El Crimen Ferpecto is to selling women’s clothes is what Alfie is to seducing women. Directed by Álex de la Iglesia (800 Balas), El Crimen Ferpecto (Ferpect Crime) tells the story of Raphael, a womanizing department salesman (Guillermo Toledo), whose life revolves around selling women’s clothes. His dream is to become the store’s floor manager, which he battles his enemy, Antonio (Luis Valera), for. The two appear to be opposites: Raphael is young and sells women’s clothes, Antonio is old and sells men’s clothes. However, appearances aren’t always as they seem.
Luck turns on Raphael as he loses the floor manager’s position to Antonio. Antonio’s uses his managerial status to humiliate Raphael, and the two fight, resulting in Antonio’s death. Raphael tries to hide the body, but all fingers point to Raphael as the killer when Antonio’s wife reports him missing. It is the shy Lourdes (Monica Cervera) who comes to his rescue. But Lourdes helping Raphael proves to be disastrous as Lourdes’ apparent goodwill is designed to help her more than him. Raphael is at the mercy of Lourdes with no likely help in sight.
Crimen’s humor is dark and edgy, with touches of screwball and slapstick. One of the funniest scenes is when Raphael and Lourdes try to get of the Antonio’s body by burning it in the store’s furnace. But Raphael finds that he doesn’t have the stomach for cutting up human flesh. Iglesia directs with a very personal touch. Throughout the film, scenes go back-and-forth between moods and tones so effortlessly.
The film plays on society’s obsession with appearance and perfection. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but those eyes can misinterpret when judged in comparison to other – maybe “better” – things. Raphael thought he was better than Antonio, but later realizes that he is more like Antonio than first appeared. With any change in mindset, the eyes see a very different reality.
El Crimen Ferpecto is a comedy thriller with dashes of drama and horror and touches of Fellini and Kubrick. Watch for the film’s reference as to why it’s called The Ferpect Crime and not “The Perfect Crime.” It’s insane.