Sins of the Flesh (1974)

Director Claude Mulot used the alter ego of Frederic Lansac — a character from his previous film The Blood Rose — to make this movie, which was known as  Les Charnelles (The Carnals) when it was released in its native country.

Of course, Mulot would move on to hardcore with his next movie, Pussy Talk, but he was also known for comedy and thrillers, too. And, well, softcore, as evidenced by Black Venus. Sadly, he drowned at the way too young age of 44. His last film was 1986’s Le Couteau sous la gorge (The Knife Under the Throat).

Sins of the Flesh is all about Benoît Landrieux, the potentially insane son of a rich industrialist who comes into the lives of car thief Jean-Pierre and Isabelle (Anne Libert, who was the Queen of the Living Dead in A Virgin Among the Living Dead, along with appearing in House of 1000 Pleasures and numerous Jess Franco films, such as Sinner: The Secret Diary of a NymphomaniacThe Erotic Rites of FrankensteinThe DemonsDaughter of Dracula and Dracula Prisoner of Frankenstein), who is saved by the duo when she’s being assaulted by her stepfather.

Benoît is many things: maniac, coward, killer and perhaps even an impotent voyeur, as the only way he is able to perform is after watching other couples make love. Now, he has a new goal: to rob his father’s safe, to make his stepmother fall for someone else and blackmail her for it, then finally, to kill and kill again.

The sequence where our threesome ingests psychedelic mushroom tea before swimming and aardvarking amongst fuzzed out acid rock*, strobing lights and statues of alebrijes is the highlight of this affair. It’s a scene filled with crazy lenses and a complete lack of body hair grooming, so it’s pretty much everything wonderful about exploitation circa 1974.

The region free Mondo Macabro release has a brand new 4k transfer from the film negative, along with interviews with Anne Libert, Gerard Kikoine, distributor Francis Mischkind and assistant director Didier Philippe-Gerard. Plus, there is an original trailer, an alternative title sequence** and optional newly created English subtitles.

All hail this label, which continually finds movies I never knew existed and makes the best versions of them that have ever been released. You can get this directly from Mondo Macabro.

*The score is by Eddie Vartan, father of actor Michael.

**Émotions secrètes d’un jeune homme de bonne famille is the other title, which translates as Secret Emotions of a Young Man from a Good Family.

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