Saturday, April 24, 2010

Tale of two Eugénies

Mind the image - it looks like something that would be more at home at Pure Lusts Entraps than here, right? Loosely based on the novella by the Marquis de Sade - you can call it "Eugénie de Franval" or simply, Incest (pretty much like the movie - Eugénie de Sade titulates with softcore pornography and makes an attempt to shock us with lustful violence.

Directed by Jess Franco, this adaptation stars Susan Korday (Soledad Miranda) and Paul Muller as the incestuous duo. Unlike the novella by de Sade, Franco sets his sordid tale in the middle of the 20th century - like what  Pier Paolo Pasolini did with Salò, the adaptation to The 120 Days of Sodom.

At first I was a little bothered how anyone could adapt "Eugénie de Franval." Mostly because the story deals with the incestuous acts of the father and daughter characters. Franco's movie, however, adds turns M. de Franval into Albert Radeck de Franval (I can't for the life of me remember if his name was ever uttered in the story), who has sole custody of his step-daughter, Eugénie, whose mother died shortly after child birth. And instead of the father seducing his daughter, the roles are reversed. And rather just frolicking about, having sex with a devil-may-care attitude, Albert Radeck de Franval decides to steer his step-daughter into sweet decadence of murder. 

That's where I had to draw the line. The jealousy, the betrayal - all that other added in stuff, I could hack, but murdering people for sexual thrills, really?! While it isn't the worst adaptation I've seen, it isn't the best either. I have the feeling that the movie merely borrowed a piece of the original plot along with character names in order to milk the Marquis de Sade name. I mean, who in their right minds would wanna watch a movie like this if it wasn't based on a book by de Sade?

No comments:

Post a Comment