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Antonio de Cabo
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The great Jess Franco is obviously going to continue to intrigue his fans and irritate the rest of the world with the films he makes until the day he dies, which hopefully is another twenty-five years away or so. In the meantime, he delivers "Jess Franco's Perversion", the DVD release title of his 2005 film, which is again based on a story by the Marquis de Sade, who has inspired many, many Franco films in the last thirty years. In "Perversion", the great Lina Romay heads a cult of sadistic lesbian prostitutes who live for the destruction of men and any woman who dares fall "victim" to a man.
This may not be much of a synopsis, but there is not much of a story here. Franco lets the camera linger endlessly on many of his trademarks, such as lesbian couples dressed in outrageous wigs and lingerie bumping and grinding, often in slow motion. The opening lesbian scene between Romay and Rachel Shepard goes on for nearly one-half hour and has a little dialog, but its mostly the two women crawling all over each other moaning and writhing in rapturous ecstasy. (Franco fans will love this, others will probably not be so enthralled.) We then get one rough SM scene, followed by an all-female body shaving scene, which is rendered a little unerotic because the shaving cream is rather sloppily applied, but the interaction between the women and the camera in this scene recalls Franco's funny 1975 film "Midnight Party". This is followed by two more brutal SM scenes, and all such scenes here are more bloody and ritualistic than in previous Franco films -- the scenes play like de Sade meets Franco meets the Manson Family. This is all captured with the stunning, colorful digital photography Franco uses these days. As for the acting, of course Lina Romay, now sporting longer hair and a more feminine appearance, is the standout with her outrageously erotic performance, at times so professionally overblown but always working so well. Fata Morgana King and Carmen Montes provide many naked and sadistic moments -- these two women are a perfect pair and among the more enthusiastic Franco performers of late, rivaling even Lina! Rachel Shepard has never been a strong actress in any Franco film, but here Franco uses her in the best way, in that she is in the scenes that she can handle and in the background when her abilities may be challenged.
So that's about it, more vicious, deeply personal fun from Franco, the master of such fare. Thank goodness in this commercially-oriented, profit-driven age Franco continues to deliver what he wants to deliver, and thank goodness many of us want to see it. This is a partnership, and as long as Franco does not let us down, we will continue to watch and enjoy his outrageous stories.
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