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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Understanding one of Francos' best,
Mesmerizing, haunting, sexy, and colorful are some of things Jesse Franco has confidence in doing while ranking this as one of his most assured pieces of work. Provided that this film was also recommended to me it has also open up a different path for me to expand my horizon (along with his other films I've seen so far). In this story we see Trumpeter Jimmy Logan's (James...
Published on 28 Aug 2007 by Jenny J.J.I.

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A sumptuous cocktail of Art & Trash
Lovers of psychedelia, horror and erotica will enjoy this film as it encompasses all three genres with real style whilst somehow managing to maintain a rough edge that stops it from becoming too pretentious. At the heart of the film is a metaphysical connundrum that will keep you guessing and then baffle you. Visually the film is varied, technically competent and...
Published on 21 Nov 2009 by Double Helix


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Understanding one of Francos' best,, 28 Aug 2007
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This review is from: Venus in Furs [DVD] [1969] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Mesmerizing, haunting, sexy, and colorful are some of things Jesse Franco has confidence in doing while ranking this as one of his most assured pieces of work. Provided that this film was also recommended to me it has also open up a different path for me to expand my horizon (along with his other films I've seen so far). In this story we see Trumpeter Jimmy Logan's (James Darren) life starts to unravel when he discovers the dead body of Wanda Reed (Maria Rohm) on the beach one day. He soon remembers that she was the woman at the party he attended a few weeks before. He had witnessed three of the guests as they sadistically beat and raped her. Now in Rio, Jimmy discovers that Wanda is still alive. Jimmy refuses to leave Wanda now that he has been given a second chance. Has Jimmy found happiness or will his obsession lead his demise? Sorry can't say no more then that but that it's a fascinating film for you to find out.

I came to find out that Jess Franco is a prolific director who has directed around 200 films over the past fifty years. Several of his films were released in alternate versions which often contain footage not shot by Franco. His career as a director can be broken up into distinctive periods with his most successful films made in the late 1960's and early 1970's. "Venus in Furs" has several alternative titles like "Paroxsysmos" and "Black Angel." This film is totally a product of its time the late 1960's. Psychedelic music and films filled with surreal imagery ruled the pop culture landscape. This film bears similarities to two films from this time period Michelangelo Antonioni's "Blow Up" and Franco's own film "Necronomicon" (known as Succubus) in the America. "Venus in Furs" main connection to "Blow Up" is their use of rock musicians for the films score. Both films also feature Protagonist's who witness a murder that consumes them like an obsession. There is also a scene in this film were Wanda Reed is photographed by Olga in "Blow Up" like stylized camera set ups. In "Venus in Furs" Franco expands the dream like tapestries that he had first explored in "Necronomicon."

Franco has used various locations for this film including Italy, Rio and Istanbul. Cinematographer Angelo Lotti uses every inch of the frame as he composes picturesque compositions. There is a car chase in the film that proves Franco can more then handle himself when shooting an action sequence. I have also realized that Franco through the years has worked with his fare share of talented actors and the cast for "Venus in Furs" is one his strongest casts that he ever worked with. The casting of James Darren in the lead role of Jimmy Logan may appear like an odd choice on the surface. His subtle performance perfectly compliments Maria Rohm sexually charged portrayal of the films heroine Wanda Reed. Margaret Lee and Dennis Price are very good in supporting roles. Klaus Kinski does what he does best play characters with piercing eyes that have a tendency to be sadistic and charming at the same time. Unfortunately Kinski's role in nothing more then a mere cameo as he makes an appearance at the beginning before returning briefly near the end of the film. "Venus in Furs" has many elements that Franco would use in many of his films and even with all these things in place there is something about the film that makes it feel unlike any other Franco film. "Venus in Furs" is the good starting point for anyone who is just getting into the cinema of Jess Franco. Overall Franco made a nearly flawless film and outside of the overused slow motion technique everything else perfectly falls into place.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Marienbad on acid, 3 Aug 2007
This review is from: Venus In Furs [1970] [DVD] (DVD)
A spaced-out jazz musician witnesses the apparent death of a woman in an S/M ritual
...But the woman, Wanda, alias Venus in Furs, returns to take vengeance on her tormentors.
Made in 1969, this might just be the definitive Jess Franco film in that it presents in all its initial sleazy glory his notorious fusion of z grade pulp exploitation with art-house experimentation. Franco seems to have had a proper production crew taking care of everything on this one as the set ups are often very striking & he is able to realise his undoubted flare for amazing images (all in ultra garish colour!). The cast, with a bug-eyed Kinski enjoying himself in a couple of scenes, is good too. Fantastic soundtrack (Manfred Man!) which is absolutely integral to the film. Franco had obviously seen Blow-Up & Marienbad and his obsession with fantasy (what is real? who am I? etc) & crazy montage is here very much tied to the late 60s, basically the film is conceived as a psychedelic trip. There are some lapses: tourist footage of the Rio carnival is dropped in as filler & the clichéd love story between Jimmy and Rita drags in the middle. But there's enough delirious imagery & intensity in the rest of the film to make it an essential companion piece to Franco's other early classics for the international market, Succubus & Eugenie: Perversion. The film is in English (but almost all the musician's voiceover). Print scratchy in places but ok.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A sumptuous cocktail of Art & Trash, 21 Nov 2009
This review is from: Venus In Furs [1970] [DVD] (DVD)
Lovers of psychedelia, horror and erotica will enjoy this film as it encompasses all three genres with real style whilst somehow managing to maintain a rough edge that stops it from becoming too pretentious. At the heart of the film is a metaphysical connundrum that will keep you guessing and then baffle you. Visually the film is varied, technically competent and intriguing.

