The film begins with a dead man, Antonio (Antonio Mayans) swimming in a
pool, while his servant, the retarded Fenul (Juan Soler) plays the guitar
sitting next to it.
Flashback to the previous day: Antonio brings home
his friend Julia (Lina Romay), with whom he has a sexual relationship,
much to the dismay of his maid Marta (Roxío Freixas), with whom he has a
sexual relationship as well. Tensions are quickly relieved when the women
get very friendly with each other. Then Antonio's wife Martina (Elisa
Vela) returns home from a mental institution, where she was treated for
nymphomania and schizophrenia. From what it looks like though, they didn't
find a handle for her nymphomania, as she soon engages in threeway sex
with her husband and Julia. After that, she retreats with Julia while her
husband visits Marta in her room, to fuck her. All of a sudden, Martina
and Julia show up again, and Martina brutally stabs Marta to death.
Judging from her husband's lack of reatcion, this must have happened more
often, and indeed, he and Martina always did get a kick from killing
people, and now they invite Julia to take part in their perversions. Julia
agrees all to willingly, but you have to understand here that Julia has
actually conspired with Antonio to kill Martina. Then though, during sex,
Martina and Julia actually strangle Antonio to death. Then they have sex
right next to his dead body. Thing is, Martina and Julia have actually met
in the mental institution and conspired to kill Antonio for years. They
have been lovers all these time, but Martina always felt Antonio was
holding her back.
In the end, they leave relieved, leaving retarded
Fenul to take care of the body, like he has disposed of so many bodies
from Martina's sexual games before that one.
de Placer might not have too much to offer, it's basically a stroll
through many of the Marquis de Sade's favourite topics while showing
beautiful women in the nude and in (softcore) sex scenes as frequently as
possible. But this isn't a narrative film in the traditional sense, rather
a mood piece that takes a poetic approach to De Sade and sex. And director
Jess Franco proves to be at the top of his game: His rich cinematic
language full of unusual camera angles, floating camera movements and
attention to unusual details, coupled with his deep understanding of
architecture as a narrative device and an eye for landscapes and locations
create a weird, dreamlike atmosphere and make this a beautiful perverse
poem - and one of his most fascinating films.