As I’ve said before, I’m not really the right guy to be reviewing Jess Franco films. Over the course of my many years of a cult film fan I’ve watched about 10 of his 180 films. That’s a drop in his massive cinematic bucket but then again watching 10 films from a director that I don’t have any real love for is quite a few. If you’re a Franco-phile you don’t really care what I have to say anyway and you can skip to the end where I’ll talk about the presentation. For you others, keep reading.
She Killed in Ecstasy is about woman out for revenge. Her husband was a scientist and was experimenting on fetuses to try to cure diseases that plague mankind. He was kicked out of sciencing by a board of scientists for aborting babies and experimenting on them. Crestfallen he goes home and realizes his professional life is over and his goal of helping humanity by killing babies will never be realized he kills himself. His wife then exacts revenge by seducing the board of scientists and killing them one by one.
The film was shot and completed hastily after Franco filmed his superior Vampyros Lesbos. Also starring Soledad Miranda (and a small part played by Franco himself), this one feels very rushed compared to Vampyros Lesbos. It’s a very straightforward film. Seduce, kill, seduce, kill. You get the idea. Franco was known for always wanting to shoot so he would complete several films every year of varying quality. This one feels like he had a simple idea and got it out there as fast as he could without really thinking about the script too much. Sure it has a few of his trademark neat-o locations and has plenty of nudity in it but there really wasn’t much for me to grab onto with it. Then again, I’m not a fan of his work so what the hell do I know?
The presentation is fantastic though. The blu looks really really good. Severin knocked it out of the park with this one. The print is super clean and clear, the image sharp (except when the camera operator didn’t actually get the shot in focus, d’oh!), the soundtrack is warm and rich. Oddly the film is dubbed in German, though it looks like it was shot in English. My guess is that was the most complete version of the film and the best looking print. Who knows? Maybe it was the only print. The blu also comes with some great special features including an interview with Franco expert and all around cult film encyclopedia Stephen Thrower, an interview with Soledad Miranda historian Amy Brown, an interview with Paul Muller, and en extra cd with the soundtrack to the film, Vampyros Lesbos, and The Devil Came from Akasava, which is very cool.
If you dig Franco’s films, you will love this Blu. Severin releases high quality stuff and this is no different. It’s well worth your cash. If you don’t like Franco or if you’re not familiar with his work, you’re probably better off grabbing Vampyros Lesbos first.