January 28, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Lorna (Janine Reynaud) is the star attraction at a posh nightclub, a woman lusted after by both men and women alike. The nightclub where she works draws in a crowd of wealth and power, clients who wish to see more edge than found in other establishments. Lorna’s act includes sadomasochistic activities and culminates with a simulated snuff performance. The act is a smash and Lorna finds herself very sought after, but her life isn’t all roses and champagne. Lorna has been experiencing some unusual things of late, as her dreams have started to cross over into real life and vice versa. The fantasy world of her stage performances has take over her mind and body, to the point that she is unable at times to tell the difference. As time passes, she becomes more and more confused about her own actions. When she believes she has murdered someone for real, she seeks out answers and learns a dark secret. She believes her manager could have transformed her into a true vision of evil, a demon and that would explain the recent events. But at the same time, her mind has been clouded, could all of this violence and bloodshed be a terrible nightmare?

The resume of Jess Franco is massive, hundreds and hundreds of films have been directed by his hand, more than most filmmakers could imagine. He has worked in almost all genres, from pornography to comedies, but he is best known for his work in the realm of horror, with an erotic twist. While the even the most open minded horror fan would admit most of Franco’s films are rather lackluster, the director has crafted some true gems. Succubus isn’t his best work, but it is one of his better movies and is a prime example of why Franco has enjoyed such a prolific run behind the camera. The film has ample erotica, with lesbians, bondage, whipping, and of course, just plain old sex between a man and a woman. The sexual content is presented with the usual Franco touches, so expect plenty of unusual camera angles, jazz music, and a dreamlike presence. The narrative is not typical, so things make not make sense, but that is no real concern. This movie is more of an experience than a standard plot, so just soak in the visuals and surreal atmosphere. The cast features several Franco regulars and of course, Howard Vernon is on hand, so all is well. Blue Underground’s release is much better than the old, old Anchor Bay edition, with a much improved transfer and a few welcome extras. If you’re a fan of the surreal or just love Franco, then Succubus is recommended, especially in this new version.

Video: How does it look?

Succubus is presented in 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen. In addition to the proper widescreen presentation, we have a cleaner print and fans should be thrilled. The image this time is so much crisper, with much more depth and detail to take in. This is still a movie made in 1969, so don’t expect pristine, crystal clear visuals, but this is much more refined than before. I also found colors to be bolder and richer, with no signs of age related wear, while contrast is aces, with deep black levels. A few minor quibbles pop up here and there, but this is a much improved transfer, so kudos to Blue Underground.

Audio: How does it sound?

Not much to discuss in this department, this is a mono soundtrack from the late 60s and it sounds as such, no doubt. The audio is clean and has a solid sound, but mono is mono, so there is little presence and I picked up hints of harshness at times. The real standout here is the jazz soundtrack, which actually sounds quite good and much better than I had anticipated. The dialogue is also well handled, so vocals are clear and never buried by the other elements. So all things considered, while a little limited due to the age and production limitations of the material, the audio here is more than acceptable.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes an informative interview with Jess Franco, a second interview with star Jack Taylor, and the film’s theatrical trailer.

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