It's the eve of the French Revolution, and the Marquis De Sade happily
rots away in the Bastille (well, probably not too happily), where his only
admirer is his guard Ambert, who wants to be sodomized by the Marquis ...
which the Marquis, and his penis Colin, whom he regularly talks too, are
not too keen on doing any time soon (now there is nothing too unusual
about a man talking to his penis, only this one is talking back).
Eventually, Lupino is thrown into the cell with the Marquis, exactly
the (now former) police chief who had the Marquis imprisoned, and now
Lupino, a revolutionary, asks the Marquis to help him break out of prison
again - by finally shagging Ambert.
In the meantime, virtuous Justine (now there's a familiar name for De
Sade-afficionados) expects a child from the king himself, and the church
tries everything to hush it up, while her sister, the filthy Juliette
(another familiar name) plays domina to the prison master.
Eventually, the revolution takes its course, Justine dies at childbirth
and the baby is immediately equipped with an iron mask, the Marquis is
freed, finds all his writings have been stored away by Justine and has
From a visual point of view, the film is great ... because in this one,
all actors wear animal masks, and pretty good-looking one at that,
wonderfully grotesque caricatures of a decadent society - but the films
greatest accomplishment is also its greatest flaw: because the masks might
look good, but they are not too well made, and thus can show no
emotions at all. And in a movie as talkative as Marquis, it
certainly does not help that the characters just fail to express emotions.
And additionally, for a De Sade-film, the perversion is very much toned
down. Pity, 'cause I really liked the look of the masks.