Countess Perverse (1973)
Review by Jude Felton
The title of a film can sometimes be enough to sell it you, and Countess Perverse is one of those films. Come on folks, what is not to draw you in? Ok, I will give you a little more. It’s a Jess Franco film, Lina Romay is in it, there’s more naked flesh than you can shake a stick at and there’s a healthy dose of cannibalism. Good enough for you? You might want to cast your eyes away from the scary 70s’ groin rugs, but aside from that we’re all good, right?
In this sleazy joy from 1973 the plot is really secondary to the vast amount of naked flesh on screen, That’s never a bad thing I assure you, but for the sake of review purposes I will give you the lowdown on the story here.
A groovy couple discovers a young woman who has been washed up on the beach. Upon helping her, the young woman begins to tell of the horrors she uncovered whilst looking for her sister. It seems she went to a nearby island, on which another incredibly horny couple take pride in getting down and dirty with their guests, then hunt them down (naked of course) and finish it all off by cooking and eating their prey. Usually this means serving up their previous victim to their next potential victim. It’s all gloriously sleazy stuff.
If anything the story does take a bit of time to really get going, but I can honestly say that it is well worth it. This is 78 minutes of your time that you will want to relive time and time again. They don’t make films like this anymore, even though many try, and Jess Franco’s camera is firmly on booty detail here. His shots linger on the bodies of all involved, especially his then lover, Lina Romay. You won’t hear me complaining though; far from it.
Countess Perverse may be all about the sleaze and flesh, but it is not a particularly bloody or gory movie. Sure, you get yourself some cooked victims and the odd head on the wall, but on the whole the movie is about the tone and atmosphere. It is quite wonderful. I’m also fairly sure that you won’t be able to get the score out of your head either.
With this release of Countess Perverse, Mondo Macabre, whose last DVD was the decent if not spectacular The Girl in Room 2A, have really come up trumps with this version. The film looks absolutely stunning on DVD, with the film receiving a brand new anamorphic transfer. It really does pop off the screen.
Now, I am the first to admit that I am not an expert on Franco’s films, but I am aware that Countess Perverse has been previously released with differing cuts, one of which having more sex in. I am quite happy with this Director's cut though, which seems to be the definitive cut. Whatever the case may be, this looks great, has a cohesive plot and is all around fine entertainment. If only all companies gave their releases the love and attention that Mondo Macabro has given theirs.
I think it goes without saying, although I am saying it, that Countess Perverse comes highly recommended.
Countess Perverse is released on DVD on June 12th by Mondo Macabro.