Plaisir a trois (1974) Poster

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One of Franco's Better Pictures
Michael_Elliott30 April 2016
Plaisir a trois (1973)

*** (out of 4)

Martine (Alice Arno) is released from a mental hospital a year after castrating a man. She returns home to her husband Charles (Robert Woods) and the two immediately start plans to seduce and murder their neighbor's daughter Cecile (Tania Busselier).

Also known as HOW TO SEDUCE A VIRGIN, this Jess Franco film is about as weird, perverted and twisted as you'd expect. It's loosely based off the de Sade story and it's one that the director had visited before and after. I've always been a fan of Franco's whenever he adapted this story because it usually meant the director could go full force into the perversion that the material needed.

What impressed me most here were the actual performances by the entire cast. Both Arno and Woods are flawless as the evil couple and the coldness that both actors bring to their parts really helps the film. Busselier is also extremely good and believable as this virgin that the couple try to bring into their web. You've then got Lina Romay doing a very good job playing a mute, which is the type of role she was always great at. Howard Vernon and Alfred Baillou are also good in their small supporting roles.

Franco made over a dozen films in 1973 so it was one of his busiest periods. The director delivers a very professional looking film and a film that certainly contains a dark sense of humor and some perverted material. This certainly ranks as one of the director's better films. It looks extremely good and Franco manages to paint a twisted tale of seduction, murder and perversion.
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8/10
One of Franco's better films
augustian11 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This film is based on the writings of Marquis de Sade, a writer who would be visited several times by Jess Franco. Alice Arno plays Martine de Bressac, a countess who has spent some time in a mental institution but has now been released into the care of her opportunistic husband, Charles. Almost at once, they revert to their old ways, kidnapping and torturing a would-be model. For their next sadistic game, Charles suggests seducing Cecile, (Tania Busselier) the virginal daughter of a couple living across from their apartment. Everything goes according to plan but like any good thriller, there is a cunning twist.

Jess Franco captures perfectly the increasing sexual excitement of the two plotters as their plan comes to fruition, utilising their mute maid, Adele (Lina Romay). One scene shows Martine being fondled by Charles as they spy on Cecile writhing on her bed until Martine and Charles call upon Adele to join them in their ecstasy. There was a bit too much time showing Cecile but then this is probably what Franco does at his perverted best. Everyone seems to be in on the countess's sadistic perversions. Only the diminutive gardener, another fine casting by Franco, shows any sign of humanity, but even he has his demons. This film could have been made by Hammer, but Jess Franco takes it to a new level.
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