Beatrice Cenci (The Conspiracy of Torture)(Perversion Story) (1976)
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Critic Reviews for Beatrice Cenci (The Conspiracy of Torture)(Perversion Story)
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Audience Reviews for Beatrice Cenci (The Conspiracy of Torture)(Perversion Story)
Well made and directed 17th century torture film that reminded me of Witchfinder General, Mark of the Devil, and The Devils. Fulci crafts a similar tale of torture, tyrannical fathers/noblemen, and sexual abuse. An exploration of the corrupting force of power and its effect upon not just the masses but the ruler's family and friends as well. An interesting entry in the Fulci oeuvre that fits well with his 60s work while still foreshadowing the madness of the films he will go on to make in the 70s and 80s.
This is the review for "Una sull'altra", another Fulci film that shares the same title as this one ("Perversion Story") and was even released in the same year, but since Flixster does not have a site for that film as of yet I have posted it here: I must admit that I do not care for the films of Lucio Fulci - his horror films are filled with repulsive gore and devoid of intelligence, and his gialli (murder mysteries) are better but filled with unnecessary perversion and debauchery - so suffice to say I was apprehensive when viewing this giallo by the "godfather of gore". To my surprise, I actually enjoyed this quite a bit. Admittedly, there was the unnecessary nudity that littered the film, but luckily it was neither maliciously exploitative (it was tastefully done) nor overwhelming in content (it essentially focused in a few key scenes in the beginning of the film). However, the factor that truly made the film work was its focus upon its narrative rather than attempting to provide cheap thrills (as Fulci often does). The plot is obviously borrowed from "Vertigo" but not to the degree that I would call it a blatant rip-off (like Brian DePalma's "Obsession" was) as it had its own unique twists and turns to the proceedings. It does seem to plod somewhat in its initial reels as it focused on the lavish lifestyles of a stripper and a photography model, but once the twists begin at the half-way point the viewer's interest is perked and it manages to hold onto it until the end. The direction is surprisingly subtle and aesthetic for a Fulci film, focusing upon images of mirrors and reflections on glass windows the reflect upon the duality of the characters (each often have two sides to their beings, such as the doctor who is married but is having an affair, but also the fact that the doctor believes his wife has a doppelganger). I wouldn't necessarily recommend this film to many as its material is lurid (despite Fulci's admirable restraint), and the plot isn't anything unique, but it's all done in a very sufficient and stylish manner with just enough intelligence to make it a pleasant watch. Recommended for giallo fans, a slight recommendation to mystery/thriller aficionados, but others should just watch Hitchcock's "Vertigo" again.
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