JESS FRANCO MONTH: La comtesse perverse (1975)

As Harvey Dent said, “You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”

Lina Romay would agree, as she went from Sylvia, the heroine in this movie, to the bow and arrow carrying villainess of the remake of this movie, Tender Flesh.

Sylvia is on vacation in the south of France and wants to meet up with a guy named Tom who just so happens to work for Count and Countess Zaroff (Howard Vernon and Alice Arno), who like to play games with beautiful young women. Then, they shoot them with bows and arrows and eat them, as you do.

There’s also Bob (Robert Woods) and Moira (Tania Busselier), who procure young women for the Zaroff estate and are allowed to partake of the pleasures of the flesh and I don’t mean just penetrating it.

There are some astounding locations here, as the house was shot between two Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura-designed structures, Xanadu, which was in She Killed In Ectasy and La Muralla Roja. This adds to the production, as so many of the later shot on video Franco films are missing the lushness of his filmed movies.

There are insert shots in some cuts of this film, but Franco didn’t intend for those to be in this movie.

Anyways. this is the kind of movie that Franco could and would and did make over and over again. That said, it works and the basic tale of rich people hunting the lower rungs of society is always one that presents a great framework to hang a movie on.

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