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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
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 ...
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.
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.