In Paris, the former priest Mathis Vogel writes pornography for a magazine. When the deranged priest watches an erotic show based on a Black Mass, he believes that the cast and audience are possessed and he goes on a murder spree to exorcise the demons of his victims. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
**A quick note but I watched all three of these at different points over the years so the reviews are a little out of place with one another. I'm posting them in order of the Synapse version, the XXX version and then the 1979 re-edit.
*** (out of 4)
This was one of the first Franco titles that I actually watched and I hated it with a passion. Over the next year I started to check out a few other Franco films and I guess you could say I finally "got" what he was all about so I went back to watch this one again and ended up really enjoying it. I think the film gets better with each new viewing, although I think the film plays best as pure camp. In the film Franco plays a deranged writer who witnesses a fake devil worshiping and is certain that he must kill the people to save their souls. This film has a lot of trademark Franco items from countless sex, nudity and violence all the way to the erotic nature of the story. This is a very strange little film that manages to be quite surreal in its black mass scenes and the movie just contains a weird vibe throughout. The film also have some hilarious moments, which I'm sure was unintentional. I also get a huge laugh at of Franco's acting during the orgy scene. When Franco hides his face in shame, it's just downright hilarious. Another funny moment happens when Romay is leaving a restaurant and she opens the door the wrong way and ends up running into it. This certainly isn't Franco's best film but it is one of his most enjoyable.
** (out of 4)
Once upon a time (1974 to be exact) in a country far, far away (Spain to be exact) there lived a director named Jess Franco who made a movie called Exorcism. The film dealt with a looney writer (played by Franco) who stumbled upon a sex show with witches and demons. To make them pure, the writer goes on a killing spree. Then, in 1979 Franco decided to remake the film but didn't have enough cash for a full movie so he edited out forty or so minutes of Exorcism and mixed it with about forty-minutes worth of "new" footage. This disasterpiece was called The Sadist of Notre Dame. However, back to 1974's film Exorcism. The French producer's weren't happy that Franco didn't make the film extreme enough so they offered him a tad bit more money to go back and shoot hardcore scenes so that the film could be released into French porn theaters. That end result was released as Sexorcismes and that's the version I watched here.
The Sadist of Notre Dame was a horrible film in my opinion and one (of several) that I gave a BOMB rating to. Exorcism on the other hand is a film I always enjoyed for its surreal and bizarre sexual nature. That film was a straight horror flick with your typical amount of Euro nudity but there wasn't anything hardcore. Several of Franco's films during this period were shot "soft" and "hard" but usually the hardcore versions were nothing more than cheap inserts that really hurt the original film. I had been interested in this French version of Exorcism for quite sometime and it finally arrived and as I suspected the hardcore scenes add nothing to the film but they do take away quite a bit.
The most shocking thing about these new shots is that doubles weren't used, which was normally the case. Most of the original cast are involved in these new scenes and that includes Franco himself! I remember the first time I saw Romay in hardcore scenes I was rather shocked because I always considered her an "actress". Seeing Franco in these scenes just made me laugh my ass off because I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Having seen Franco in countless interviews and other films, to see this here was simply shocking. Either way, none of this stuff is shot too well and it's clear they were filmed differently than the rest of the film. It's also worth noting that the producer's didn't bother to change the soundtrack, which leads to some pretty silly moments. In the "horror" version there are several scenes were women are stabbed and we hear their screams. This soundtrack of screams is also used in this hardcore version, which makes for a few funny moments since these screams don't match up with what's going on in the film.
Sadist of Notre Dame, The (1979)
BOMB (out of 4)
Jess Franco at his laziest. The film might be worth one more star but I'm not going to give it to this. An ex-priest (Franco) escapes from a nut house and starts killing people in God's name. This film is a re-edited version of Franco's 1974 film Exorcism with newly shot scenes added. I enjoy the "original" film but this one here is just downright confusing and poorly made. The new scenes add nothing and the editing to them is the worst I've ever seen. The pacing is horrid and the re-editing even ruins scenes from the original film.
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