A cleverly crafted tongue-in-cheek suspense thriller, this plays like Hitchcock crossed with Monty Python and Pedro Almodóvar. Which, given the fact that "La Comunidad" is written and directed by Spanish cinema's weird and wonderful wild-child Álex de la Iglesia, is probably not as bizarre as it sounds.
A change in subject from some of the director's more fantastic, comic book-influenced features (like the sci-fi world of "Acción Mutante", or the apocalyptic horror-comedy of "The Day of the Beast"), "La Comunidad" is set in a Madrid tenement building, where fortysomething estate agent Julia (one-time Almodóvar regular Carmen Maura) discovers a stash of bank notes totalling 300 million pesetas.
She wants to escape with the loot. But the rest of the building's tenants are also after it, and aren't about to let her snaffle it from under their noses without a fight.
Revolving around Julia's attempts to escape from the tenement block and the psychopathic neighbours' increasingly desperate attempts to stop her, "La Comunidad" plays its suspenseful story as a blackly comic fantasy.
Owing quite a debt to the absurd comedy of "Delicatessen", this revels in its own grotesquery while finding lots of mileage in the plot's clash between the individual and the community. Is it a critique of capitalist greed, an attack on the Euro (the money can't be spent until it's changed from pesetas), or a comment on the director's Basque origins?
Judging by how much fun everyone's having, it's pretty obvious that de la Inglesia decided not to push any of these potential agendas too far, preferring instead to deliver an inventive, freewheeling thriller with a final reel - comprised of a Hitchcockian chase across the rooftops of Madrid complete with deliriously silly nods to the special effects of "The Matrix" - that's as hilariously bonkers as anything he's yet put his name to.
In Spanish with English subtitles.