An inconsistent black comedy, this film is based on the exploits of French mass murderer Henri-Desire Landru, who romanced, swindled, and then dismembered at least 10 women during WW I. Denner coldly plays the balding, bearded villain who places ads in the lonely hearts section of a
newspaper to find his victims. He picks out profitable targets--women in their fifties with large fortunes. He then romances them in his villa, cons them into signing over their assets, kills them, dismembers their bodies, and burns them in his incinerator. Denner's reason, however, is not that of
a psychotic but of a "responsible" member of the bourgeoisie (a favorite target of Chabrol...