French director Bruno Dumont’s oddball “Slack Bay” is neither funny enough nor sufficient as a mystery. The gimmick here s that a lower-class family subsists as cannibals in contrast to the upper class dwellers in a seaside town on the northern coast of France. There is a period look to the set-up, thanks to the film being set in the early part of the 20th century. The ambience also includes various body parts for dinner.

People have been mysteriously disappearing, and a pair of bumbling detectives, the lead one obese and given to falling down and rolling a lot, are on the trail. The leading culprit is a young man named Ma Loute, loutishly played by Brandon Lavieville, who along with his family makes a business of transporting people across small bodies of water. Trip-takers unknowingly travel at their risk.

Overacting is ripe, with leading culprits such French film stalwarts as Fabrice Luchini, Juliette Binoche and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, representatives of the upper class.

One can, of course, see the film as a wild satire of class differences, but the film lacks the wit of good comedy and thereby comes across mainly as an exercise in outrageousness. It may amuse some, but on the other hand, it may not be everyone’s meat. A Kino Lorber release. Reviewed April 21, 2017.

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