Immoral Women – DVD Review

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Walerian Borowczyk

Marina Pierro….Margherita Luti
Gaelle Legrand….Marceline Cain
Pascale Christophe….Marie
Francois Guetary….Raphael Sanzio
Jean-Claude Dreyfus….Bini
Jean Martinelli….Pope

Severin Films presents Immoral Women. Screenplay by Walerian Borowczyk. Running time: 115 minutes. Not Rated. Theatrical release 1979. DVD released Jan. 30, 2007.

The Movie
Back in the glory days of the late ’80s, Cinemax After Dark (a.k.a. Skinamax) presented a brand of softcore filmmaking that a few termed Eurotique. They attempted extra hard to be classy in their erotic filmmaking. They did more than turn on the camera and have the cast screw. Even the creepiest of Emmanuelle movies took a few minutes to properly light the bedroom or jungle floor action. But those films disappeared when the pay channels decided to run the latest Vivid releases with the penetration and the boners removed. Immoral Women features three short films directed by the late Walerian Borowczyk. He’s probably best known in America for Emmanuelle V starring Penthouse Pet Monique Gabrielle. While I’m unsure if Immoral Woman played on Cinemax in between showings of Sylvia Kristel epics, it starts off like it belongs.

“Margherita,” the first film, is about a Renaissance era model who hooks up with a top artist. She’s doesn’t mind allowing him to work her body after the paint brushes have been put down. She also has to deal with the comical advances of a rich patron of the arts. Actress Marina Pierro is very tempting in the role of Margherita. She dazzles while flouncing around in a sheer top when she’s not just naked. The only thing thinner than her shirt is the gauze filter over the lens that makes everything glow and feel classy. The short is nearly an hour long. If they’d added 20 minutes, it could have worked as a solo feature. And most of those minutes could have just consisted of Pierro’s ass. But this is more than a cheesy vignette from a Playboy Playmate video. Margherita is far from innocent in her intentions to the two gentlemen. There’s a shock to the conclusion. But the finale is not that gruesome compared the films to follow.

“Marceline,” the second shortie, features a simple kinda gal who loves her fluffy white rabbit. Her uptight parents don’t appreciate her natural ways. Instead of washing her hands, Marceline merely licks them clean. She only eats rabbit food at the dinner table. She’s not becoming the proper society gal. The folks seek a harsh method for breaking the bond between Marceline and the rabbit. She returns the harsh therapy to those who plotted to tame her. Marceline is played by Gaëlle Legrand. She has reddish curly hair that makes her look like the lead in the Euro cast of Annie. Her midnight visit to the slaughterhouse for an encounter with a black butcher in the lamb cage is really unsettling. This is one of those scenes that gets run in a Woman’s Studies class to show evil filmmaking. The film’s payoff makes is far from a fluffy nudie plot. There’s a lot of blood in the final minutes.

The final and shortest of the shorts is Marie. We’re in modern times following a woman who just wants to buy a used book. But before she can get into the store she’s abducted in broad daylight. For the longest time, her husband is clueless to the fate of his wife. He’s pretty inept in the ransom process. There’s zero seduction between the wife and her captor. When he decides to force himself on her, it’s not the fuzzy carnality of “Margherita.” There’s nothing erotic about this segment. It’s a very grim thriller as the wife fears for her life. It’s nice that her dog sniffs out his owner and attempts to save the day. But it’s far from an episode of Lassie. You’ll want to take a shower after Marie, but for the wrong reasons.

Immoral Women promises an evening of Skinamax fun, but it devolves into uncomfortable erotica. While Margherita is perfect for the title, the other two women aren’t that immoral. The films are very edgy in their tone. It’s not that erotic unless you’re Dario Argento. He might be able to keep his arousal in the aftermath. Be warned, you won’t be giving yourself a happy ending as Immoral Women wraps up.


The picture is 1.66:1 anamorphic. The picture transfer is clean. It’s hard to argue about sharpness since there’s a soft focus on so much of the action to give it the Eurotique flair.

The soundtrack is Dolby Digital Mono in English and French. The English dub is professional so it lacks the chuckle factor. The subtitles are in English.

Walerian Borowczyk Biography is a typed up story of the director’s career. He was a respected experimental filmmaker who ended up getting stuck making erotic films since they paid the bills. Also turns out that his assistant did most of the work on Emmanuelle V.

The Trailer (2:02) shows how they sold the film using dissolving stills instead of clips. it makes everything look classy without hinting at the gruesome endings.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Immoral Women
(OUT OF 10)






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