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Countess Perverse [DVD] [2012] [US Import]

Jess Franco    DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Product details

  • Directors: Jess Franco
  • Format: Colour, DVD-Video, Subtitled, PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Mondo Macabre
  • DVD Release Date: 12 Jun 2012
  • Run Time: 78 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007WU4RS2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,344 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Countess Perverse [DVD] [2012] [US Import] - Original Director's Cut


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sadean Hide n' Seek 19 Mar 2013
By Zaroff
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Lush, crisp and vivid. That would be the picture, revelling in the usual Franco slow pan over the island & the sea-scape. That would also apply to the minimalist, cut to the bone, 'Most Dangerous Game' motif. Whereas the film from the 30's was foggy, grimly death-laden & gothicly challenging, this is modern and clean, from the architecture to the brightest daylight set-pieces, occasional laissez-faire boat rides & a spartan (in every sense of the word) hunting expedition.

Franco is in no rush, we know where this is going, so why not peruse the perversion of the hunter-gatherer at our leisure. As Howard Vernon is playing everything with barely concealed relish he kinda gives the game away if we so much as look at his smirks. When people aren't being lounging about, they are at each other in various states of undress & flesh-manipulation...Vernon must have enjoyed this film. Adding cannibalistic tendencies to the plot caused concern at the time of release, and according to the interview on the usual superb Mondo Macabro disc, the producers were not the only ones seeing this as a question of taste in the cinema. Then of course, in later years additional erotica & harder scenes were 'added' to spice the film and it was retitled and released as a completely other entity. As ever, subtlety is not consistent in the 70's.

As it is , this is called a directors cut and it has well executed seventies infused, sufficiently prurient pawing of the female, copious shameless nudity and frequent delight in the shot of areas that other directors would not bother to edit into the final film, but here add atmosphere to the edges.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fred and Rose, the Franco years. 11 April 2013
Format:DVD
A couple learn of an island where bad things happen to hot girls, from a naked woman that they find washed up on a beach. So they take a pretty young woman to the island and then do a runner, leaving her to its strange owners...
First off, I put this on by mistake. I was eating a curry and accidentally picked up the wrong Franco film, bunged it in the dvd and then just went with it..
All the usual, positive signs of his 'workmanship' are present. With zooms, odd close ups, constant nudity, Lina Romay, a weird, often violent storyline and soft focus. However so are all his usual problems, that seem to mar his productions, resulting in them being rather poo! Well, I say they're poo but I still managed to sit through this, mostly on account of the baddie of the title, who first lezzes up her guests, then chases them through the grassy dunes with her bow and arrow. While her husband ~ Roy Orbison, looks on, finally making them into steaks, which he needs to satiate his cannibalistic cravings.
The constant lesbian scenes are rather tame and dull but the girls are nice enough and kinda hold your attention until the exciting* chase finale.
Although I'm not sure running through grassy dunes like that was such a wise idea, as in reality, they tend to be the habitat of snakes! Still, not the same health and safety regulations back then I suppose..
A kitschy, funky score and lovely Mediterranean locations (probably at the producers time share) top off the aesthetics.
*not exciting!
The print on the dvd was very good.
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Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mondo Macabro and Jess Franco - the Gift That Keeps On Giving... 23 Jun 2012
By 4-Legged Defender - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
[COUNTESS PERVERSE - (1973) - Full screen - Directed by Jess Franco] 1973 certainly was Franco's most prolific year, as he directed 11 films in 12 months, and rumor has it that there were 3 more that were never completed. Considering that his work could be spotty (some might say slapdash), remarkably, most of these films are among his finest 70's output. Whether this is one of them is somewhat debatable, but Mondo Macabro has lovingly delivered another tasty treat to those of us who look upon Franco as family; a slightly sleazy uncle you love to hang around, but don't want to leave the young ones alone with for too long. His influence on fragile minds could be dangerous, and therapy's rather expensive.

