In 1599 Italy, Beatrice Cenci is the teenage daughter of the crazy landowner and nobleman Francesco Cenci whom he keeps his daughter locked up in the dungeon of his castle for his plaything, sexually abusing her when he feels like it. Beatrice then plots with her stepmother, her besotted servant Olimpio, as well as a local bandit, named Catalano, to plan Francesco's murder.
I do not go much for Fulci's horror movies which remain very inferior,IMHO, to those of his Italian colleagues (Dario Argento and Mario Bava).But this one ,by keeping the horror sequences to the minimum (the tortures scenes do not last long fortunately),is eminently commendable.
The cast includes two French actors :one of them ,Georges Wilson ,a very earnest stage thespian ,and the father of Lambert Wilson,is very unexpected here ,and his part of the violent perverse noble who rejoices cause two of his sons are dead so he won't have to feed them anymore and who imprisons his daughter in a dungeon is quite impressive .The other French actor is Raymond Pellegrin in a supporting role.Adrienne Larusso is incredibly beautiful as Beatrice Cenci and Thomas Milian gives a restrained effective performance.
The plot is not easy to catch up with ,because the director blends present and past without the traditional codes .No transition most of the time.Besides ,there are many characters ,and many of them are underwritten (Beatrice's brother for instance)
It's a film of blood and fury,the monsters are everywhere :Francesco Cenci is terrifying but so is the Holy Office whose goal is to appropriate the Cenci's fortune.
Like this?try these....
Flesh and blood (Paul Verhoeven,1985)
The devils (Ken Russel,1970)
La monaca di Monza (ERIPRANDO Visconti,1968)
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