Director: Maxime Alexandre
Writers: Maxime Alexandre, Philippa Goslett
Stars: Aaron Stanford, Joaquim de Almeida, Ben Gazzara
Christopher Roth was the second film directed by Belgian film-maker Maxime Alexandre, who’s better known as a cinematographer on the likes of The Crazies and The Hills Have Eyes. Alexandre obviously has a liking for Italy and Italian cinema: both this and his previous directorial effort Holy Money were filmed in Italy and fall roughly into the giallo genre.
Whereas Holy Money was a twisty-turny thriller revolving around wine cultivation and Catholicism, this is a simpler affair. The plot follows the titular character, a disillusioned horror writer who is finding that his violent imaginings are increasingly intruding into his real life. So he decides to take some time out in Umbria, only to discover that a serial killer called ‘The Boar’ – whose trademark is to inset boar’s teeth into the cheeks of his victims – is active in the area.
As with Holy Money, it’s a technically accomplished but strangely disappointing affair, let down by some shaky acting and an unfocused script. There’s much too much time spent on the musings of the protagonist, and so few other characters that the mystery element never really gets off the ground. Alexandre has promise, but he could really do with an experienced scriptwriting hand to bring out the best in him.
A charming scene from Christopher Roth