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In the erotic thriller revenge flick "She Killed in Ecstasy", the seductive femme` fatale Mr's Johnson loses the plot after her husband Dr. Johnson loses the plot due to harsh criticisms from senior medical professionals. She seeks revenge on those that caused her husband to become emotionally catatonic. Altought the editing is rushed and the plot doesn't hold a lot of weight or depth, the cinematography presents an atmospheric, pleasurable viewing experience. Aesthtically it did well with what was probably a smaller budget. This film does portray the power our sexuality can hold over us and our actions well.
Jesús Franco is the sort of circumstantial genius only capable of making masterpieces by accident. Masterpieces not in the general sense of the term, of course, but masterpieces of the exploitation genre that manage to turn sleaze into winking fun and sloppy photography and mod set design into evocative visuality and swinging style. At his best, he's a gutsy provocateur. But at his worst, he's a pervert disguised as an arthouse hack. An in-between doesn't much exist for him -- consider that only two of his one hundred sixty features (arguably 1971's "Vampyros Lesbos" and 1973's "A Virgin Among the Living Dead"), with many of them made with extremely low-budgets and with many of them standing as not much more than softcore pornography, have remained mostly highly regarded in serious film circles since their original releases.
When a limitedly talent director makes up to ten movies a year, anyway, the possibility of laughable frowziness is imminent. So it goes for 1971's "She Killed in Ecstasy," which was filmed only one month after the completion of "Vampyros Lesbos" and was the fifth of seven films Franco produced in 1970 and released in 1971. Using much of the same actors, much of the same soundtrack, and all the same stylistic techniques to have characterized the latter, "She Killed in Ecstasy" rings as a tired attempt to recreate the surprising effectiveness of its predecessor. Fit with an arousing premise but executed with the shoddiness of a typical Ted V. Mikels Z-movie, it's stodgily wooden and, at its weakest, helplessly boring.
"Vampyros Lesbos" worked so well because it used its slow-burning incomprehensibility as a weapon, replacing considerable substance with drippingly sensuous atmosphere that complemented its randier Dracula imitations. Conversely, "She Killed in Ecstasy" is a failure as a result of its doing the complete opposite. It concocts a complex storyline Franco's too inept of a writer to convey convincingly -- over-explanation and chintzy character development are prolific. And what's supposed to be sexy -- the movie is essentially a grander scale vehicle for the famed black widow femme fatale type -- is labored, its anti-heroine beautiful but unable to generate heat when not by herself.
That anti-heroine, famously, is played by Soledad Miranda, the sinewy, ghostly pale sex symbol that seemed destined for stardom outside of her exploitation movie roots. (Right as her career seemed ready to explode, an effect of her working with Franco a staggering nine times, she was tragically killed in a car accident in 1970.) Memorably having been "Vampyros Lesbos's" most valuable asset, she's similarly "She Killed in Ecstasy's" greatest tool too. Here, she stars as the wife of a doctor (Fred Williams) driven to suicide after he's banned from practicing medicine. (His questionable practices on human embryos, it seems, is something that cannot sit well with most ethical medical committees.) Angry with the three men (and one woman) she believes to be responsible for his death, she sets out on a seduce and destroy minded quest to break even.
But, alas, all the seducing and destroying that makes way throughout the film is paltry to behold -- with all roles blandly performed and with all sex scenes uncomfortably staged (no one looks like they're having fun), nothing's much redeemable about "She Killed in Ecstasy," except maybe its provoking title and maybe the drinking game that could ensue from Franco's tiresome use of the zoom feature on his cinematographer's handful of cameras. Even Miranda, so wonderfully committed in "Vampyros Lesbos," seems to be going through the motions. And when trash doesn't seem to be having that much fun with itself, we shouldn't have to have any fun with it either.
"Ecstasy" here apparently meaning "with her tits out". Fairly formulaic mid 70s soft porn revenge thriller, though it hits the right spots to watch in irony, being funny for all the wrong reasons.
Great premise, but poorly executed. It was surprisingly very boring
This is one of Franco's more solid features, starring his all-time best actress, Miranda Soledad, and a cast of Franco favorites like Paul MÃ¼ller and Howard Vernon (with a surprise appearance of Horst Tappert!) Relatively well made, with great kitschy 70s fashion and decors, and a great soundtrack (the other half of the psychedelic Vampyros Lesbos OST). Very recommended.
An incredible performance from the late, great Soledad Miranda who tragically died shortly after this was filmed. Classic 70's exploitation with the perfect mixture of shlock and eroticism. One of Jess' finest hours, from what is quite a mixed but under appreciated canon of work.
Not too shabby of a film, featuring puzzling musical cues, strange camera placement and frequent nudity by lead Soledad Miranda.
Worth a look on cable, for the campy sleaze factor.
Nice giallo type film from Franco's surrealistic years. Hallucinatory and erotic exploration of revenge. The killings are rather bland especially in the their complete absence of gore effects--a slashed throat is represented by a simple line of blood. Otherwise, an enjoyable film for fans of Franco's surrealistic thrillers.
Paul Schrader wrote Transcendental Style in Film: Ozu, Bresson, Dreyer. I want someone to write Lightning Filmmakers: Suzuki, Franco, Fassbinder.
Awesome vintage horror-porn, complete with the awesomely out-of-context, groovy tunes.