Kristel 1970s Collection (Playing
(1978/Cult Epics Box Set)/Whore
(1991/TriMark/Via Vision/Imprint Region Free Import/all Blu-rays)
B Sound: B- Extras: C+/B/B- Films: C+/C+/B-/B-/C+/C+
Import Blu-ray is now only available from our friends at Via Vision
in Australia, is Region Free, can play on all 4K and Blu-ray players
and can be ordered from the link below.
for a new set of erotic dramas and sometimes, comedies, that are at
least ambitious, even if they do not always work...
from the enduring B-movie filmmaker who never had issues with adding
sex to his genre films, but in this film, he tries to go only for sex
and then an a modernized update of Hitchcock's Rope
by way of De Sade. Needless to say Hitchcock had nothing to worry
about and the film lands up being all over the place in no memorable
way. It is sexy? The few times it starts to be, something happens
to ruin it.
add to the oddness, the mostly unknown actors a joined by
already-established Robert Forrester, here under another name.
Running a long 87 minutes, he is joined by Lina Romay, Jasmina Bell
(under the name Elisa Vela for some reason) and Rocio Freixas. They
have some chemistry at times, but what happens is what Franco implied
in his many previous films are more explicit here and that backfires.
Still, it is a curio, but just don't expect much.
(per the press
In The Land Of Franco, Part 1:
Stephen Thrower Tours Multiple Franco Locations in Portugal, When
Donald Met Jess and Lina, Part
1: Filmmaker Donald Farmer Interviews the Power Couple in 1993 and
Interview with Stephen Thrower, Author of ''Murderous
Passions & Flowers of Perversion - The Delirious Cinema of Jesus
Sylvia Kristel 1970s Collection
is a surprisingly thorough set of films featuring the Emmanuel
star, sometimes not for long, that goes way out of its way to show
that she was not a 'XXX' or 'pron(o) star' but a legitimate actress
and star who happened to have the insanely, unexpectedly, massive
international feature film hit where she played the ultra-sexual
woman of the title. Yes, she has sex at times in these films, but
they are not hardcore or semi-hardcore productions per se.
(1975) also wants to deal with S&M sexual situations as Franco's
does, but again, the filmmaker loses control of his film (though Tim
Lucas' audio commentary does its best to sort out this mess; he likes
this film much more than this critic) and the film is choppy
throughout its longer 113 minutes. Kristel looks great (in dual
roles?) and she has Jean-Louis Trignant as her co-star, but this
becomes too convoluted and kills any suspension of disbelief.
things worse is that the director decides to get writerly during his
narrative, throwing the film off more in a way it also never recovers
from and the worst part comes from an idiotic moments where he
decides to attack and insult Alain Resnais's Last
Year At Marienbad
(1961) proving my adage that you should never attack a great film,
especially when yours is no where near as good. In this case, it is
one of Resnais' classics and one of the most influential films ever
made. All should have quit while they were ahead.
next two films are Dutch productions, they are the best two in the
set and Kristel just happens to have Rutger Hauer earlier in his
career as her co-star in both.
(1978) is a WWII drama about the Nazis gone insane late in the war
and though there are some moments that have not aged well or dated
here and there, the majority of the film is as relevant as ever and
focuses on the Dutch resistance, also notable for offering the debut
film of the amazing Renee Soutendijk, later a huge European actress
who also appeared in key, early Paul Verhoeven
actually plays a Nazi, but there is a strong cast of other actors you
likely have never heard of before and they do a great job here.
Kristel is very good here, proving the box set's intent that she was
not strictly a XXX/hardcore star by any means, started as otherwise
and continued as a real actress despite the insane international
success of the somewhat overrated Emmanuel.
and Kristel as just as good in Paul de Lussanet's
(1978) taking place in the late 1900s and involves a mysterious rich
man (Hauer) who comes to a town where one of its favorite young
people have committed suicide. His arrival only makes an off-setting
situation more so and he starts to act eccentric himself. Based in
Knut Hamsun's key Dutch novel, the director wrote the screenplay
adaption on his own and the film is very interesting.
also is apparently a very faithful adaption and the cast is as good
as the film looks good, authentic, naturalistic (the Director of
Photography is Robbie Muller) and the result is another key Dutch
film Kristel and Hauer happened to make together. That makes the two
Dutch films here worth getting the whole set for, especially if you
are a serious film fan or a fan of Kristel and Hauer.
much explicit sex in it, but it is also a coming of age comedy with
Kristel as the object of fascination for a young German boy
(Ekkehardt Belle) interested in many women, but especially her. That
would have been enough for a good film, but the script and makers go
way overboard in the 'stupid comedy' department and the film becomes
a mess early in a way it never recovers from. Too embarrassing to
explain how bad, you'll have to see it yourself if you are really
curious, but it is a big miss that might have been funnier then,
way, I would have thought the same thing upon original release and
though this has its fans, it has aged badly just the same and is the
weakest entry in the set.
