DVD Review: Countess Perverse



Countess Perverse, originally titled La Comptesse Perverse was directed by the infamous Jess Franco in 1973 and released a year later. Pulling from the 1924 short story “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell, Franco puts a unique twist on the story that has been cinematically adapted several times.

Though Franco is a Spaniard, Perverse is a French language film. The story opens with a couple (Robert Woods and Tania Busselier) finding a stark naked woman unconscious on the beach. They bring her inside where she shares the horrific story about how she went to an island looking for her twin sister. On the island she meets Count Rabor (Howard Vernon) and Countess Ivanna (Alice Arno) who take her in and wine and dine her and seduce her into a three-way. Yes, there is lots of nudity and soft-core sex scenes in this film. The next day they let her loose with the intent to hunt her down and kill her. Luckily she escaped. Unluckily, she escaped to the couple that bring the Count and Countess their women. So they knock her out and bring her back.

Later the couple is asked to bring another woman to the island, enter Silvia (Lina Romay). However Bob (Woods) falls for this young voluptuous woman and is hesitant about delivering her to the lion’s den. But he does and the viewer watches as Silvia goes through the same thing as the last victim: Dinner, sex and death. But Bob realize he loves Silvia and heads to the island to save her, but will he be too late?

Perverse is basically a soft core porn film with a dark twisted cannibalistic story. For a ’70s low budget B-porn/horror film it’s rather impressive how well produced this film is. The locations are stunning both in the architecture of the buildings and the natural landscape. There are many breathtaking moments in the film in this respect. Also, the acting in the film is very good. Vernon is fantastic as the thoroughly creepy Rabor.

There is a great moment where Silvia is following a strange sound. She enters a room and sees a naked woman laid out on a table. While the Countess watches, Rabor saws away at the dead woman’s neck. He sees Silvia enter and in a very calm and unnervingly collected tone asks her to come help because “the human head is so difficult to cut off.” You can see in Silvia’s eyes that she is having trouble processing this information up until she faints. It’s a perfectly creepy scene. The ending of the film is strange however the last line is perfect.

Apparently the film had more sex scenes added later to completely turn it into a porn film to make it more marketable. This DVD release is the Director’s Cut showing the film as it was meant to be seen.

The film is presented in a 1.33:1 full screen format and 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo. This remastered film looks great. Watching this DVD you’d never guess it was such a low budget film. And the score is kind of awesome though slightly repetative.

You get a couple text based features: About The Film gives some interesting background on the production and release of the film and Cast And Crew Profiles are just what you’d expect them to be, but kind of interesting. Robert Woods Interview: (16 min.) is a pretty good interview. He shares some interesting anecdotes. Stephen Thrower interview: (16 min.) He is a film critic and Franco expert who shares an interesting history of the filmmaker during this time in his life and career.

It definitely takes a certain kind of person to enjoy a Jess Franco film. Especially one like Countess Perverse which is a basically a soft-core porn film with a cannibal horror theme. One minute you have a full nude girl on girl action scene, the next moment people are sitting around eating human flesh. There’s a lot going on in this film. However the acting is surprisingly good and the locations are fantastic. If you’re up for an adventure this might be worth checking out.

Mondo Macabro presents Countess Perverse. Written by Jess Franco and Elisabeth Ledu de Nesle. Directed by: Jess Franco. Starring: Alice Arno, Lina Romay, Howard Vernon, Robert Woods and Tania Busselier. Running time: 78 min. Rating: Not Rated. Released: June, 12 2012. Available at Amazon.com.





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