An erotic and well filmed, if quite slow paced S&M fantasy from director Jess Franco. Severin Films USA R0 DVD.
in Southern Spain a young American woman named Odine is the subject of
attention by a Spanish couple. They have sex while she watches, and
soon invite her to join them, however it soon emerges that the couple
have more than just sex on their minds, and plan to sell this girl to a
perverted couple who live on a island, and who enjoy playing some
violent S&M games - speaking only very basic Spanish, Odine is
blissfully unaware of just what is going to happen....
One of Jess Franco's many films from the 1980s that he shot for the Spanish companyGolden Film, The Sexual Story of O is a typical example of the productions from this period - with a tiny cast and minimal, slow paced plot. For films like The Inconfessable Orgies of Emanuelle
(1982), this was their downfall, becoming no more than a string of dull
sex scenes - here however, Franco has manged to use the film's limited
dialogue to create a coherent plot with some decent characterisation.
Loosely based on Anne Desclos' novel, itself inspired by the works
of the Marquis de Sade, the film at time plays out like a version of de
Sade's Perversion in the Boudoir
(filmed by Franco in 1970). The rather unsettling idea of a woman
completely unaware of the fate we can see building (thanks to her poor
understanding of Spanish) gives the film a disturbing atmosphere
throughout the second half, and it eventually builds to a rather
superbly strange climax with a fitting conclusion.
direction is strong here, going easy on the zoom lens, although like
many of his 1980s films he does let some of the sex scenes drag on a
little, almost to the point of boredom - fortunately though, not to the
same extent as The Inconfessable Orgies of Emanuelle (1982) and most of them are genuinely erotic. The climactic S&M
scenes are wonderfully filmed and are certainly worth the price of
admission alone, the film is well served by Franco's self composed
Franco is certainly a director who changed his
style completely over the decades and it is very hard to compare this,
and his other 1980s titles, to his better known works for Harry Alan
Towers or Erwin C.
Dietrich. However, The Sexual Story of O
certainly ranks as one of his best Golden era films, with an unsettling
storyline and a superbly filmed climax. The slow pacing and quite
explicit sex means that this is certainly not a film for everyone but
Franco fans should enjoy it, as should fans of the more untamed
European erotica. Partly recommended.
famous in it?
No-one of note
Directed by anyone
Jess Franco - one of the biggest names in Euro-cult cinema, boasting over 180 film credits from the blacki and while horror The Awful Dr. Orloff (1962) to the all star de Sade inspired Justine (1968).
Any violence or gore?
Some S&M whipping, but shown artistically with only a little blood.
nude scenes, some male nudity, and lots of sex, often quite erotic.
Who is it for?
For Franco fans, especially those who enjoy his 1980s films, and fans of the darker parts of Erotica.
Aspect Ratio - 2.35:1 widescreen. Anamorphically enhanced. Colour.
The print is very strong, with almost no print damage, and very good colours. Only a mild layer of grain.
Spanish mono audio (with some English dialogue). Sounds strong throughout.
English - this also
translates the occasional English lines, and occasionally includes
the random grunts and moans of the characters during the sex scenes
(rather annoying and distracting, but fortunately minimal).
The disc includes:
- Another very interesting interview with Franco, discussing the
film's origins, cast and production history as well as voicing his
opinions on Just Jaeckin's 1975 film version of the story and the
Marquis de Sade himself. Franco speaks
accented English, optional subtitles are provided. (15m)
(ALL) - NTSC
The film is
believed to be completely uncut. Spanish language print.
and unsettling, this film is well shot if rather slow paced in places
with a must-see climactic sequence. Partly recommended.
film looks and sounds simply amazing, with a fascinating interview. A solid and highly recommended DVD.