especially with this Limited Edition version and include new 2K HD
Transfers (from original 35mm film elements) and restoration,
Feature-Length Audio Commentaries by Tim Lucas (who is a huge help in
despite its many issues; he seems to be a fan), Jeremy Richey
and Peter W. Verstraten (1943,
new and vintage interviews with cast & crew, exceptionally
compiled Poster & Photo Galleries, Original Theatrical Trailers
and Limited Edition of 2500/1000 (BD/DVD) copies includes 40-Page
illustrated booklet written by Jeremy Richey and Poster with Art by
a late career hit for the often controversial British filmmaker who
had not made a big-budget film since Altered
a decade earlier. It started when he was appalled by the massive
commercial success of Gary Marshall's Pretty
(1990) for Touchstone/Disney and felt that its tale of a safe world
of hookers who do not get AIDS or beaten all the time and happen to
meet rich men who look like Richard Gere was insulting, absurd and
even a dangerous myth.
choice for the title woman (though other hookers appear in the film)
is longtime Nicolas Roeg muse and risk-taker Theresa Russell (no
relation to the director) who had already visited some of this
territory for her big studio film Impulse
and had a body that could more than compete with Julia Roberts. So
if they were going to counter their issues with the Gere/Roberts hit,
they could either do a very stark film in all seriousness or with
some dark humor. Instead, they go the humor route, add absurdity and
the results are not what was intended.
Miss Russell gets to state some blunt truths and facts about men,
sexuality, male dominance mentality and how selfish men make the
living hell sex workers go though possible, but she does this as she
keeps breaking the fourth wall (talking directly to the audience) all
the time and it breaks up the film too much. She also plays the
character as very stupid, much more than should have been done here
and that undermines the film further.
does earn its NC-17 rating for language, nudity and sexual violence,
but that is juxtaposed with too many off and even false-ringing
moments that you can see this became a curio thanks to the
Gere/Roberts film and the fact 99% of movie theaters in the U.S.
would not play it. As
a result, TriMark had a giant moneymaker thanks to the home videos
stores who would carry it as some of the video chains even passed on
while some of it does hold up and some points made are as relevant as
ever, other moments really date this and you can tell it was made by
too many men, a problem in itself in trying to tell about the perils
women face on the streets. Also odd is a combination of reggae music
(the opening song is an explicit song about having hardcore casual
sex) and then Antonio Fargas is cast as a street person of some sort
who is very wise and keeps giving our 'heroine' advice.
was known worldwide at this point for playing 'Huggy Bear' on the hit
TV show Starsky & Hutch, an Aaron Spelling co-production
that became an international hit with Fargas as the ultimate pimp
with a heart of gold. Too bad that sounds more like a character
suited for the Pretty Woman world than this film, but the was
obviously picked due to this connection to that show. It does not
subvert or overturn that TV character and combining that with this
new character that is more street raw with plenty of reggae is not
the response to any 'white nationalism' or 'white supremacy' or even
'U.S. imperialism' the director might have thought he was confronting
with these choices. Deep in the Rap/Hip Hop era we are in now, music
from the U.S., you can see how this approach backfired.
that said, it is worth seeing for Theresa Russell's work here if you
can stand the film. The director was reportedly drinking alcohol
more and more, so this was his last major hurrah before his
long-standing career dropped off. Now, it is finally on Blu-ray for
you to decide.
are also many and most are brand new, debuting with this release,
including (per the press release): NEW Audio commentary by film
critics Alexandra Heller-Nicholas & Josh Nelson
interview with actress Theresa Russell
interview with actress Ginger Lynn
interview with writer Deborah Dalton
Provocateur: X-rated auteur Bruce La Bruce on Ken
Legitimate and Illegitimate Women in Ken
video essay by author/critic Kat Ellinger
an Original Theatrical Trailer
for playback performance. The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition
image on Pleasure
is from a new 4K scan of the 35mm negative and looks pretty good
throughout with little to complain about, including a slightly dark
look, but consistent color as shot in 2-perf Techniscope. The
discs all come from new 2K scans and also look pretty good, though
some can be a little weaker at points that others. The 1080p 2.35 X
1 digital High Definition image transfer on Fire
is about as good, is shot in a more elaborate European style, has
some of the same sexual thematics by coincidence and was shot on 35mm
in real anamorphic Panavision. I liked its color and clarity a
little more by way of Panavision being the higher-definition format.
other three Kristel
films are here in color, 1080p 1.66 X 1 digital High Definition image
transfers that can also show the age of the materials used at times,
but the two Rutger Hauer co-star films are stylized period pieces,
colorful and looking sometimes as silly as its storyline. Color is
accurate and looks good, as does depth and detail. The Hauer films
are two fo the best-looking film he or Kristel ever made.
leaves the 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on
which looks like a slightly older HD master and can also show the age
of the materials used, yet it still has plenty of shots that look
good and color can be very pronounced.
the films were released in theatrical monophonic sound, save Whore,
which was in old Dolby A-type analog stereo with mono surrounds,
represented here in lossless PCM 2.0 Stereo. You can try various
versions fo Pro Logic if you have a home theater system until you get
the sound that plays back best for you. Cries
is here in lossless Spanish PCM 2.0 Mono, the same kind of soundtrack
on all four Kristel films, plus they also offer lossless DTS-HD MA
(Master Audio) 2.0 Mono mixes.
has both codecs in French, Pastorale
have both in Dutch and Julia
has both in German, plus an English-language dub in PCM 2.0 Mono. I
usually liked the DTS more than the PCM in all four cases, but they
are all still originally mono and this is as good as any fo these
films are likely ever going to sound and that's not a bad thing.
order the Whore
Region Free Blu-ray import,
go to this link: