EDITOR’S NOTE: We originally watched this on October 22, 2019 and man, it may not be the movie that Franco usually makes, but it’s deranged and really goes for it as a slasher.
If you’ve watched enough slashers, you’ve reached that point where you say, “There’s no way they’re going to show a bandsaw tear a woman’s head off her body.” But when you really title a movie Die Sage des Todes, or The Saw of Death, and you’re Jess Franco, you go for it.
Seriously — turn back now all that aren’t ready for an incestual slasher that takes no prisoners.
Miguel has a disfigured face, a horrible secret and just got out of being in a mental asylum for five years after stabbing a woman. Now, he’s been released into the loving arms — too loving, hence that secret — of his sister Manuela, who operates Europe’s International Youth-Club Boarding School of Languages. Now, Miguel has his eye on Angela, an attractive student at his sister’s school.
We full-on learn Miguel and his sister’s secret shame, as when the two begin to kiss, she reminds him that the last time they went this far, people died. No one can ever understand them and it can never happen again.
Between the disco dancing and constant murders, this European resort town stays hopping. Perhaps the best sequence is the aforementioned bandsaw murder, which ends with its lone witness, a kid who has to be less than ten years old, getting run over by the killer too. Life is cheap — and in this movie, it’s cheaper than it ever has been before.
I kind of adore that the producers told Franco that Pink Floyd was going to do the music for this. In what universe would that happen?
Of course, this didn’t just end up on any video nasty list. It’s one of the category 1 films that was actually prosecuted for obscenity. If any movie on that list deserves it, it’s this one.
Severin has re-released this on blu ray, selling it with this line: “just when you thought you’d seen it all, Franco shocked the world by delivering surprising style, genuine suspense and a cavalcade of depravity that includes incest, voyeurism and roller disco.” If you aren’t ordering this right now, what’s wrong with you?
You can also watch this on Tubi.