Eugenie was Franco’s follow-up to Justine and I think it was better. Seeing as how the 4K UHD was my first time watching the movie in easily 15 years, it took some time to catch myself up. While I like Franco, my personal tastes tend to skew more Russell. So, how do I reconcile those?
I’m going to keep calling the film Eugenie, Philosophy in the Bourdoir be damned!
One of the key elements that makes Eugenie such an important film in the cult European cinema landscape is its blend of different genres. Franco combines elements of horror, surrealism, and eroticism to create a unique and compelling story. The film follows the titular character, played by Maria Rohm, as she becomes the obsession of a wealthy older man named Dolmance (Jack Taylor). Dolmance introduces Eugenie to his twisted world of sexual desire and experimentation, leading her down a dangerous path that ultimately leads to her destruction.
The film’s surrealist elements are particularly intriguing. Franco incorporates dream sequences and hallucinatory imagery to explore Eugenie’s inner world, as well as the twisted psyche of Dolmance. This approach adds a layer of complexity to the film that elevates it beyond a typical erotic movie. Eugenie becomes a meditation on desire, power, and the dark side of human nature.
Of course, the eroticism in Eugenie is a key draw for many viewers. The film features several explicit scenes of sexual activity, including bondage, whipping, and other forms of BDSM. Franco’s camera lingers on these scenes, making the viewer feel uncomfortable and complicit in the characters’ actions. However, the director also uses these moments to comment on power dynamics and the ways in which people can use sex to manipulate and control one another.
The history of Eugenie
It’s worth noting that Eugenie has been a controversial film since its release. Some critics have accused it of glorifying abusive relationships and promoting misogyny. Others have praised its exploration of taboo subjects and its unique blend of different genres. As a film essayist, I believe that it’s important to engage with both perspectives and consider the ways in which Eugenie challenges our assumptions about sex, power, and desire.
Now, let’s turn to the controversial writing style that targets fans of erotic movies. In many ways, the language used in Eugenie is designed to appeal to a specific type of viewer. The dialogue is often stilted and melodramatic, with characters spouting lines like “I want to possess you completely” and “I am your master, you are my slave.” This type of writing can be off-putting to some viewers, but for others, it’s part of the allure of the film. The over-the-top dialogue and performative acting style create a heightened reality that draws viewers into the story.
Franco’s Philosophy in the Boudoir
Additionally, the film’s use of fetishistic imagery is notable. Franco often focuses on close-ups of objects like whips, chains, and leather boots, emphasizing their tactile qualities and the ways in which they contribute to the characters’ sexual experiences. This type of visual language is common in erotic cinema, but Franco takes it to another level with his surrealistic approach. By blending the fetishistic imagery with dreamlike sequences and hallucinations, he creates a world that is both alluring and unsettling.
Eugenie is a fascinating addition to the cult European cinema canon. Its blend of different genres, including horror, surrealism, and eroticism, creates a complex and thought-provoking story that challenges our assumptions about desire and power. While the film’s explicit sexual content and controversial writing style may not be for everyone, they contribute to its appeal as a cult classic. For fans of erotic movies and those interested in exploring the boundaries of cinema, Eugenie is a must-watch. Franco’s direction, Rohm and Taylor’s performances, and the film’s unique blend of different genres come together to create a cinematic experience that is both unsettling and compelling.
Cult Euro Cinema has merit!
Moreover, Eugenie has had a significant impact on the cult European cinema genre. It has influenced numerous filmmakers, from Pedro Almodovar to Gaspar Noe, and has inspired a wave of erotic cinema that explores taboo subjects and pushes boundaries. Eugenie is a film that rewards repeat viewings, as each time the viewer watches it, they uncover new layers of meaning and interpretation.
However, it’s important to acknowledge the controversies surrounding the film. While some argue that Eugenie is a feminist exploration of taboo subjects, others criticize it for glorifying abusive relationships and promoting misogyny. As a film essayist, it’s essential to engage with both perspectives and acknowledge the film’s flaws while also recognizing its contributions to the genre.
How good did Blue Underground do on the Eugenie 4K UHD?
Blue Underground has upgraded Eugenie to 4K UHD with two new audio commentaries, a Jack Taylor interview and newly expanded stills in a gallery. Hell, I didn’t know how many posters and trailers existed for Eugenie until I started working on the review. Plus, that amazing A/V Quality gets a 66 gig dual layer disc to really get going.
While the 2160p transfer helps that 2.40:1 look true to its origins, I have mixed feelings about that DTS-HD 1.0 master audio track. While it’s true to the film’s origins, I was hoping for the audio to get beefed up from the Blu-ray era to 4K presentation. But for an erotic Jess Franco movie from the late 1960s, I’m willing to give it a pass.
Pick it up to complete your Franco collection. It’s 2023, everyone should have a Jess Franco collection.