01 June, 2010

SHE KILLED IN ECSTASY, 40 years later....

2010 is the 40th anniversary of Jess Franco's SIE TOTETE IN EKSTASE aka SHE KILLED IN ECSTASY. It was confirmed during my conversation with Paul Muller that the film was in production during June-July 1970, following VAMPYROS LESBOS and immediately preceding the final Jess Franco-Soledad Miranda film, THE DEVIL CAME FROM AKASAVA.
Rewatching this again recently I was struck by the overwhelming mood of grief and rage telegraphed by the actress as the avenging wife of the tormented scientist (Fred Williams).
The eroticism oftens veers off into the perverse-grotesque during the kill scenes. It's kind of a reworking of themes and characters from MISS MUERTE (1965) but this time the emphasis is much more on dark sexuality.
I also really appreciate the unique visual style. The director often shoots through reflective surfaces, furniture and strategically placed objects, like the wine glass Soledad sets right in front of the lens in the scene where she seduces Ewa Stroemberg.
It shares catchy music cues heard in both VAMPYROS LESBOS and DER TEUFEL KAM AUS AKASAVA by Hubler, Schwab and Bruno Nicolai.
Franco appears as a hypocritical member of the Medical Board who suffers a fate worse than death at the hands of the enraged Mrs. Johnson.
Soledad Miranda was always a striking presence and her performance here is one of her very best. She is, as usual in her Franco appearances, credited as Susann Korda. The direction is credited to "Frank Hollman."
The approximately 73 m IMAGE DVD is missing some transitional footage seen in other versions. Thanks to Mirek Lipinski for that information.

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Anonymous said...

there's a nice anecdote about this movie. when german producer CCC film announced the movie as "sie tötete im orgasmus" ("she killed in orgasm") with horst tappert in the leading role, he complained he never shot this movie and honestly doesn't know what movie CCC are promoting. as it turned out, the tappert scenes were shot without telling him they were for an additional movie (maybe to save money). at least, the producers agreed to give the movie a less raunchy title (maybe tappert felt uncomfortable to be affiliated with a movie that sounded like one of those, then, enormous popular soft porn flicks).

tappert later on would become "derrick" - a tv inspector solving crimes in german upper class milieus in a tv series that became notorious for its boring dullness.

Robert Monell said...

Thanks for the amusing anecdote. That's sounds like something Artur Brauner would pull, get a two for one out of an actor. Tappert does appear briefly with Miranda but he seems to be in a different movie. He has this big grin on his face a lot. I liked him in TODESRACHER VON SOHO, where he plays a sort of villain. Never seen Derrick but it sounds like fun.

Alex B. said...

Ahaha,"she killed in orgasm"?
What a title, someone should direct something like that today, so as not to waste it.
It is very noticeable in the film that a scene of Miranda running into Tappert after the conference is shot on a completely different day and at a different location.

Anonymous said...

This is my first Franco film, about 4 years ago. Found it at Borders. Love the opening sequence