Franco's films from this era are mostly gothic nightmares that occur in broad daylight, a feat not easily accomplished, as an unbending rule in this genre is to have the ghoulish goings-on transpire at night, when shadows and darkness allow our minds to fill in the blanks as we individually see fit. Jess offers up evil deeds that can't be misconstrued as something else, which at times are both blessing and curse. But his bravado must be admired even when it fails, yet here it rarely does. The same goes for 'Sinner: Diary of a Nymphomaniac' from the same year, both gleaming examples of Jess working full throttle, delivering feverish flesh-feasts for the fetishistic fanbase he's cultivated through the decades. Unburdened by the narrative chains of traditional film, story scenes cut and change once an idea is entertained without bother for details and extraneous dialogue - they are the cinematic equivalents of a 'Creepy' or 'Eerie' magazine story from the same era, and about as deep, but that's not meant as criticism. Franco prefers to indulge his voyeurism on the more disquieting, deviant details such as the sex and violent elements that are the cornerstones of his work. The only times his camera dawdles at length is when he's lecherously leering at the soft curves of one of his undraped actresses, in this case Alice Arno, longtime life partner Lina Romay (RIP), Tania Busselier and Kali Hansa, at which time his camera hovers like a NASA lens at a historic lunar landing, absorbing every slope, corner, crevice and cranny of the heavenly bodies thrust at the screen. Jess is the ultimate cinematic voyeur (along with Tinto Brass) and his films appeal to those with voyeuristic tendencies, and what they always lack in plot development offer prurient interest and degenerate lust as compensation. Let's face it, if you've got to compromise, degenerate lust's not too shabby, is it?

Half the film is devoted to Sapphic sessions and sordid flesh festivities just shy of pornography, though I'm not sure 'shy' is the right choice of wording - Jess loves his girl-on-girl goulash immensely, and has for over four decades, and I'm relatively certain his fans don't object too much. Much as I'd like to, I can't really fault him for this - just when things get a bit dull, right before you're tempted to reach for the fast-forward button, there's another clambake for your edification and enlightenment. Then it's back to business and the grisly macabre, in this case it's cannibalism peppered with a dash of necrophilia, with a human hunt served as an appetizer. Somewhere between 'The Most Dangerous Game' coupled with 'Venus in Furs' (Franco's version, not Dellamano's) lies 'Countess Perverse', a welcome addition to the canon of Franco filth, and I mean that in the best way imaginable.

Franco stable mate Howard Vernon's back as his usual creepy self, the baron chef with unusual culinary skills and a smile that would make your skin crawl. It's just what the role calls for, though I don't think he has more than a few utterances in the entire film. Alice Arno is the Countess who enjoys the hunt and displays her killings proudly, giving a new meaning to the term 'trophy wife'. Lina Romay still has a bit of baby fat on her, which she'd shed by the time she filmed 'Female Vampire' with Jess later that same year, and Kali Hansa has an incredible female frame that Franco's lens loves to zoom in on - who am I to complain, other than she's killed off too early on? Robert Woods and Tania Busselier are the couple who provide prey for the hosts, and the dissection, cooking and consumption of human flesh is like something out of 'Dexter'. Delirious and disturbing, it's wildly depraved, and still retains a wickedly campy component. At least it did for me.

Mondo delivers us a fantastic film print taken from the camera negative, ripe with brilliant colors, deep contrast, and crisp audio, astonishing for a flick this old, almost too much so when I have to stare at Howard Vernon's ass as he boards Kali Hansa's supremely fine form. There's a great prog rock soundtrack that adds much to some scenes, a few fantastic seaside locations and interiors right out of an M.C. Escher print, exterior architecture that will take your breath away (also used in 'She Killed in Ecstacy'), and dialogue that's unintentionally hysterical.

My favorite line: Howard Vernon states to Alice Arno - "She's dim, but she's certainly juicy. I think we're going to have fun, my dear, yet another fine feast day", all the while the Countess fondles the titties of the dead chick they're in the process of dismembering (and I wonder why I scare people). 4 stars.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ill Will Hunting 19 Jun 2012
By Ramm - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
The Mondo Macabro DVD authoring crew have provided us with another gem from prolific Spanish director Jess Franco's lexicon of cinematic weirdness. The film "Countess Perverse" was made in 1973 as part of a series of features filmed for French producer Robert de Nesle and, according to the xlnt background materials included on the disc, was shot back-to-back with the film "Plaisir a Trois" - both movies drawing a fair deal of their 'inspiration' from the writings of the Marquis deSade. DeSade often utilized the 'theme' of debauched individuals 'corrupting' the morals of 'innocent youth' and "Countess Perverse" follows suit AND adds the twist of the 'human-hunting-human" plot device first introduced thru the story and film "The Most Dangerous Game" back in the 1930's by "King Kong's" director Merian C. Cooper to add a 'horror' twist to an, otherwise, sexy scenario.

