Les minets sauvages 1984
1h 30min | Adult | Video
“Les Minets Sauvages” is Jean-Michel Cadinot’s darkest, and most sexually violent film of his impressive career. The film deals with the power struggle among youths at a rough juvenile prison outside of Paris. The film opens with actor Didier Hamel entering the prison after being arrested for prostitution. Pale, thin and fragile, he soon captures the attention of the aggressive bully, Vincent, played by Cadinot regular, Luigi di Como. Vincent makes it clear to the others that the new boy will be their personal plaything, leading to a series of realistic and sometimes disturbing rape scenes. The abuse continues until a new inmate is introduced into the environment. Jean-Louis Vaissieres is dominant like Vincent, but not in the same immature way as the bully. Jean-Louis takes a genuine liking to Didier’s character, and begins to protect him, thus causing the other boys to question the strength of their leader.
As usual, Jean-Michel Cadinot pays attention to the details that almost all adult film directors completely overlook. Character development of the main players allows for caring about what happens them, and provides an understanding of their actions, and fears. In fact, the directors approach makes it quite difficult to become sexually aroused while watching, as so many of the images on screen are as disturbing, and sad, as they are erotic. This is almost unheard of in adult film, (I can’t call this porn, as this is on another level completely.) The boys are a bit tortured looking as well, with their pale skin and haunted, zombie-like stares in some scenes, in particular when Didier Hamel willingly gets into the bed of his new savior Jean, and the two engage in the only consensual and non-violent ‘love scene’ in the film. The others watch with looks of fascination, as though they have never seen non-forced sexual intercourse before. It is clear from this scene that these guys have lived in a darker and more unforgiving reality. And the school itself functions as a character, this imposing and very cold Gothic structure, always looming in the background like a specter, observing with a cold eye, all that happens within its wall. And the fact that none of the adult wardens are shown having sexual involvement with the young prisoners adds further legitimacy to this one-of-a-kind film. The acting is top-notch, and my personal favorite Cadinot star, Luigi Di Como is really fine here as the head rapist. Like in “Harem,” this actor injects a real violent and frantic energy into his sex scenes that is utterly believable. Jonathan Levy possesses a certain screen presence, and is quite good in his minor role as one of Vincent’s henchman. He never worked again for Cadinot apparently, but his looks are so memorable, that his image is portrayed on the film cover as though he is the star. If this film is looked at as a bondage and rape fantasy piece, I suppose this must be incredibly erotic. However if seen as a serious film, this could turn into quite an upsetting and harrowing viewing experience, and is probably not recommended viewing for those who are disturbed by images of rape and psycho/sexual abuse between young people. And the films high quality, shot on film look can make you forget that you are simply watching a sex film. Interestingly, the opening scene is very reminiscent of the first scene of Just jaeckin’s 1975 “Story of O” with the lone car driving through the fog and approaching the huge, sinister castle, “Roissy.” The car silently passes through the iron gates, and the tension of the moment hints at what is waiting inside. If you know that film, than you have an idea of what to expect here. “Les Minets Sauvages” is a unique and unforgettable film, formidable as mere “porn,” as well as an effective study of dominance and submission, and the mentality of “bullying,” on par with more mainstream films about the subject, such as Alan Clarke’s “Scum.” If you can find it, and have an interest in this subject, i recommend seeing it.
Director: Jean-Daniel Cadinot
Writer: Jean-Daniel Cadinot
Stars: Pierre Buisson, Jacques de Rives, Luigi Di Como
Also Known As: Tough and Tender