The Corpse of Anna Fritz Content Warning: Violence, Bad Language, Sexual Violence… Erm, Have You Seen Deadgirl? Yeah, that too.
The Corpse of Anna Fritz (2015)
Directed by Hèctor Hernández Vicens
Starring Alba Ribas, Cristian Valencia, Albert Carbó, Bernat Saumell
Anna Fritz, a famous and beautiful actress, has died recently. Three young men sneak into the morgue to see her naked. Fascinated by her beauty, they decide to become the last people to have sex with her.
IMDb Rating: 5.8
Where to Start…
It’s been a while since I posted a Movie Musing. I haven’t watched that many movies recently. Last night, however, my girlfriend and I decided to check out horror streaming service, Shudder. The Corpse of Anna Fritz had pride of place on the site, so we went for this. At this point, I feel I should probably remind those of a sensitive disposition, such as British Members of Parliament, to check out my Note on Movie Musings. We’re going to be looking at some uncomfortable shit here.
The Corpse of Anna Fritz
With that out of the way, let’s get started. Throughout the opening, we’re introduced to Anna Fritz (Alba Ribas) via TV/Radio reports. She’s a beautiful, talented and well-known actress. Alas, like so many shining stars in the movie world she turns up dead in a hotel room. The location of her body is kept secret. You simply can’t trust legions of demented fans or the oh-so-honourable paparazzi not to turn up at the hospital and get in the way of doctors trying to reattach someone’s limbs following a bizarre golfing accident. This approach doesn’t take into account that your orderly, Pau (Albert Carbó), might be a bit of a creep. Pau snaps a picture of the deceased starlet’s face and sends it to his buddies, Iván (Cristian Valencia) and Javi (Bernat Saumell).
Iván and Javi turn up to do some lines of coke with Pau and drag him to a party. We’re given a hint Iván might be a prize cockwomble when he makes racist comments about a couple of Chinese women, and casually discusses his desires to enslave and pimp them out. Pau and Iván chat a bit about Anna Fritz, before deciding to have a gawp at her cold, naked body with a reluctant Javi in tow. After musing over the possibilities of necrophilia, Iván decides fuck it, and has sex with Anna’s corpse. Javi is disgusted but Pau is excited and decides to go next. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your perspective, Pau has some sort of magic dong and Anna wakes up.
Magic Dongs Can Be a Liability
These chuckleheads might not be the brightest bulbs, but they realise that there’s probably going to be severe legal ramifications when Anna Fritz tells someone she awoke to Pau having sex with her. Javi is eager to help Anna. Iván and Pau are more concerned with staying out of prison. Things are about to get messy for everyone.
The Corpse of Anna Fritz is a low-budget movie dealing with a clearly nauseating premise. There’s always a danger with such movies that they become little more than cheap exploitation. Deadgirl (2008), while not without some good qualities, was one such film. The Corpse of Anna Fritz though manages to avoid such territory. Anna’s reaction upon awakening, and her realisation that she is being raped is haunting. The look of confusion, terror and helplessness on Alba Ribas’ face immediately brings humanity to the character. She’s not fodder for a cheap thrill, she’s a human being.
You could fairly argue, however, that the other characters are one-dimensional. Pau, for example, is a typical, quiet, oddball loser. He’s the guy we’ve seen a thousand times before. If it wasn’t for the fact he has some friends, and probably isn’t a 1337 h4xx0r, he’d likely gain two-hundred pounds and turn into Loverboy from Girl House. Javi, the “moral compass” of the group isn’t that moral. I can’t believe that someone like Iván wouldn’t have displayed multiple degenerate tendencies before now. Consequently, Javi’s existence appears only to provide a possible means of escape for Anna. And as for Iván, he has the personality of a malignant tumour and the intellect of a lobotomised pigeon.
None Too Bright
You will have to take some leaps of faith to enjoy this movie. One can only assume that in order to keep Anna Fritz’s location secret from the world, her body was taken to the only hospital in Spain without any form of CCTV coverage. When the guys start killing to protect their secret, at no point does it cross their mind that CCTV is going to have the victim walk into a hospital and never walk out again. And it’s probably best if we don’t get into all of the things that a coroner’s report on Anna would turn up, such as actual time of death.
With disbelief fully suspended in a complicated system of restraints that would make a Tory MP faint, I did get into this. Part of me didn’t even mind the abject stupidity of Iván and Pau. You want these sick bastards to lose, any way possible. If their idiocy trips them up, then good. There’s some really well-worked tense scenes. If you’ve watched enough horror movies, you’ve seen it all before. Yet, there’s a few twists and turns thrown in there. For example, during a “chase” sequence, there’s the standard trope of the victim hiding in a closed space from their pursuer. Two or three times you believe that they’ll be caught – because that’s what we’ve come to expect – but they aren’t.
These little touches ensure that The Corpse of Anna Fritz, while ultimately not mould-breaking, remains just about unpredictible enough not to bore. It’s slow moving, which may be off-putting to those who prefer a faster pace. However, I didn’t find it to lull. Indeed, I found myself becoming invested in Anna’s wellbeing and willing her on which is a rarity for a movie such as this. The Corpse of Anna Fritz isn’t groundbreaking and despite an attempted swerve, the ending is telegraphed enough to lack any shock value. Such complaints aside, the dubious subject matter is handled with some sense of maturity and the conclusion is satisfying despite not being jaw-dropping. If you are a “shout-at-the-screen” type of viewer though, you may find yourself hoarse after this one.