At the film's start, a male & female couple spy an unconscious woman's naked body lying at surfs edge on the beach. After they scoop her up and take her to their apartment she regains consciousness and tells her horrifying tale of encountering a pair of wealthy sadists on a local island and her eventual escape from them. Too bad for her though that the pair who 'rescued' her are actually in league with the devious island dwellers and they drug her and return her to them. The procurers then turn their sites on a fresh victim and the lovely Marie (played by, then ingenue, Lina Romay) falls into their clutches. After first seducing her, they then take her to 'the island' and introduce her to the wicked libertine couple over a meal that consists totally of huge hunks of a delicious 'mysterious' meat. The male of the kidnapping pair has apparently been smitten by the lovely young Marie, however, and he stomps off in a huff because he knows the true nature of the island couple's sadistic proclivities. Marie is again seduced, this time by the 'countess' (played by the statuesque blond French beauty, Alice Arno) - when she recovers from her passionate lesbian love-making she stumbles upon the couple sawing up their previous victim in preparation to serve her up as a BBQ. Lina then learns the depths of their depravity as the countess tells her that her passion is for hunting the 'human animal', she is given a 10 minute head start, and the chase is on. We are then treated to numerous scenes of the naked Marie running frantically through the palms and grasses and down to the ocean shore - pursued by the, equally naked!, bow toting countess - until the movie's 'surprise' ending.

The background info on the disc recounts that this film was a 'hard sell' when it was first introduced to the market back in the 70's - the cannibalism aspect being off-putting to the potential distributors, and that it underwent several 're-edits' that attempted to make it more palatable by adding additional sex scenes - until it reached a hard-core porn level. Regardless, it never received a wide distribution and this DVD pressing is apparently the first time that it has been widely released in its' original format (minus any of the hard-core sex). Even without the 'porn' this IS a very erotically charged flik and offers large doses of full female nudity by the attractive female cast members and some pretty steamy simulated sex scenes. This was one of Lina Romay's first major roles for Franco and her (then) 19 year old body is delicious to behold as she does a credible job of portraying the wide-eyed virginal victim of the hunt. Alice Arno is also most pleasing to look at but I felt that she lacked a certain 'dark' edge that would have made the 'countess' character more threatening. The film notes stated that she, & her family, were practicing 'naturists' - making her nude scenes 'easy' for her - but there was, again, a strange lack of 'drama' in her portrayal during the climactic hunting sequences - where the movie almost began to feel like one of the 'wholesome' nudist films of the 1950's instead of a taut pscho-thriller. Ironically, perhaps a bit of leather ware hunting garb would have added to her 'menace', as a counterpoint to her 'victim's' nakedness. The male component of the program was nicely handled by Franco 'regulars' Robert Woods and Howard Vernon.

