The more of Jess Franco’s films I watch, the more impressed I become. The man had a true eye for cinema. I would have loved to have seen some of his work when it was first released; I can only imagine the response it received. SHE KILLED IN ECSTASY is considered one of Franco’s pinnacle works, and I can see why. The film is an exotic, visual feast, and the story is rife with passion and drama. If you’ve never experienced this film before, now is the time to give it a look.
If you are not familiar with SHE KILLED IN ECSTASY, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Severin Films:
For his follow-up to VAMPYROS LESBOS, writer/director Jess Franco delivered perhaps his most twisted shocker of the 70s: In what fans and critics consider to be her greatest role, the luscious Soledad Miranda in one of her final performances before her tragic death stars as the vengeful widow who seduces then murders the men and women responsible for her husband’s suicide. Howard Vernon (THE AWFUL DR. ORLOFF), Paul Muller (BARBED WIRE DOLLS), Ewa Strömberg (VAMPYROS LESBOS) and Jess himself co-star in this EuroCult classic featuring another epic ‘sexadelic’ lounge score by Manfred Hübler & Siegfried Schwab now remastered in HD and featuring all-new Extras. It’s Franco at his perversely erotic best, like you’ve never seen or heard it before!
The erotic overtones in this film are astounding, but they are not what make it so spectacular. This is a revenge-thriller that allows actress Soledad Miranda to shine and display her superb acting abilities. I’ve read reviews where people didn’t think she portrayed enough emotion in her films; I am the exact opposite. I think she was destined to become a legendary star.
SHE KILLED IN ECSTASY is shot very well and is a perfect example of Franco’s unique style of cinema. His use of contrasting colors in his set pieces and costumes help create the mood of his films. Likewise, he has a great eye for lighting, which helps heighten the tone for each scene as well.
The acting is pretty good this time around, much better than in VAMPYROS LESBOS. Miranda once again joins Ewa Stromberg onscreen, and she does a stellar job. The rest of the cast is great, too, including Jess himself who portrays Dr. Donen.
The special effects are lacking, however, and the blood looks like ketchup. I was disappointed there was not more of it, either…especially when Miranda’s character slits throats and castrates the men. I was expecting a veritable bloodbath.
Still, that is my only complaint about SHE KILLED IN ECSTASY. Otherwise, it’s a heck of a film, and fans of Franco should consider this a must-have. The Blu-ray picture looks great and the sound is perfect. Snag the Special Limited 2-Disc Collector’s Edition if you can; in addition to the HD film, it contains several Special Features, including:
* German Trailer
* Jess Killed In Ecstasy: Interview With Writer/Director Jess Franco
* Sublime Soledad: Interview With Soledad Miranda Historian Amy Brown
* Stephen Thrower On She Killed In Ecstasy: Interview With Author Of Murderous Passions
* The Delirious Cinema of Jess Franco
* Paul Muller on Jess Franco: Interview With frequent Franco Star
* Vampyros Lesbos/She Killed In Ecstasy Soundtrack CD