SHE KILLED IN ECSTASY (1970)
(Sie Totete In Extase, Crimes dans l’exstase,
Elle tuait en Extase, She Kills In Exstatsy)
Director: Jess (Jesus) Franco
Cast: Soledad Miranda, Ewa Stroemberg
Fred Williams, Paul Muller
*CONTAINS REFERENCES TO ADULT MATERIAL*
When Dr Johnson (Fred Williams) whose revolutionary practices of fetus treatment, for health benefits in later life, are rejected by a medical board and then envoys sent to destroy his laboratory, he becomes depressed, and his wife (Soledad Miranda); not his daughter as claimed in Phil Hardy’s Aurum Horror Encyclopedia, takes him away to an island hoping he will recover from his illness. Instead of recovering he descends further into the pit of madness and depression and ends up committing suicide.His distraught wife vows to reek vengeance on the medical board responsible for his depression, insanity and ultimate death. To get her vengeance she first seduces them with her devilish beauty and then kills them off one by one whilst they believe themselves to be in the throes of ecstasy, when what they really are is in the clutches of death.
This companion piece to Vampyros Lesbos (1970), the films shot back to back mostly in the same locations and with most of the same actors, and same sexadelic music. It is just as beautifully shot as Vampyros Lesbos (1970). These films together form what have got to be the two most erotic films ever made. Jess Franco does not rush his cast through there sex or nudity scenes, the music and the slow moving, biting, sensual bodies, totally hypnotize you throughout the almost three hours total running length. The opening scene with the beautiful Soledad Miranda running down those steps is worth ticket or the price of the video alone.This is one of the earliest films where the killer in the movie is a female, so much for Franco being a misogynist! When this early on he is giving so much power to a female character, which he does so often in his work. As far as I can recall there were only a few horror films around at the time where the killer in the movie was a female, one or two come to mind, but cannot be mentioned due to whole plots being spoilt by giving titles. But Franco was giving this power to women in his films, decades before the sanitized shite of the so-called “post-modern feminist horror” Scream era. Mind you the Scream girls never had to get naked now did they? Discuss!
Jess Franco filmed one of Spain’s first horror films, that film was The Awful Dr Orloff (1961), similar in plot to Georges Franju’s Eyes Without a Face (1959) Franco has remade this film a couple of times since. Franco has also directed several adaptations of the works of The Marquis De Sade, including Justine (1968), Juliette, and Philosophy in the Bedroom (1969). As well as an adaptation of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s Venus in Furs (1969).
Orson Welles Hired Jess Franco as his second unit director for his Shakespearean masterpiece, Falstaff (aka Chimes At Midnight, 1966) for which Franco shot the critically acclaimed battle scenes.
Born Jesus Franco Manera on May 12 1930, Jess Franco made his directorial debut at 29 with the film, “We Are Now 18 (aka Tenemos Diechichico, 1959)” and throughout his career he has contributed to music, scripting, editing, acting, novelising of his work, as well as the role of director. Using dozens of aliases during his career, some of them are – David Touch, J.P. Johnson, Frank Hollman, Clifford Brown and Franco Manera.
Watch out for Soledad’s quiet house guest, parts of which could be seen later in Lamberto Bava’s Macabre/Frozen Terror (1980).
Review By Giovanni Pistachio. Giovanni can be contacted at: –