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Review: Outlandish French horror-comedy ‘Girls With Balls’ doesn’t mind getting down-and-dirty

Margot Dufrene, ‘Girls With Balls’
Margot Dufrene in the movie “Girls With Balls.”
(Netflix)

“Poubelle” is the French word for “garbage” (or “trashcan”). It sounds far more melodic than its English equivalents, but it’s still rubbish. The gonzo Gallic comedy “Girls With Balls” loves rolling around in the gutter, and those who are in the mood for its crass brand of silliness will have a blast joining it there — all while having the elevated self-satisfaction of watching a French film.

From its early minutes, the movie’s equivalent of a Greek chorus — a singing cowboy played by Orelsan — sets the wacky tone of “Girls With Balls.” He introduces us to the Falcons, a women’s volleyball team led by captain Hazuki (Anne-Solenne Hatte).

When their coach (Artus) takes a detour through the woods, they soon find themselves the target of a band of hillbilly hunters. The leader (Denis Lavant) and his deformed band track the team as they struggle to survive both the killers and internal rivalries between players like Jeanne (Tiphaine Daviot) and Morgane (Manon Azem).

Olivier Afonso makes a flashy, fun directorial debut here after previously doing great makeup work on “Raw” and “Knife+Heart.” The gore in “Girls With Balls” is equally impressive as those films’ effects, even if it doesn’t take itself as seriously. This is a deranged nightmare of wildness, as full of laughs as it is arterial sprays. It won’t be everyone’s cup of thé, but its joyously vulgar title probably deters those likely detractors anyway.

‘Girls with Balls’
In French with English subtitles

Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 17 minutes

Playing: Available on Netflix
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