Wicked Memoirs of Eugenie (1980) Poster

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Sad and poetic minimalistic S/M drama, remains one of Franco's best!
Lars Jacobsson17 April 2009
A really, really good early 1980s Franco title which remains one of his most underestimated according to me. It's basically a remake on Eugenie, the Story of a Young Girl's Journey into Perversion (a title he would remake many times, even as a HC porno) but this is way better than the original according to me. Great atmosphere, perverse, voyeuristic and detached, and as with many of the better of his 1980s films: much more focused than most of his 60/70s output. A benefit of the ultra low budget I reckon. When you're making a movie with such a ridiculously low budget as this, you have to really make the best use of the elements you've got and you've got to keep it minimal. The cute Katja Bienert is the perfect face for innocence-to-be-corrupted and Antonio Mayans has one of his best roles as sadistic Alberto de Rosa. Anyway, if you're at all interested in Franco, make sure to catch this one, if only to see Lina Romay as a dog (!). I'd also like to add that the sandfigures is one of the best images Franco has come up with yet!

I think Franco during his career has been the filmmakers who have reached closest to the true spirit of De Sade in his work... unlike all the other sleaze merchants and bozos that have consistently missed the point.
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Decent 80's Franco
Michael_Elliott26 February 2008
Eugenie (Historia de una perversión) (1980)

** (out of 4)

Jess Franco goes the de Sade route again with this film, which is a remake of similar films from 1969 and 1970 (among others). In this version, a perverted couple (Robert Foster, Mabel Escano) stalk a young teenage girl named Eugenie (Katja Bienert) and eventually take her to their island where they try to deflower her. Franco has countless credits to his name and many times he remakes his own films. In some cases, as here, he remakes them several times. I was really looking forward to this film because both earlier versions are among the directors best work but the story here doesn't quite flow as well. The first forty-minutes of the film we see the couple stalking the young girl who is usually walking around totally naked. Franco makes a lot of this very erotic but after a while it grows tiresome and by the time they hit the island, you know where the story is going and the psychedelic sexual scenes come off rather lame whereas in the earlier films they were quite disturbing and freakish. I've never been a fan of Foster so his presence here doesn't do much for me and Escano doesn't work either. Lina Romay plays a sex slave who thinks she's a dog but she doesn't add anything. Katja Bienert is the one who comes off the best but I'm sure many will have a problem with her nudity and sexual situations since, according to the birthdate she gave, she's only fifteen here. Check out Eugenie de Sade and Eugenie...The Story of Her Journey Into Perversion instead as they show Franco, this story and the eroticism at their peak.
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Catalan Kink from the Genre's Grand Master
Dries Vermeulen27 September 2007
Jess Franco's umpteenth return to Sade – in this case, more specifically his "Philosophy of the Boudoir" – just might be his finest hour as a filmmaker whose '60s and '70s output has been increasingly and rightfully redeemed since its initial scathing reception. On this occasion, he managed to strike a near perfect balance between the sensual and the shocking, helped in no small part to Juan Soler's exquisite camera work. German sex starlet and subsequent TV personality Katja Bienert was barely 18 when she was cast in the perpetually unclad lead as Eugenie, spoiled brat offspring of incestuously inclined diplomat Erwin Tanner, played by Tony Squios. Their unhealthy if unconsummated relationship is eloquently mirrored in that of decadent Alba and Alberto De Rosa (Spanish sleaze veterans Mabel Escano and Antonio Mayans), an aristocratic pair of siblings who have clearly taken their mutual attraction several steps further already. An oppressively claustrophobic mood permeates the movie once Eugenie and dear old dad are lured into the forbidden world of their newfound "friends". A violent yet impeccably stylish climax seems like Franco's attempt to imitate Peckinpah, the result coming off as far less embarrassing than you would imagine. Still, the film's most memorable image remains that of the huge sand sculptures representing the human form in the opening sequence, a monument perhaps to the De Rosa's past victims, eternally frozen in the positions they died in.
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Best Images of the worst side of sex
xrayrandy29 June 2004
Warning: Spoilers
This film has some of the most erotic footage I have seen on film, particularly the seduction of Eugenie, shown entirely with closeups of the the lips, eyes, breast and pubic region. But the way the seduction comes about and the ultimate outcome illustrate one possibility of where such depravity can lead.

The film has probably been banned at least partly due to the fact that while Katja Bienert may have the body of an 18 year old, her birthday tells us she was likely barely 14 when it was filmed, and she has extensive nude scenes.

Spoiler Alert Warning: Plot summary with minor spoilers. At the beginning we see the couple's pet "dog" played by Lina Romay, giving us a clue about what this couple is up to. The husband becomes obsessed with Katja's character and the two spy on her at the pool, the beach, and even through her open bedroom window, and she is topless or fully nude each time.

The de Rosa's befriend her parents, Mabel puts on quite a show and ultimately starts having sex with her dad. Then comes the blackmail, and the de Rosa's get Katja for the weekend as their prize. Add in some drugs, Spanish guitar, extreme close-ups, whips, strangulation and a spear gun, and we finish the movie in fine Franco style.

This is easily my favorite Jess Franco Movie that is not yet available on DVD, or in English for that matter. Don't worry about following the Spanish language version. If you can't understand what is going on, you need a brain transplant (but that's another movie).
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