Friday, July 27, 2012

Hunting the Ladies the Franco Way...


La comtesse perverse


This is meastro Franco's take on THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME by way DE SADE with his usual helpings of nude ladies and spread open legs. It is also from that early 70's era when he was regulary cranking out some of his best work. Just think this came out the same year as THE FEMALE VAMPIRE

The story opens when a mod looking couple (Tania Bussellier and Robert Woods)  find a nude woman washed up on their beach (Kali Hansa). She is delerious and tells them of being taken to an island run by the Countess (Alice Arno) where she was seduced by both her and her husband (Howard Vernon) before being taken captive. There are strong hints of cannibalism in her story. But we soon realize it was indeed this couple that procured this woman for the Countess in the first place.

Soon they have a new victim played by the much missed Lina Romay, they are seducing and taking to the island. It is only a matter of time before she is introduced to shady, voyeuristic sex games, raw human meat eating and finally nude hunting through the jungle.

Though still somewhat languidly paced (it IS Franco after all) this is one of the better of his films. The thing is impeccably shot, has gorgeous scenery and art design (the Countess house is right out if an Escher drawing), the sex is actually fairly hot and the final hunt entertaining in a very preposterous way. 

But watching this I finally realized why I enjoy even the worst Franco films (and this is Not one of those by a long shot) and that is he clearly is so happy to be directing his perversions on screen. The dirtier the stuff he is presenting the better the film seems the be, and it comes across in the very cinematic  language he uses. He is a man comfortable presenting his perversions to you the veiwer and I for one end up appreciating that enthusiasm. No matter how bad his films may get, his raw, perverted passion wins me over. Though that says way more about me than Franco as a filmmaker.

The Mondo Macabro dvd is gorgeous. Richly colored and textured with good subtitles. The print is almost flawless. The extras are very worthwhile but to no one's surprise the interview with author Stephen Thrower is my stand out recomendation. Thrower is currently writing the definative book on Franco and he delves in pretty hardcore in the details of this film and just the era it was made.

A must own for any Franco-phile.

Review © Andrew Copp

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