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Phantasmes

The Seduction of Amy
Les Fantasmes d'Isabelle / Once Upon A Virgin / Phantasme Pornographique

France 1975
produced by
André Samarcq (executive) for Impex Films, Les Films ABC
directed by Jean Rollin
starring Evelyne Thomas (as Mylène d'Antès), Jean-Louis Vattier, Rachel Mhas, Marlène Myller, Mannuella Marino, Cyril Val, Greg Masters, Alban Ceray, Jean-Pierre Bouyxou, Corinne Lemoine, Jean Rollin, Stéphane Saratoga, Claudia Zante, Monica Swinn, Catherine Castel, Marie-Pierre Castel
written by Jean Rollin, music by Didier William Lepauw

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Young, pretty and innocent Amy is almost raped and killed one day while walking through the countryside, but saved by widowed aristocrat Gideon, who takes her to his nearby castle to nurse her back to health. Of course, she falls in love with him, and even after she finds a woman chained up in his basement, something he explains away a bit clumsily. Then though, she meets a couple of other beautiful women who apparently live in his castle as well, and they seem by far not as innocent as he is, rather seem to be Gideon's love slaves. Gideon seems to have some guests today, too, neighbours in expectation of an orgy. Amy runs away, but the other girls are more than willing to submit to their guests' wishes ...

Eventually, Amy is drawn back to the castle, but once she's in, she finds all doors to the outside have been locked, and she and all the other girls end up in a cage, as if they were Gideon's collection of sex pets. Gideon shows up, admitting that he has been a horrible person, collecting women to fulfill his sexual pleasures only, treating them like sex slaves ... but his meeting with Amy has changed all that - and then ... he and Amy have sex on the beach, and he seems to be cured - until another woman shows up, and Gideon claims to be a widower - and the picture showing his late wife is that of Amy ...

 

Jean Rollin left his mark on the filmworld in the late 1960's and spanning into the early 1970's making arthouse horror erotica. By the mid-1970's however, erotic filmmaking had pretty much gone the hardcore route, so to afford to make the films he wanted to make, Rollin had to churn out the occasional hardcore feature as well - and Phantasmes was one of the first. And to quite some extent, the film still shows Rollin's trademarks like a trippy storyline, an emphasis on atmosphere and stretches of cinematic lyricism. However, Jean Rollin's natural cinematic language is of the metaphoric kind, and once the extended (hardcore) orgy scene kicks in, this is thrown out of the window (almost by definition), which somehow really destroys the mood of the movie (and believe me, this is not prude me speaking, in general I can enjoy an orgy just as much as the next man), making it just another hardcore feature (if a pretty weird one).

That said, the film is still a must for all serious Jean Rollin fans, because it does show Rollin's efforts to come to terms with the new genre without really compromising his style - he just didn't succeed 100% ...

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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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
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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
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD