The marriage of countess Martine is a farce, Martine seems to be only an obstacle on the way to her fortune, which her husband, Armando wants to seize. She is repeatedly warned by maid Wanda about her husband's sinister plans after returning from an institution. When one day the attractive nun Norma is found wounded in front of the entrance to the common property, Armando decides to subject her sexually and to submit to her as a "toy". After Martine increasingly desperate about her husband's affair with the bisexual teenager Flor she finally seduces the nun. Flor and Norma fall in love and want to flee. Both are caught by Armando in passion and, while making love, pierced with a sword at the same time. As a result, Armando increasingly despairs of his deed. After repeatedly refusing to give in to his wife's sexual advances, he finally falls on her so violently that it appears that she is dying of the consequences.Written by
Martine de Bressac (Lina Romay) is returning home after a stay in a mental hospital. Once there she is told that her husband is having an affair with a young man. Soon the two men are out walking in the woods when they come across a young nun (Susan Hemingway) who has been raped. Before long Martine is slipping more into a mental state while the other three are planning her murder.
I've seen over a hundred and fifty films from Spanish director Jess Franco and he's made some great ones and some truly awful ones. Out of all of the films I've seen I'd say that SINFORNIA EROTICA takes the number one spot for his most underrated. If you're expecting sleaze, nudity, sex and violence then you're really not going to get that from this film. While the movie does contain some of that there's no question that this here is an art film and a well-made on at that.
Slightly based on a Marquis de Sade story, the film manages to really come across as a nightmare. Franco's direction is certianly among the best of his career as he does a great job at really painting a woman's mental breakdown and the craziness that surrounds her. The film's cinematography really does a great job with its soft focus to show what a nightmare the lead character is going through. I thought the cinematography really managed to build up a bizarre fever-dream like vision that helped draw you into the picture.
The film also benefits from some nice performances as well. This includes Romay who doesn't get a lot of dialogue and instead must act just with her eyes. I really thought this was one of her best roles and one of her finest performances. She's basically got to just act with her eyes and what's going on in her troubled mind and I thought the actress was quite believable. Hemingway, who appeared in a handful of films for Franco, has always been one of my favorite actresses of his and she too is extremely good in her role. Both Armando Borges and Mel Rodrigo are good as well.
As I said, the film contains some nudity and sex as well as some violence but it's off the screen. The film really doesn't go for any sort of sleaze and that's why some people might be bored by it. That's really too bad because it's certainly a well-made movie and one of the better ones that Franco made.
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