Both of Claude Chabrol’s murderous black comedy, feature film mysteries starring Jean Poiret as the incomparable Inspector Lavardin: Chicken with Vinegar: When a small town begins losing its citizenry in a series of grisly murders, out-of-town police inspector Jean Lavardin is sent to investigate. Could the killers be a bullied son and his cruel mother, who run the local post office? Or a pushy trio of would-be land developers? Inspector Lavardin: When a wealthy and devout Roman Catholic writer is found murdered on a beach with the word “PIG” written on his back, Inspector Lavardin is sent to investigate. In the course of his probing, he discovers that the widow is an old flame of his and that the small coastal town holds other secrets.


“The Inspector Lavardin Collection” is an interesting look at black comedy as filtered through a rough cop. He’s not corrupt or edgy like an American drama would try to take him. Lavardin is a salty old bastard who is the only guy that can get the job done. Whether it’s a dead body showing up near a bunch of kids or a corrupt land deal; things never work out just right in Lavardin’s world. But, what should they?

Claude Chabrol has two feature mysteries with Lavardin and each one doesn’t play like the other or anything in Chabrol’s greater work. They feel like television movies, but they move like features. The mysteries aren’t dumbed down, yet there is something incredibly familiar about the events. American television has ruined a lot of this work for modern viewers, but there’s still something to appreciate about Jean Poiret in the title role. After all, he could’ve just turned into a Hugh Laurie type doing a cop role.

The Blu-Ray comes with commentaries and a booklet as the special feature. The 1080p transfer is strong enough considering the origins of the program. The LPCM 2.0 helps the native French create a wonderful soundstage. Still, it’s not going to blow away your home theater. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase to the curious.


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