JESS FRANCO MONTH: Sex Charade (1970)

Sex Charade is the kind of lost film that will push a Jess Franco fan to the brink. I mean, just look at the cast: Diana Lorys (Blue Eyes of the Broken DollFangs of the Living Dead), Maria Rohm (Venus In Furs99 Women) and, perhaps most essentially, Franco’s obsession Soledad Miranda (Vampyros LesbosShe Killed In Ecstasy).

Shot in Liechtenstein at the same time as Nightmares Come at Night and Eugenie de Sade, this is about Anne, a woman who is being held hostage and forced to play Scheherazade and tell stories, including one about a gorgeous young woman kept prisoner by savages.

According to the Lost Media Archive, Sex Charade “…apparently had a short theatrical run in France and was partially released in Belgium as a bizarre collage featuring footage from other films.” When Nightmares Come at Night was supposed to be released on DVD, this was going to be part of a box set along with it, except that the print was missing.

From what I can find at Italo-Cinemathis movie is an anthology with four stories with the same main actors — Lorys, Rohm, Jack Taylor and Howard Vernon — who play the same character types in each story. Beyond the jungle story mentioned above, there is also a de Sade-influenced nightclub, a party thrown by a cult on the night of a ritual and a spy adventure. There’s also a theory that this was Franco paying homage to movie serials, so I look forward to the day that this gets found. The rumor is that Eurocine has a print with no audio.

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