HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
Skinny Tiger, Fatty Dragon
Benediction
Nezha Reborn
Evil Toons
Worst Person in the World, The
Whirlpool
Hunter Will Get You
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
Revolver
Men, The
Parallel Mothers
Sadness, The
Bloody New Year
Faye
Body Count
Spider-Man: No Way Home
'Round Midnight
Wild Men
Barry & Joan
Wake Up Punk
Twin, The
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
One of These Days
Lift to the Scaffold
Savage Dawn
Rest in Pieces
Innocents in Paris
We're All Going to the World's Fair
Beyond the Door 3
Jules et Jim
Love Jones
Saint-Narcisse
Souvenir Part II, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
   
 
  Marquis de Sade's Justine
Year: 1968
Director: Jess Franco
Stars: Klaus Kinski, Romina Power, Maria Rohm, Jack Palance, Akim Tamiroff, Howard Vernon, Horst Frank, Sylva Koscina, Mercedes McCambridge, Rosalba Neri, Rosemary Dexter, Harold Leipnitz
Genre: Drama, Sex, HistoricalBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: Following the death of their mother, sisters Justine (Power, daughter of Tyrone) and Juliette (Rohm) suffer an additional blow when their father flees 18th century France in financial disgrace. Forced to leave the shelter of convent school, the girls end up in Madame de Buisson's brothel; Juliette decides to stay and embark on a career of lust, deception and murder, while Justine hits the road, encountering a succession of mostly reprehensible characters who use and abuse her for their own gratification and advancement.

Although Justine runs for over 2 hours in its complete director's cut, a 90 minute incarnation remained the most familiar for those lucky enough to cross its path. Now, Franco's original version is available on DVD from Anchor Bay and the disc includes interviews with Franco and his producer, Harry Alan Towers. Here, Franco is heavily critical of Romina Power's performance, revealing that Rosemary Dexter - his choice for the role of Justine - was passed over by the money men who insisted it was "Time for the children of the stars". For my money, Franco's outrage at being overuled by those 'men in suits' heavily distorted his view of Power's abilities. Yes, she was obviously inexperienced and a little wooden at times, but was she ever really given the chance to become the character that was originally intended?

During the course of the film, Justine is abused, blackmailed, deceived, literally branded a murderess and goes through a series of abductions that would tax the patience of even the most avid fan of 24. Power is asked to run the full gamut of emotions and if she's found wanting on more than one occasion, the blame should be mostly laid at Franco's door: at one point in the interview, Jess confesses that many people believe she emerged with some credit and, conceding they may well be right, goes on to take responsibility for any moments of quality. Maybe Power was unlucky to feature in a cast of seasoned performers who were far more familiar with the demands of this type of production: Klaus Kinski in demented form as the caged de Sade; Maria Rohm - excellent as usual - taking the role of wicked sister Juliette; Sylva Koscina who figures in a gripping game of 'Poison Thy Spouse'; Mercedes McCambridge - toning up her tonsils for Billy Friedkin - who delivers a truly evil performance as the gravel-voiced Dubois, and Euro horror buffs will be delighted to see Rosalba Neri; one of a quartet of women who serve a sadistic group led by Howard Vernon. Franco also finds room for (by all accounts) a permanently blotto Jack Palance,and Horst Frank who tries to implicate Justine in the murder of his wife. Rosemary Dexter? Well, she had to settle for a smaller role as Juliette's despicable tutor,and ensures her pupil passes with flying colours.

While Marquis de Sade's Justine may not figure in the top drawer of Franco's filmography, an Altman-esque cast of Euro stars adds sufficient class to gloss over script deficiencies, and make hay with the cruel, perverse aspects of this mostly absorbing tale.

Once again, Anchor Bay have delivered a sharp, colourful transfer and while some print damage is evident, only the sternest critic will come away less than delighted. Applause, too, for another splendid score from Bruno Nicolai. Not quite the Michael Nyman of exploitation cinema, but a wonderfully gifted composer in his own right.
Reviewer: Steve Langton

 

This review has been viewed 20632 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Jess Franco  (1930 - 2013)

Legendary director of predominantly sex-and-horror-based material, Spanish-born Jesus Franco had as many as 200 directing credits to his name. Trained initially as a musician before studying film at the Sorbonne in Paris, Franco began directing in the late 50s. By using the same actors, sets and locations on many films, Franco has maintained an astonishing workrate, and while the quality of his work has sometimes suffered because of this, films such as Virgin Amongst the Living dead, Eugenie, Succubus and She Killed in Ecstasy remain distinctive slices of 60s/70s art-trash.

Most of his films have been released in multiple versions with wildly differing titles, while Franco himself has directed under a bewildering number of pseudonyms. Actors who have regularly appeared in his films include Klaus Kinski, Christopher Lee and wife Lina Romay; fans should also look out for his name on the credits of Orson Welles' Chimes of Midnight, on which he worked as assistant director.

 
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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Enoch Sneed
   

 

Last Updated: