In an interview on the Anchor Bay DVD release, Jesús Franco says he originally wanted Rosemary Dexter as Justine, but the American partners in the film insisted upon Romina Power. Franco compared her performance to a window dummy. See more »
Jess Franco to me, is one of the most evil men in cinema. His films in the 60s were Hitchokian thrillers and a few good erotic ones, however by the 80s he had plummeted into making porn films, fairly crappy at best, compared to Joe D'Amatos Caribbean series. These films consisted of Lina Romay masturbating to sex acts, purely vulgar, Laura Gemser fair enough, but her, no way.
Anyhow in the late 60s Franco worked with Harry Allan Towers, and made about 8 damn good films, such as The Bloody Judge, 99 women (less good) and Venus in Furs.
However Justine to me, his nemesis, is a good film. It boasts an all star cast, such as Jack Palace, who gives a good performance as a decadant monk, and Klaus Kinski, as De Sade, just prancing around his cell, being taunted by nude phantoms, actually shot using good green lighting and shadow imagery.
The film is not do depraved, several nude scenes, some mild sex scenes and some cat fighting, but nothing too bad. Also the buildings, soldiers and extras were fairly epic and in good standard with any epic historical film.
The sets were brilliant, hence they were all historical, the film is well shot, cue some blurs etc, well lighted, well cast and well made.
Franco is a decent director here, when he worked with Towers, however in the 70s he declined sadly. When he worked with good budgets and actors he was a Ruggero Deodato, but alas, he failed cinema, which he claimed to love...
A good film, give it a try!, you will not be disappointed.
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