When submitted to the MPAA, the film was unofficially given an NC-17 rating. In order to obtain an R rating, the filmmakers had to remove a shot of urination in someone's mouth. Rather than re-cut the scene, the filmmakers removed the entire (two-minute) sequence, which also includes male frontal nudity. See more »
A cinematic adaptation of the studies of sexual deviancy by Richard von Krafft-Ebing, Sigmund Freud's mentor and the major precursor to Kinsey's studies. The film is structured after the silent documentary Häxan (aka Witchcraft Through the Ages), and kind of mimics the visual styles of silent horror films and German Expressionist films, albeit in vibrant color cinematography. Most viewers seem to have found the film dull, but I really liked it. It's fascinating to be transported to Victorian times, and the film doesn't do too much winking to demonstrate that it's own mores are modern. It mostly feels worn and dated. The one thing that I think will pull most people out of the film is the acting, but I don't think it ought to. It's mediocre, to be sure, but with cinematic recreations like these, I think the performers' woodenness works in the film's favor. It reminds me a lot of Guy Maddin, and perhaps is influenced by his work. The two elements that should be especially praised are the art direction and the musical score. It looks beautiful, and sounds beautiful. I think director Bret Wood, if he's given more chances after this fascinating experiment, might turn out to be somebody really special.
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