Sinfonía Erótica Blu Ray Review (Severin Films)
Sinfonía Erótica (aKa Erotic Symphony & Bodies and Souls) is a 1980 erotic thriller directed by Jesús Franco (Two Female Spies with Flowered Panties, 99 Women, Justine, Juliette, & Love Camp). It’s loosely based off Marquis de Sade’s Justine that Franco previously made a film based off the same story in 1969. Sinfonía Erótica was also a remake of Franco’s 1973 film Pleasure for Three. As you can imagine with Franco having 204 directing credits during his career, he made films in every possible genre. Franco had success with the erotic & sexploitation sub genres over the years. This was mainly released in Spain & there was no official release available here at all back in the day. The only way to get a copy in America besides importing one from Spain was on bootlegs until now thanks to Severin Films!
Brought back home with her psychologist Dr. Louys (played by: Albino Graziani from Diamonds of Kilimandjaro, Mansion of the Lving Dead, & Oasis of the Zombies), Martine de Bressac (played by: Lina Romay from Die Marquise von Sade, Swedish Nympho Slaves, & Night Has a Thousand Desires) returns from being in a mental hospital for a long time. The doctor is very persistent that she takes his exact prescriptions. Wanda (played by: Aida Gouveia from Women in Cellblock 9, Porno Shock, & Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun) warns her about what she’s about to uncover. Her husband Marqués Armando de Bressac (played by: Armando Borges) has been busy since she’s been away. She is shocked to find out his new companion is a man named Flor (played by: Mel Rodrigo from I’m Burning Up All Over, Slave of Crime, & Two Female Spies with Flowered Panties). She had no clue that he was bisexual. Martine already has enough mental problems from before. This new discovery of her spouse cheating & recent homosexuality experience is about to push her even more over the edge in her fragile condition. Despite all of that, she still only wants his love. Armand & Flor come across a young blood stained nun at the park. Her name is Norma (played by: Susan Hemingway from from Women in Cellblock 9, I’m Burning Up All Over, & Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun), she has just escaped the convent. They convince her to come home with them & they have a threesome. She becomes the new maid at their home. All 3 have decided to kill Martine for her money. Martine catches her husband messing around with his new lover. He tells her she could learn a few things from him & they laugh about it as she walks away heart broken. She goes to others for pleasure. Can this unstable woman survive 3 different predators trying to end her life for greed?
This sleaze fest has an arthouse vibe to it. This surprised me on how much of a story & concept this had for being basically a softcore film. I was impressed that it actually had more than sex to it because I usually don’t watch that many from this sub genre. Most of them are pointless & don’t really add anything besides nice sexy time visuals. This was definitely different & it got really dark towards the end. It has some nasty & unlikable characters in this. Honestly, Sinfonía Erótica is a good mix of several genres so it has something for everyone. I enjoyed this more than I thought I would, Franco had so many different sides of him when it came to cinema. This is worth checking out to see some of his more unknown material that wasn’t exposed here since it had no distribution in America.
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Severin Films. Before the film starts you get a warning from Severin Films saying “Sinfonía Erótica was sourced from 4K from the only known print of this version. The element scanned was a 35MM exhibition print & we although we have restored some of the more egregious damage, this presentation does exhibit some signs of wear & tear. An element in superior condition is not known to exist”. This is the first time I’ve ever seen this so I can’t compare it to any other version out there but I think it’s pretty safe to say considering it’s rarity that it’s going to be hard to top this blu ray release when it comes to picture quality. This 1080p (1.66:1) transfer is solid for it’s budget & rarity. It’s a nice companion piece to The Sadist of Notre Dame that was released on the same day from Severin. As for the audio, you only get one option with this. It’s in Spanish with English subtitles.
Let’s discuss the special features from Severin Films. “Jess Franco on First Wife Nicole Guettard” is a 6 minute interview from 2013 with director Jesus Franco. He talks about his first marriage. She was also the set decorator for this production. He talks about how she didn’t want to get involved with cinema & their relationship until her death. Next, there is “Stephen Thrower on Sinfonia Erotica” is a 22 minute interview with the author & film historian. He talks about Franco;s work with the Marquis de Sade material. The fact Franco could turn nothing into something. He chats about the look & style of the film focusing on the cinematography. He also brings up that Franco used a different approach from his usual erotic work with including some gay themes in this film. If you are into dark erotic thrillers, you need to check this out! I definitely recommend any Franco fan adding this their always expanding collection of his work in high definition. This director definitely has a huge presence in the blu ray market. He provided us with so many genre projects over the years. Severin Films has released numerous films of his on blu ray including The Sadist of Notre Dame, Bloody Moon, Count Dracula, The Hot Nights of Linda, Two Female Spies with Flowered Panties, Devil Hunter, Vampyros Lesbos, & She Killed in Ecstasy. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!