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Venus in Furs / Paroxismus
Paroxysmus / Può una morta rivivere per amore? / Black Angel

UK/Italy/West Germany 1969
produced by
Harry Alan Towers for Commonwealth United
directed by Jess Franco
starring James Darren, Maria Rohm, Klaus Kinski, Dennis Price, Margaret Lee, Barbara McNair, Paul Muller, Aldo Lastretti
screenplay by Jess Franco, Malvin Wald, based on a story by Jess Franco, music by Manfred Mann, Mike Hugg

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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One day, trumpeter Jimmy (James Darren) finds a dead body washed ashore a lonely beach, & recognizes the corpse as Wanda (Maria Rohm), a woman he wanted to pick up at a party just a few days before but instead he witnessed her trotured by his host, the rich millionair Ahmed (Klaus Kinski), art deakler KApp (Dennis Price) & lesbian photographer Olga (Margaret Lee), but instead of intervening, Jimmy just turned his back & went off, while Wanda was brutally stabbed.

Jimmy realizes it is time to get away from all the madness, & escapes to Rio, during carneval season ... not the best time & place to escape any form of madness.

In Rio, Jimmy meets nicht club singer Rita (Barbara McNair), the first person who acts understanding towards him, & with her help, he seems to gradually get a grip on life again ... until Wanda (the dead but very much alive Wanda) shows up again & seduces him, & by her he is sucked back into the whilrpool of madness he planned to get away from. His relationship to Rita is soon strained & she (understandably) leaves him, at the same time cutting his connection ot reality ...

Meanthile Rita also shows up at Kapp's home, first seduces him, den frightens him to death, then she isits Olga, has sex with her & drives her to suicide.

Later Wanda persuades Jiommy, who is ignorant to her little killings on the side, to accompany her back to Istambul, where they seem to live a deliriously happy life ... but Wanda's real intention is just to get to Ahmed, to kill him too in an erotic bondage game ...

The next morning, a police inspector (aldo Lastretti) shows up at Jimmy's place & questions him about his relationship to Wanda ... whom the inspector quite correctly thinks dead for 2 years.Jimmy manages to escape the inspector with Wanda, but during their getaway, Wanda suddenly slips away from Jimmy, & when Jimmy tries to catch up with her, he is suddenly standing in front of her grave ...

Devastated, Jimmy revisits the beach where he found Wanda's corpse in the first place, to find another body washed ashore ... his own.


This movie manages to create an erratic, erotic, triplike world all of its own, in which logic, storytelling & character development take backseat to creating a dreamlike atmosphere of unease. Jess Franco's very own cinematic language of weirdly staged camera set-ups, unusual camera movements & his predilection for a jazz-score (partly by a pre-fame Manfred Mann) of course help greatly in creating that mood, & as a result Venus in Furs ranks among his very best movies.


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