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Anazapta
15 Anazapta (2004)

updated 04 May 2004
reviewer's rating
1 out of 5
Reviewed by Jamie Russell
average user rating
3 Star


Director
Alberto Sciamma
Writer
Alberto Sciamma
Harriet Sand
Stars
Lena Headey
Jason Flemyng
David La Haye
Jon Finch
Ian McNeice
Length
115 minutes
Distributor
Guerilla Films
Cinema
07 May 2004
Country
UK
Genre
Drama

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Average star rating: 3 from 35 votes

Dull, longwinded and completely forgettable: it's no wonder this clunking British chiller has been collecting cobwebs since 2001. Set in the dark, dank days of the Middle Ages, Anazapta is a supernatural tale about a French hostage (David La Haye) held captive in an English town during the 14th century. As dead bodies start to fill the mortuary, covered in pus-filled sores and cryptic writing, Lady Matilde (Lena Headey) wonders if there's more to the mysterious stranger than meets the eye.

Recreating the Middle Ages as a time of muck, dirt and wide-eyed superstition, Anazapta tries to follow in the muddy footsteps of The Hour Of The Pig, while leadenly aping the ecclesiastical shenanigans of The Name Of The Rose. Why it doesn't succeed in either of those aims has as much to do with the nonsense-spouting script as the atrocious acting and poverty-stricken production design.

"UNINTENTIONALLY HILARIOUS DIRE-LOGUE"

Fearing the pox, the Devil and the French (although not in that order), Lady Matilde convinces brutish knight Nicholas (Jason Flemyng) to hand over the hostage into her custody. With her husband missing in the war and a string of debts to her name, Lady Matilde finds herself at the mercy of the bishop (Ian McNiece) - a corrupt churchman with a stack of Karma Sutra-style drawings that he's planning to act out if she so much as forfeits a payment.

Cue lots of dead bodies, plenty of religious mumbo-jumbo, and a dizzying torrent of flashbacks, nightmares, masturbation fantasies, and fumbled gore shots. Along the way, there's some unintentionally hilarious dire-logue: "I wanted my husband and you bring me a monkey!" witters the aristocratic lady of the manor on hearing that her hubby has been imprisoned. If you're looking for Middle Ages hilarity, stick with Monty Python And The Holy Grail. At least that was supposed to make you laugh.

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