France, the time of the witchhunts: When a witch is burned, she curses all
those responsible for her demise with her last breath, claiming her daughters
will take revenge ... & Madame De Winter (Karin Field) feels inclined to
take this threat literally. Soon she finds out the witch's 2 daughters, the
open-minded & secretly masturbating Cahtherine (Anne Libert) & the
virtuous Marguerite (Britt Nichols), in a convent, & when testing the
girls' virinity, she finds out that Catherine is no longer pure & therefor
must be a witch.
Soon Catherine is dragged off to Madame De Winter's place, & there she
is tortured by Renfield (Alberto Dalbés), chief torturer of inquisitor
Jeffries (John Foster) & Madame's secret lover. But Madame's husband, the
Marquis (Howard Vernon) strongly objects witchhunts & torture & helps
her escape - unbeknowest to his wife, who soon suspects Renfield of having
freed the girl, him having shown a soft spot for her before. Jeffries now
orders Renfield to bring the girl back, lest he be executed, & really, only
a short time later, Renfield finds her & captures her. But instead of
handing her over to the inquisition, he falls in love with the girl, they have
sex & decide to flee to Holland together.
Their plan however falls apart when they are both captured by Jeffries' men,
& dragged to Madame De Winter's place again, where they are to be slowly
tortured to death as the highlight of one of her celebrations ...
... but what about Marguerite, you might (or might not) ask. Staying at the
convent, she is one day visited by her dead mother, who tells her to take
revenge on those who killed her, & to ensure that, she has also brought a
demon, who rapes Marguerite to make her one of the devil's maids. & being
now in Satan's employ, Marguerite wastes no time & seduces the Mother
Superior (Doris Thomas), who commits suicide immediately afterwards. Marguerite
then flees the convent to join a witches coven where she is taught the arts of
black magic. Once she has perfected that, she soon makes friends with Madame De
Winter & is soon - under false pretence - a guest at her mansion. & at
the celebration where Catherine & Renfield are supposed to be tortured to
death, she manages to take Madame to a private room & have sex with her -
& hexes her so that her flesh dissolves, leaving only her skeleton. Then,
Marguerite manages to get the Marquis to help her free her sister &
Renfield, but as Jeffries finds Madame's skeleton, he is more than unlikely to
let them go, since he is now convinced a witch is in their midst.
A battle ensues with many casualties on both sides, but Marguerite,
Catherine & Renfield manage to get away - but since Renfield was one of those who
helped kill Marguerite's mother, she soon uses her hex on him, too, making
his flesh dissolve. Shocked to find out her sister really is a witch, Catherine
soon calls upon the inquisition - that tried to kill her not long ago -
herself, & soon Marguerite is captured, probed & about to be burned on
the stake. She only has one last request, a kiss from Jeffries, as a token of
forgiveness - but as their lips meet, Jeffries' flesh turns to dust, too ...
A trashy & sleazy witchhunt movie, as only Jess Franco could make them:
openly voyeuristic, with an (un-)healthy interest for sadism & a general
disinterest for realism or historical accuracy, that replaced by a healthy dose
of pulp fiction, & even though it is made on a shoestring, that doesn't keep
Franco from using eccentric camera-angles & trip-like zooming-techniques.
Great fun - even though you might hesitate to admit it even to yourself.