Death in the Garden

Director: Luis Buñuel
Year Released: 1956
Rating: 2.0

Chaos erupts in a small South American village after the brutish Chark (Georges Marchal) muscles his way in and is accused by the authorities of robbery - he flees the area on boat, taking along with him a priest (Michel Piccoli), a whore (Simone Signoret), an old miner (Charles Vanel) and the miner's deaf-mute daughter (Michèle Girardon). Essentially this is the great Buñuel on auto-pilot and half-assing it and it only becomes vaguely intriguing once Marchal and his band of misfits flee and end up in the jungle - Buñuel's repeated interest in religion and prostitution are present (and there is one jarring image of a snake being consumed by ants), but his usual scathing humor and surreal touches are largely missing from this very, very minor work. For a better look at the Spanish filmmaker taking a traditional story and making it distinctively 'his,' seek out his version of Defoe's Robinson Crusoe.