Another ingredient that makes this film such a rich experience is the music. Even if you're not a jazz fan you would struggle to resist the spell of the hypnotic music that weaves its way across the story. The scene with Manfred Man in the club is a high point.

Jess Franco displays considerable artistic talent in many of the sequences whilst at other times he slips into trashiness. Interestingly enough, though, it's this juxtaposition of art and trash that actually helps to make this film into the unique curiosity that it is. Check it out.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Is this all there is?, 8 May 2012
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Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles "FIST" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Venus in Furs [DVD] [1969] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Corny beat slang that pours out of its hipster slacks to groove around chicks, pads, beats and action, but ultimately it is a film about popcorn. You have a grain, you heat it up, it expands, you put it in your mouth and it dissolves, leaving a sugary after taste.

So we are offered the revenge movie based upon being a willing victim who returns to seek retribution across a series of, for the period it was set, exotic locations; Istanbul, Rio.

Black women writhing on the floor, young people involved in S&M based firmly on sadism, then the aftermath of a film exploring lesbian encounters, rich swinging flats, black women/inter racial relationships, parties as orgies, wild jazz, menage a trois'- yes all the ingredients were here wrapped up in a post horror wild imagining.

It even has those 60's fuzz out moments that would have been groovy, way back sort of Austin Powers like in its flounce. Added to this the zany camera shots are all done in full artistic taste and it is a pot pourri of groovedom. You can imagine the impact of someone watching this trapped in a 2 up 2 down in Hartlepool when it first came out. It was the antithesis of their lives, the wild rumblings of a world yet to unfold.

The problem is the whole thing just lacks energy, and what appears as another world, with all its wild abandon, comes over as a trifle dull within the film. The director is pressing every button available within his counter cultural world to actually sell you the real one that appeared in the 21st century. Fast cars, exotic locations, nubile sex, drugs, orgies- it all became mainstream wih cheap flights, old bangers, XTC, porn and the pill.

The film and its non too subtle message appears quaint, although it is worth having a look to see what they viewed in the 1960's as stretching the limits, and to be fair, compared to the events 25 years earlier, in the 1940's, this was a huge leap forward.

Its just as Christina sings so eloquently;

"Is that all there is?"
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars poor, 5 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Venus In Furs [1970] [DVD] (DVD)
this film has nothing to do with the Book by Sacher Von Masoch. Poor 70's psychedelic supernatural murder film.Though I like some of the vampire films of this genre this was not what i was expecting.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It does not get any worse folks, 22 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Venus In Furs [1970] [DVD] (DVD)
This is sheer unadulterated pap.

For pity sake, do yourself a favour and give this and Mr Franco a fairly wide berth.

Basically, all his films ever have is some quite groovy music and groovy dolls who get their kit off. Yes , this is why I watch and buy them but never watch them twice.
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Venus in Furs [DVD] [1969] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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