All in all, I found this to be a really enjoyable watch - the film's relatively brief 78 minutes sliding by in a pleasing combination of skin and dramatic Spanish oceanfront locales. Franco utilized a particularly striking modernist villa as the setting for the evil countess's domain and even the 'rocks' of the region are given a real work-out via his trademark 'zoom' lense technique. The film print is crystal clear and is presented in its' original full screen aspect ratio. The disc 'extras' include lotsa written notes and 2 solid interviews, one with actor Robert Woods and another by Franco-phile film critic Stephen Thrower. Amidst the bio-notes on the cast I was saddened to learn that Lina Romay has passed away earlier this year (Feb. 2012) - her positive contribution to Franco's filmic career, and life in general, has often been noted. Through the magic of cinema her beauty lives on and the release of "Countess Perverse" serves as a fitting epitaph and reminder of her screen presence. Fans of Franco should really enjoy this one, and I hope that Mondo Macabro has yet more Franco-fare to release upon us.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Erotic Horror Masterpiece 27 July 2012
By William Amazzini - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The two previous reviews have said it all but I just had to put in my two cents once again. Mondo Macabro has released one of the best Euro- Horror releases this year in Director Jess Franco's 'COUNTESS PERVERSE'-1973 which shows how accomplished he could be when he cared about the project. In an interview contained in Lucas Balbo's essential tome 'OBSESSION-THE FILMS OF JESS FRANCO', he states that he made certain films just to please himself and 'COUNTESS PERVERSE' is one of them. He basically said that he hated the critics for calling him a hack and never seeing the things he worked into his films and if his movies pissed them off, he was glad. Author Richard Connell's 'THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME' telling the story of Count Zaroff was adapted numerous times to the screen but this was the first time that the premise was upgraded to a cannibalistic couple utilized in an erotic atmosphere of fetishistic sex and horror. Directors such as Radley Metzger, Aristide Massaccesi aka Joe D'Amato and Jean Rollin (to name but a few) would use eroticism in different ways but never like this. Franco enjoys the female body and it shows in every frame of this film. Using his favorite actors Howard Vernon and Alice Arno , he also had American actor Robert Woods who graced many Euro Westerns at that time. Its interesting to see his muse Lina Romay beginning to get more screen time and who would graduate to front and center status with 'FEMALE VAMPIRE' the same year. The transfer is absolutely stunning. I first viewed this film in its X-rated version called 'LES CROQUEUSES' aka 'THE MUNCHERS' in a washed out VHS tape with inserted porn scenes which bogged the film down and even in this condition, I knew this was one of his best. Mondo Macabro's pristine negative shows off the beautiful cinematography by Gerard Brissaud and probably Franco himself making it the most visually stunning of his filmography showing off the island terrain and bizarre cliff house called Xanadu which was introduced in another Franco masterpiece 'SHE KILLED IN ECSTASY' aka 'SIE TOTETE IN EKSTASE'-1970 . It is presented in its French language incarnation with English subtitles and in a full 1.33 aspect ratio. The package includes excellent cast biographies and history of the films production, interviews with actor Robert Woods and critic Stephen Thrower and trailers to Mondo's excellent catalog of films. Franco would go on to make another version almost 25 years later 'TENDER FLESH' which would star Lina Romay as the countess, Euro actor Aldo Sambrell and two soft core porn actresses at that time ,Monique Parent and Amber Newman playing Romay's role from the original. The film is indeed more shocking but doesn't retain the power of the original. Who can forget the image of statuesque Alice Arno wearing nothing but a gold necklace and waist belt armed with a bow and arrow hunting nude Lina Romay around the island? Franco would try to duplicate the eroticism in his film 'GOLDEN TEMPLE AMAZONS'-1985 but it lacks the power of these scenes.. There was never anything presented visually like that before or since. Kudos to Mondo Macabro for presenting one of the best releases of the year and showing film fans the erotic genius of Jess Franco, the most maligned filmmaker of our generation.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Perverse? Yep, a Little 20 Jan 2013
By Francis Boring - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Some filthy rich people who've experienced all the world has to offer makes some people capture (trick) young, beautiful women to take to their private island where they are winded & dined & have sex with until they get bored with them. Then they set them lose on the island where they are tracked down & killed for sport. Later, they are served up, literally, to the next women they get as dinner. Can the next woman survive their murderous escapades?
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jess Franco - Director Perverse 30 Nov 2012
By Damien Shalley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Jess Franco and Dario Argento are my cinematic idols. "What!", you exclaim. How can anyone compare the devastatingly awesome visual style of Argento with the often workmanlike and sometimes lazily constructed (and confusing) efforts of Uncle Jess. Simple. Watch "Cecelia" and tell me it isn't erotic. Watch "A Virgin Among the Living Dead" and tell me it isn't ethereal and creepy. And watch "Countess Perverse" and tell me it isn't engaging, visually arresting, scary and exciting - all at the same time. And that is why I love Franco's films (well, the films he made that are like this one). In a world filled with anodyne, saccharin, cookie cutter fare that fails to engage, Franco delivers a visceral charge that I simply cannot get enough of.
Mondo Macabro have presented this film in an open-matte (fullscreen) format which they claim is the original framing. I personally doubt this, but I'm happy to have this Franco effort in any form. The video and audio presentation is crisp, clean and entirely serviceable, and fans of Kali Hansa will see more of her here than they may have anticipated. Or maybe not - this is a Franco film after all. You'll also see implied cannibalism, arresting architecture, intimate liaisons by the sea and the stalking of human prey by a bow-wielding huntress (Alice Arno). Hey, like I said, this is a Franco film.
Jess Franco lost his lifetime love Lina Romay this year - I wish things like this never happened and I wish Mr. Franco condolences and every future happiness. And with movies like "Countess Perverse", he's continuing to bring a little bit of happiness to me.
Thanks Jess!
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