a film by Eric Lavaine
2006 | 93 mins | France
›› Poltergay
a lively French farce of the spiritual kind
Poltergay by Eric Lavaine Fancy a lively French farce of the spiritual kind? Then stay tuned, for here we encounter five gay ghosts living out their days in a grand mansion that decades earlier saw their earthly demise, when a malfunction in the club's foam machine saw more than just sparks fly in all directions.

And all is well in their spiritual world, until a reality check of the "property sold" variety prompts these eternal beings to check out the new owners of their home, in the form of heterosexual couple Marc and Emma. More than happy with a new man about the house, let alone in the shower, these mischievous phantoms delight in luring Marc down to the basement to the sound of Boney M's Rasputin. Only why is it that Marc is the only one who can see and hear them? Is he going mad? Or is it a case that it takes one to know one?

Poltergay by Eric Lavaine With his tongue planted firmly in his cheek director Eric Lavaine, alongside writer Héctor Cabello Reyes, have refreshingly taken the gay narrative in a whole new direction, given this is a ghost story with a difference, laced as it is with camp humour, gay stereotypes and a series of clichéd jokes that more often than not hit, if occasionally miss the mark. Or should that be Marc, given Jeff Stryker lookalike Clovis Cornillac plays the role of the straight male of the piece with just the right degree of macho appeal, let alone a manly body that gives a whole new meaning to the phrase peek-a-boo.

That these gay souls are not as fully developed as what they could have been is a reflection of their comical side order status, with Julie Depardieu as Marc's wife Emma equally cast to the sideline, being more a cinematic ploy by which to showcase the paranoia of her husband's state of mind, convinced as she is that he's going mad. To that end, the explanation as to why some people can see the poltergays of the title, whilst others including Marc's best friend David / Alain Fromager cannot, is neat and tidy, in a work that and to its credit, speaks of love and acceptance. That said, to say that the whole scenario is somewhat silly, is to state the obvious. But then, that's all part of its charm.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - bare-arsed cheek. 
Overall - file under ... 3 stars. 

›› Available to buy from Amazon.co.uk.
available on DVD as part of the Peccadillo Pictures catalogue: 12.October.2009 / UK.
starring: Clovis Cornillac, Julie Depardieu, Lionel Abelanski, Gilles Gaston-Dreyfus, Philippe Duquesne, Georges Gay,
Jean-Michel Lahmi, Alain Fromager, Anne Caillon, Christian Pereira and Michel Duchaussoy.
cameo appearance by screenwriter Héctor Cabello Reyes as the Psychiatrist.
Copyright 2008 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #145
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