HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Critters Attack
Prison on Fire
Dragged Across Concrete
Do the Right Thing
Hellboy
Pond Life
Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, The
Third Wife, The
Shazam!
Follow Me
Leto
Fugitive Girls
Missing Link
Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, The
Pet Sematary
Oh... Rosalinda!!
Dumbo
Kaleidoscope
Night Is Short, Walk On Girl
Knight of Shadows: Between Yin and Yang, The
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich
Klute
Meow
Killer Crocodile
Nutcracker Prince, The
Secret World of Og, The
Benjamin
Fifth Cord, The
Man Could Get Killed, A
Cyborg 009: Kaiju War
Heavy Trip
Nightmare Weekend
Blue Ice
Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday, The
Incident, The
Hell's Angels
Heaven and Earth
Flatliners
Us
mid90s
   
 
Newest Articles
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
Things Have Changed: Films You'd Be Insane to Make Now
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
   
 
  De Sade All The Pain, None Of The PleasureBuy this film here.
Year: 1969
Director: Cy Endfield, Roger Corman, Gordon Hessler
Stars: Keir Dullea, Senta Berger, Lilli Palmer, Anna Massey, Sonja Ziemann, Christiane Krüger, Uta Levka, Barbara Stanek, Susanne von Almassy, Friedrich Schoenfelder, Herbert Weissbach, Heinz Spitzner, Tilly Lauenstein, Ortrud Gross, John Huston
Genre: Trash, Historical, Biopic
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: It is the eighteenth century and the most notorious Frenchman around was Louis, The Marquis de Sade (Keir Dullea), a nobleman who penned such outrageous sexual material that it often saw him locked up in prisons and mental asylums for offending public decency - in fact, he spent the best part of three decades behind bars. This did not put him off, and now he looks back upon his life, regarded the pivotal moment when he was forced into a marriage he did not want, all so he could generate the funds to continue living in the style to which he was accustomed. He wanted to marry Anne de Montreuil (Senta Berger), but she would always be tantalisingly out of reach...

The life story of de Sade is probably less interesting than the debauchery he devoted himself to on the page, but that has not prevented filmmakers trying to conjure up the spirit of his literature on film, and this little item was popular low rent genre pic specialists A.I.P.'s try in that vein. Alas, it was an unmitigated disaster both artistically and at the box office, as by applying the approach that had generated hits out of their Edgar Allan Poe series with the same screenwriter, Richard Matheson, the result was a muddily-plotted extravaganza of boobs and bums, European boobs and bums if you will, for this was shot in West Germany, with leaden philosophising liberally dosed throughout.

Dullea was a hot name off the back of his starring role in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey the year before, but for some reason he was attracted to this part despite anyone being able to see how miscast he would be. He had made a minor name for himself before the space travel epic with a line in mentally maladjusted young men in cult movies, but de Sade he was not, deciding against a go at the French accent but sounding hopelessly out of his depth whenever asked to recite the pretentious dialogue. To his credit, Matheson denounced the film as a bastardisation of his original script and intentions, and behind the scenes that was not all that was going off the cinematic rails.

Original director Cy Endfield found himself either fired or walking when he couldn't see eye to eye with the producers, so A.I.P.'s old hand Roger Corman was drafted in to give this a tone not unlike his LSD experience effort The Trip, therefore whole scenes played out as if the Marquis was high on acid and seeing psychedelic visions of, er, boobs and bums. New recruit Gordon Hessler was also on hand to fill in a few blanks, but the old saying many hands make light work was never going to be relevant here, it was too obvious everyone involved was pulling in different directions. The point of the thing was to be a representation of the protagonist's visions as he lay on his deathbed, running through his life as it flashed before his eyes, but in effect this was a barely coherent jumble of invention and supposition.

Every so often there was a scene which seemed to be moving in an interesting direction, say for example the point to be made that sadism and masochism stemmed from an infantile urge to be punished, far removed from the adult desires they were supposed to be - we see de Sade as a young boy being whipped by an attractive maidservant, who has been forced to do so by his wicked uncle the Abbe (John Huston!). But just as a little psychology is looking promising, the film utterly loses its nerve and it's back to the orgies or worse, the fantasy sequences - they even did that hoary old cliché, the imagined court trial where various characters show up to decry our hero (or antihero, if you prefer). Not even the regular female nudity was enough to sustain interest when the mood was so weighed down with a joyless insistence that this wanted you to take it very seriously: like a mix of Jess Franco and Ken Russell, it missed the mark of both completely. You could give this a go as a curio, a costly disaster and relic of the new permissiveness in the late sixties, but you would probably be very bored before long. Music by Billy Strange.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 106 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Roger Corman  (1926 - )

Legendary American B-Movie producer and director who, from the fifties onwards, offered low budget thrills with economy and flair. Early films include It Conquered the World, Not of This Earth, Attack of the Crab Monsters, A Bucket of Blood, The Little Shop of Horrors and X. The Intruder was a rare attempt at straightforward social comment.

Come the sixties, Corman found unexpected respectability when he adapted Edgar Allan Poe stories for the screen: House of Usher, Pit and The Pendulum, The Masque of the Red Death and The Tomb of Ligeia among them, usually starring Vincent Price. He even tried his hand at counterculture films such as The Wild Angels, The Trip and Gas!, before turning to producing full time in the seventies.

Many notable talents have been given their break by Corman, such as Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorcese, Monte Hellman, Jonathan Demme, Joe Dante, James Cameron and Peter Bogdanovich. Corman returned to directing in 1990 with the disappointing Frankenstein Unbound.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: