Saturday, October 16, 2004

Deadly Sanctuary (1969)

Warning: I give away the whole story in the review!

Jack Palance is pictured here

As the opening credits rolled I found that I was watching a Jess Franco film. He's the only Euroshock director I don't blindly worship and you bet I've seen a ton of his movies. Some of his work is crap, some is classic. Franco is a very prolific film maker (182 features and counting), shooting everything from horror to porn. Most of his movies fall somewhere in between those to genres. Deadly Sanctuary is more often know as Marquis de Sade: Justine. The title role of the Marquis is given to Klaus Kinski who is never on screen with any other characters. Kinski appears mainly in the long opening scene where the camera zooms in and out, blurring between him brooding over his writings and then shots of nude women bleeding. From there we are shown the story he is writing, a story by the real Marquis De Sade, never read by me. Two sisters, Justine and Juliette, follow opposite paths in life. Juliette becomes a prostitute, a thief, and a murderess, and is rewarded with riches. Justine takes a righteous path and faces obstacles including..

- a false monk who steals her life savings
- corrupt police
- women's prison
- thieves who want to rape her
- gay aristocrats
- a branding with the letter 'm' for murder (she is framed)
- an order of monks seeking pleasures of the flesh and human sacrifice (Jack Palance, the head of the order, was reportedly drunk while making this movie)
- naked slavery in a freak show

When the reunion between the sisters occurs, Justine feels cheated and wants to change her ways to evil. The rich Juliette says she should not. Her easy life is empty and Justine is better off. The narrator explains that Justine will be rewarded with the riches of heaven while we see a shot of her kneeling in prayer.

This is a good message for me. Now I know all those rich pieces of shit are not really enjoying themseleves. I, who help all the customers at work, always smiling, and polite, will rise straight to heaven! So the movie ends with a Christian message, there is lots of gratuitous nudity along the way, but it's for a good cause. See this movie, it's out on DVD, better than Barbed Wire Dolls, Exorcism, and A Virgin Among the Living Dead, some of his more common titles.


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