The film’s wild boys, whose dicks (literally) fall off across black-and-white tableaux that are deliriously alive in theatricalized detail and innuendo, are played by female actors — all the better to underscore Mandico’s belief that gender is as surreal as the high that must have willed this unforgettable whatsit into being.
Mandico himself is an avid student of Walerian Borowczyk, and a first description of Wild Boys (Les Garçons sauvages) might be Goto, l'ile d'amour by way of Hugo Pratt. . . . Exhilarating, eye-popping, intoxicating, seductive, care-free, funky, sexy, and fun.
This film represents a particularly elaborate form of snow-globe cinema, creating its own sealed world and inviting you to enter it or just admire it from outside. In literary terms, it’s close to the self-enclosed verbal and imagistic universes of Raymond Roussel and Ronald Firbank, and the end credits thank both William Burroughs and Jules Verne: if those two writers had pitched camp together on some faraway shore, this might be the kind of fantasy that might have jointly concocted.