The Sadist of Notre Dame
Action / Horror
The Sadist of Notre Dame
Action / Horror
Available in: 720p.BluRay
WEB: same quality as BluRay, but ripped earlier from a streaming service
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An ex-priest escapes from an asylum and kills people in God's name. This is a re-edited Spanish-language version of L'éventreur de Notre-Dame (1975) and XXX version Sexorcismes (1975) with newly shot scenes..
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
Oct 14, 2021 at 12:00 AM
grade Movie Reviews
This film puts meat on the bones of Jess Franco's 'Demoniac' (1975) in that the notorious director, never happy with the restrictions placed on his earlier production, revisits his character of Vogel and shapes the story into something more to his liking. One of the inherent joys of being a fan of Uncle Jess is constantly rediscovering new/old things. What other director would have the freedom to re-edit a film from four years earlier? And yet, that is exactly what he did - combed through the scenes, re-dubbed them, re-named some characters, moved scenes around and added 25 minutes of new material.We begin with such newly filmed sequences featuring Vogel, seemingly desolate and outcast, existing in the gutters and backstreets of Paris, a diminutive, ramshackle outsider shuffling through freezing streets unseen by respectable passers-by. After he is (improbably, perhaps) propositioned by a working girl, his latent rage and religious fervour gains hold and she is quickly done away with. This and subsequent killings are beautifully, unspectacularly shot, with Vogel emerging from night-time shadows that have long been his stomping ground. The city has rarely been a creepier, lonelier place (some of these scenes might have been shot in the same locations as Franco's earlier 'Death Avenger of Soho.' They certainly look similar, and locations included Paris and Portugal, so it is possible).I have always felt that Franco is a pretty wooden actor. It is amusing and self-deprecating of him to cast himself usually as perverts and lunatics in what are little more than cameos most of the time. Here though, he is not only the main character (Vincent Price was originally envisaged), but he shines. His weariness, his looks of longing/revulsion at Lina Romay's Anne are striking, and his general beaten demeanour is terrifically conveyed. He is at one with the bleakness that surrounds him. And yet his rage - a shuddering, frantic, desperate violence - is expertly balanced. The performance was always there, but with this revisit, Jess has added much to it, and the result propels this onto the top tier of my favourite Franco productions.It isn't all great of course: the elongated, passionless orgy scene is still present (although may have been trimmed). A whirl of pale limbs set to Daniel White's out-of-place budget jazz dirge - in fact, White's work here is patchy, reminiscent in some places of 'Zombie Lake's cheap keyboard plonkings. It is not surprising that the film meanders, also; this is, after all, the director indulging himself.I am not familiar enough with the original material to identify where edits have taken place, what has been taken out and what has been added. But I do know that this is the definitive version of Franco's story. The characters are fleshed out, the beginning and the ending of the film have been massively improved, and Franco himself must take huge credit for a terrific central performance. An excellent film.
Third time's not the charm.
In 1975, prolific Spanish film-maker Jess Franco directed sleazy horror L'éventreur de Notre-Dame (AKA Exorcism), also releasing a XXX version called Sexorcism which featured much more graphic sex scenes (several members of the original cast getting in on the fun, including Franco himself!). Four years later, Franco released a third version of the film, The Sadist of Notre Dame, re-edited with additional footage and a different storyline, but none of the explicit sex.Franco plays ex-communicated priest Mathis Vogel, recently released from an asylum, who saves sinners by stabbing them to death with his switch-blade. First to go is a prostitute who makes the mistake of offering him her wares, followed soon after by a young girl walking home alone after an evening of bad disco dancing. Vogel writes a fictionalised account of his slayings, offering his story to a trashy sado-masochistic magazine published by Pierre de Franval (Pierre Taylou) and his assistant Anne (Franco muse Lina Romay), who participates in Satanic orgies at the chateau of a wealthy countess (France Nicolas). Following Anne to one of her depraved parties, Vogel sets about punishing the participants for their sins.Franco can usually be relied upon for either graphic sex or graphic violence, and occasionally both; failing that, he tends to make his films plain weird or spectacularly bad. Barring some full frontal female nudity, The Sadist of Notre Dame is a relatively reserved film, the stabbings fairly free of gore and the sexy stuff strictly soft-core, and the film is neither bizarre enough or rubbish enough to appeal to fans of Z-grade cult cinema. To be fair, it's never boring, but when one invests time in a Franco film, one expects certain boxes to be ticked, and they aren't on this occasion.I've not seen Exorcism yet, so I can't say how that film compares, but I have checked out an un-dubbed copy of Sexorcism and can confirm that Franco and company don't hold back when it comes to the naughty stuff.
Jess Franco on the prowl in Paris
Deranged and defrocked former priest Mathis Vogel (a creepy and convincing portrayal by Jess Franco, who also wrote and directed) gets released from an asylum and subsequently embarks on a grisly killing spree in which he brutally murders any women he perceives to be sinful harlots in the seedier areas of Paris, France.Franco relates the engrossingly sordid story at a gradual pace, ably crafts and maintains an appropriately seamy tone, takes some pointed stabs at religious hypocrisy and fanaticism, makes nice use of various grimy locations, and delivers a satisfying smattering of tasty female nudity along with some hot lesbian lovemaking and a pleasingly protracted group orgy set piece. Moreover, Franco astutely nails the anguish of his tormented character. Franco regulars Lina Romay and Monica Swinn are both also on hand to bare their lovely bodies. Kudos are also in order for Raymond Heil's stark cinematography and Daniel White's funky-wonky avant-garde jazz score. Recommended viewing for Franco fans.
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