This movie is a dramatization/recreation of several case studies from a late-19th century medical text by Richard von Kraft-Ebing called "Psychopathia Sexualis." Basically a catalog of various sexually deviant behaviors, there's not much of a plot to speak of and the movie presents these as intertwined, but unrelated vignettes. It also has a lot of voice-over, which makes it feel like one of those History Channel specials except that it's sexually explicit (rather tame, actually). Rather than being titillating, it's mostly stiff and boring. Still there were some nice artistic touches, like filming the whole movie in this chiaroscuro/Masterpiece Theater style which lent it an expressionistic quality not unlike some 1920's German silent films. The score was pleasant and grating in almost equal measure, with maybe one or two classical selections. Back to the material actually presented, there really is no position taken on the rather antiquated attitudes toward sexuality, but a lot of the pseudo-scientific babble gets pretty hard to take (seriously, or otherwise) after a while, especially when many conservatives hold viewpoints not that different from what is presented here. Some of that includes the notions that homosexual attraction is just a form of hysteria that can be treated through hypnosis, and there are some painfully outdated, Victorian views on women's roles. However, the whole movie is set during the Victorian era, so it makes sense in that regard. Maybe I went into this expecting something a little more arousing, but I was ultimately disappointed. It's not very sexy or explicit, and frequently boring to watch. My advice: just skip it and watch something else if you're in the mood for softcore.
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