides that this idiotic film has lasted long enough and sends the 43e Royal Highland Regiment settled the situation with 155mm guns. Dr. Decker dies, Konga is shot, but the two writers and the director are finally pardoned by Elizabeth II. In our opinion, it was not the best decision she made, but who are we to judge the Queen of England?

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Konga, by John Lemont (Great Britain, 1961, 1h28), with Michael Gouch, Claire Gordon and an anonymous actor.

© Omaké Books

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