Nothing is as it seems in thriller set in Brussels A hunt for a killer in Brussels

Posted: July 11, 2003

Sometimes it takes a thief to catch a thief. Sometimes it takes a victim to catch an assailant. So the stylish thriller Gender Bias, a French-Belgian coproduction, suggests.

As a serial killer maims and murders transsexual prostitutes in Brussels, Bo (Robinson Stvenin) - a fetching trannie in vintage Chanel - hunts down the perp.

It's a tough job, thanks to the police lieutenant (Richard Bohringer) who fingers Bo herself as the self-hating killer. It's made tougher since apparently every man in Brussels thinks he's entitled to rough up transsexuals because of "false advertising." Toughest of all is Bo's neighbor and heartthrob Johnny (Stphane Metzger), who leads her on only to abuse her physically and verbally.

In a movie with so many red herrings that you think you are at the fishmonger, Bo variously suspects her father, Johnny, and one of her colleagues as the killer. But while her suspicions ratchet up the suspense level of Francis Girod's film, when the true killer is revealed the film goes all slack.

Contact film critic Carrie Rickey at 215-854-5402 or

Gender Bias

** 1/2 stars (out of four stars)

Produced by Humbert Balsan, directed by Francis Girod, written by Philippe Cougrand and Francis Girod, with Richard Bohringer, Robinson Stvenin and Stphane Metzger. In French with English subtitles.

Running time: 1 hour, 50 mins.

Parent's guide: No MPAA rating (nudity, violence, sexual violence)

Showing at: 7:15 p.m. Sunday and

5 p.m. Thursday at the Ritz Five.

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