Tuesday, December 3, 2013

How To Seduce A Virgin (DVD Review) - Mondo Macabro

Directed By: Jess Franco
Written By: Jess Franco, Alain Petit
Starring: Lina Romay, Alice Arno, Robert Woods
Color/87 Minutes/Not Rated
Region 1

The Film
The beautiful and rich Countess Martine has just been released from a stay in an asylum after castrating her former lover. Upon returning home to her coast-side villa, she enters the basement, home to her sexual fantasies and statues of human victims, giving us small but powerful glimpse into this woman's deranged world. Her husband plays into her sick desires as he is well aware that she is the money of the relationship and living his luxurious life style without her. 

He devises a plan for her to seduce Cecile, the teenage virginal daughter of their equally rich neighbors. They offer to let Cecile stay at their home while her parents go away on a business trip, to which Cecile's parents reluctantly agree. Cecile is certainly not innocent, as she regularly pleasures herself with her windows wide open, she is perhaps a bit of an exhibitionist but she is far from experienced and Martine wants her. As their plan begins to unfold Cecile gets in close with Martine's husband and the plan doesn't quite go as planned. 

Jess Franco is a director who may be equally loved and maligned, and the quality of his film definitely run the gamet from garbage to great. HOW TO SEDUCE A VIRGIN is an erotic horror film, that relies heavily on it's eye candy from star Alice Arno and Franco's own lover and frequent collaborator Lina Romay as the silent (and weird) servant, of course along with Tania Busselier as Cecile who would also work with Franco on The Countess Perverse from 1974. HOW TO SEDUCE A VIRGIN features a typical jazzy score that Franco loved to use and plenty of nudity. It is a simple story that makes for an entertaining piece of Euro-sleaze, and I love my Euro-sleaze and few do it as good as Franco did it.

 The Audio & Video
 HOW TO SEDUCE A VIRGIN is delivered on DVD by Mondo Macabro in an attractive and clean 1.33:1 full screen transfer. Picture quality is strong with natural skin tones and gorgeous color reproduction, specifically the scenes with heavy doses of colored lighting. There is a single instance of wobble from the picture towards the end of the film. Audio is also strong with a 2.0 mix in French with optional English subtitles which have been newly created. Overall the A/V presentation on this disc is quite good as you can readily expect from Mondo Macabro.

The Extras
Special features include:
-Interview with writer Alain Petit
-Introduction by film critic Stephen Thrower
-Production notes
-Mondo Macabro previews  

The Bottom Line

Mondo Macabro commonly does great things with their releases, bringing largely forgotten titles back to the masses in attractive packages and they've done so again here with HOW TO SEDUCE A VIRGIN. More Jess Franco on DVD is not a bad thing and this movie is a good one. If you find yourself a fan of Euro-sleaze you'll find this release as a great addition to your collection.


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