Marquis de Sade’s Justine (1969) (Blu-ray/DVD Review)
Directed By: Jess Franco
Starring: Klaus Kinski, Romina Power, Maria Rohm
Rated: UR/Region O/1:66/1080p/Number of Discs 3
Available from Blue Underground
Romina Power (18-year-old daughter of Tyrone Power) stars as Justine, a nubile young virgin cast out of a French orphanage and thrust into a depraved world of prostitution, predatory lesbians, a fugitive murderess (Mercedes McCambridge), bondage, branding, and one supremely sadistic monk (an outrageous performance by Jack Palance). It’s a twisted tale of strange desires, perverse pleasures and the ultimate corruption of innocence as told by the Marquis de Sade. JUSTINE is one of the most lavish and bizarre erotic shockers ever made by the notorious Jess Franco (SUCCUBUS), bursting with wanton nudity, sexual perversion, and an all-star cast that also includes Akim Tamiroff (TOUCH OF EVIL), Maria Rohm (EUGENIE) and Klaus Kinski (NOSFERATU) as the Marquis de Sade. Also known as JUSTINE AND JULIET and the heavily-cut DEADLY SANCTUARY, this infamous film is presented completely restored and uncensored in a gorgeous new 4K transfer from the original camera negative!
What we have here is another one of Jess Franco’s erotic and weird features getting the five-star treatment from the always great Blue Underground. I admit, Jess Franco films have never really been my cup of tea for one reason or another, but when they get a release as cool as this, you can’t help but take notice. This is a tale of two sisters that catches your attention, but still seems to go off into those areas that you almost always see and expect from a Jess Franco movie. Some will hear that and love it, while others who aren’t as into the Franco stuff as others might just cast it off as being that key lime pie of a film that they aren’t really into the cinematic taste of. The movie offers up the smut, but it also offers up a few very stylish scenes that mix in blood as well as other things for an overall experience that I’m sure a lot of you will get a kick out of, especially with it looking as good overall as it comes across looking here thanks to Blue Underground. Even if you find a movie like this to not be something you normally are all that into, you still won’t be able to not appreciate the time put into this and the look.
One thing I do believe everyone will be able to appreciate is Klaus Kinski. He is one of the best things about this movie and he shines every time he is on the screen, as he always does in about all the movies he is in. I do think I’d be more open to the shorter cut of this film, as I do tend to think a tighter Franco film is always the better Franco film, but the more time you get with the likes of Klaus Kinski and looking at the women of the film, the better I suppose! If you dig Jess Franco movies, then I’m sure you will be into the weird and erotic world this movie creates. If you aren’t, then I don’t think this one does anything different to make you want to start. This is still a great release for the film, so if you are a fan you will want to certainly add this to your collection, but if you are just looking for a good film, then you may find this Franco romp a bit hard to get into and appreciate. Then again, all his stuff seems like art films to me regardless of how erotic they might be, so I’m a bit more forgiving of the actual plots and such by now than most I’m sure.
– ‘The Perils And Pleasures Of Justine’ – Interviews with Co-Writer/Director Jess Franco and Producer Harry Alan Towers
– ‘Stephen Thrower on JUSTINE’ – Interview with the author of ‘Murderous Passions: The Delirious Cinema of Jesus Franco’
– French Trailer
– Poster & Still Gallery
– BONUS Collectible Booklet includes writing by author Stephen Thrower
– BONUS CD – JUSTINE Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Bruno Nicolai
Quality of Transfer: 98%