THE SADIST OF NOTRE DAME
Written & Directed by Jesús Franco
Distributed by Severin Films
Jesús Franco (a.k.a. Jess Franco) is a very unique director and gave us some of the strangest films in the horror genre. A lot of his films are really not that good (in my opinion), yet I still find myself drawn to them. If I hear of a film I haven't seen and notice it was directed by Franco, I put in at the top of my list of movies to see!
Such was the case with THE SADIST OF NOTRE DAME (El Sadico de Notre-Dame). Once again Franco brings us a weird tale of perversion, mixed with part slasher film, part occult film, and part Giallo. His films are really a mixture of things, which sometimes can cause for confusing plots. That is some of the charm of his films, though. Here is the basic plot courtesy of the Severin Films website:
In 1979, legendary writer/director Jess Franco (VAMPYROS LESBOS) re-purposed elements of his satanic sex shocker EXORCISM with all-new footage to create a depraved new epic that – even by Uncle Jess standards – achieves new levels of EuroSleaze insanity: Franco himself stars a defrocked priest turned hooker-slashing psychopath, prowling the streets of Paris in a fever of violence, voyeurism, rampant nudity and S&M depravity. Olivier Mathot (TWO FEMALE SPIES WITH FLOWERED PANTIES), Pierre Taylou (HOT NIGHTS OF LINDA), Antonio DeCabo (VIRGIN AMONG THE LIVING DEAD) and Jess’ beloved muse Lina Romay (MACUMBA SEXUAL, MANSION OF THE LIVING DEAD) co-star in what Franco considered to be his most personal film of all, now scanned in 4k from elements discovered in the crawlspace of a Montparnasse nunnery.
If that sounds like a pretty simple plot, it's because it is. This film is basically just Franco running around and killing those he thinks are sinners, mainly prostitutes he comes across. It seems to be a good excuse for some Eurosleaze nudity. In a somewhat weird and out of place plot element, he also targets those attending an orgy in a castle complete with virgin sacrifice! Ha! Again, the charm of a Jess Franco movie is what keeps me coming back for more!
The film clocks in at 99 minutes, and honestly it can feel a little slow at times. I feel like a running time of 86-88 minutes would have helped the flow of the film. There were many scenes of characters just walking around and some stock footage of the town that I feel could have been cut out to speed the film along a bit. That is my only complaint, though. If you are a fan of Franco's other films, I think you will like this one as well.
THE SADIST OF NOTRE DAME is available now on Blu-ray and DVD and contains the following Special Features:
* The Gory Days Of Le Brady – Documentary Short On The Legendary Parisian Horror Cinema
* Stephen Thrower On Sadist Of Notre Dame – Interview With The Author Of ‘Murderous Passions – The Delirious Cinema Of Jesus Franco’
* Selected Scenes Commentary With ‘I’m In A Jess Franco State Of Mind’ Webmaster Robert Monell
* Treblemakers: Interview With Alain Petit, Author Of ‘Jess Franco Ou Les Prosperites Des Bis’
CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the Blu-ray