Premiere - 05/01/2005
"[A]n exhilarating trip for bargain-basement surrealists."
This bizarre European jazz-horror film is named after the controversial novel by Leopold Sacher Masoch, but the similarities end with the title. James Darren stars as Jimmy, a mixed-up trumpet player who finds the body of a beautiful woman, Wanda (Maria Rohm), washed up in the surf. He remembers her from a decadent party some years (or was it days') before. In his flashback, she is mauled by some rich, decadent freaks named Ahmed (Klaus Kinski), Olga (Margaret Lee) and Kapp (Dennis Price). Jimmy splits for Carnivale in Rio, and jams with Manfred Mann, and soul-singing girlfriend Rita (Barbara McNair) until Wanda turns up alive (or is she') Jimmy falls for her, and they have lots of sex, after which she stalks, seduces, and kills those responsible for her death. The jilted Rita gets sad and leaves Rio, but still sings the Venus in Furs theme song, and there's a neat shock ending. This acid-soaked Euro-sex time capsule is even weirder than it sounds, thanks to the uncompromisingly warped vision of director Jess Franco. This is considered the best of a string of films he directed for Harry Allan Towers.