Kat and Samm continue their series inspired by Cathal Tohill and Pete Tombs’ cult cinema bible, Immoral Tales: European Sex & Horror Movies 1956-1984. This time they explore the work of prolific but divisive Spanish director Jess Franco, who made the first Spanish horror film (1962’s Gritos en la noche aka The Awful Dr. Orloff) and went on to make reams of sex, horror, and all-around cult films. This episode looks at some titles from his early career, like Miss Muerte (The Diabolical Dr. Z, 1966), but primarily focuses on three of his films: first, the enigmatic and beautiful Paroxismus aka Venus in Furs (1969), where a jazz musician witnesses a woman’s murder but comes to find that she might not be dead after all.

Also discussed is the delightful De Sade 70 aka Eugenie (1970), an adaptation of the Marquis de Sade’s Philosophy in the Bedroom. Maria Rohm and Jack Taylor star as a couple who coerce an innocent teen back to their remote island to educate her about sex… and sadism. Finally, they turn to another loose adaptation—of Cornell Woolrich’s The Bride Wore Black—with She Killed in Ecstasy (1971), one of the last films Franco made with his early muse Soledad Miranda. She stars as a young widow, whose doctor husband was driven to madness and suicide by his colleagues’ destruction of his unconventional research.

Don’t forget to please order a copy of the next issue of Diabolique Magazine in print here.

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