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Plaisir à Trois

How to Seduce a Virgin

France 1974
produced by
Robert de Nesle, Claude Pessis (executive) for Comptoir Francais du Film
directed by Jess Franco (as Clifford Brown)
starring Alice Arno, Robert Woods, Howard Vernon, Tania Busselier, Alfred Baillou, Lina Romay
screenplay by Jess Franco, additional dialogue by Alain Petit, based on stories by Marquis de Sade, music by Daniel Janin, Robert Hermel

Jess Franco's Marquis de Sade-adaptations

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Martine (Alice Arno) has just been released from the asylum - and no wonder she has been there, because she has made it her favourite pastime to pick up random strangers of both sexes, have sex with them, then kill themn and quickly inject them with formadehyde to keep them in her basement museum of deceased lovers. This however doesn't seem to be the reason she was treated, because her basement museum is still here upon her release, and her husband Charles (Robert Woods) has seen to it that it has been kept in perfect condition, too. Not only does he not mind his wife's behaviour, he actually supports it.

While Martine has been away, Charles has already picked her next victim, neighbour Cécile (Tania Busselier), who seems to be the epitomy of teenage innocence - apart from the fact that she likes to masturbate with her window open for all to peek in of course. Charles and Martine soon manage to persuace Cécile's parents to hand the girl over to their care for a weekend, and they and their mute consort Adèle (Lina Romay) do all they can to open her up sexually, also by drugging her and making her drunk - and it's not long before Charles, Martine and Adèle all have had sex with her. So, Martine figures, it's time to take Cécile down to her basement to make her one of her exhibits ... but now the tables are turned on her, because suddenly, Charles, Cécile and Adèle all restrain her, then she is injected a drug that paralyzes her while keeping her conscious, and now Charles explains everything: He and Cécile have been lovers for a year now, but they needed to wait for the perfect occasion to get rid of Cécile - you see, Charles could not divorce her, because he has married her for her money and was not ready to give any of it up upon their split ... and then, with regard to her museum of deceased lovers, what would Martine have done to him?

When the drug wears off, Charled injects Martine with formaldehyde, and it's only fitting she should die like so many of her lovers ...


With Plaisir à Trois, Jess Franco picks many of his favourite themes from Marquis de Sade's writings once again (not only torture but also the perversion of innocence and the like) to create another piece of erotica that is as sexy as it is perverted ... and stripped from its prime goal of being a sex flick it's also a fascinating glimpse into the philosophy buried in de Sade's writings as only Franco could present it. However, on the pure surface, Plaisir à Trois is not one of Franco's better de Sade-adaptations, as for the most part, and even in some of the sex scenes, his directorial effort seems to be a bit detached. Only an extended striptease by Alice Arno as well as the scenes in the basement museum (a piece of interesting architecture perfectly captured with Franco's camera) show Franco at the height of his game.

Still, if you like lots of naked bodies in lots of sexual situations garnered with quite a bit de Sadean perversion, this film is for you - but rest assured, Franco has done better.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD