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At a chic nightclub for jaded jetsetters, a simulated snuff performance is the main attraction, and Lorna, its leading lady, is the obsession of men and women alike. Little do they realize that Lorna's Mephistophelian manager has transformed her into "the essence of evil...a devil on earth!" Soon the sensuous starlet's stage persona possesses her entirely, thrusting Lorna into a hallucinatory world of sadomasochistic excess and drawing everyone she touches into her debaucherous delirium. Can anyone stop Lorna before her perverse stage show becomes a murderous reality?
Starring the beautiful Janine Reynaud (Two Undercover Angels, Kiss Me, Monster), Jack Taylor (The Ghost Galleon, The Ninth Gate) and Howard Vernon (The Awful Dr. Orloff, Delicatessen), Jess Franco's (99 Women, Vampyros Lesbos) Faustian fever dream provides the blue-print for the erotic horror that has become the infamous director's enduring legacy. Newly remastered from original vault materials, Succubus features exclusive Extras, including a revealing interview with Uncle Jess himself!
It's the dreams that make the movie, a decadent world of designer labels and ultra chic sets (bank rolled by Caminnecci), all housed by distorted and oblique soft focussed cameras. This is what probably confused the censors at the time of its release, although in the US they still landed it with an X. And the dialogue, what can I say; priceless! It is enough to crack up any philosophy student with the pretentious but deliberate psychobabble ramblings. Franco was not really concerned with the narrative side of the movie, he wanted a dreamy, psychedelic, erotic, head-trip and that is exactly what he has given us.
Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings
[Franco]'s not talentless, and he has the occasional flare for interesting visuals, but he's not much of a storyteller (I haven't seen a movie of his that didn't leave me somewhat confused), and sometimes his surreal visuals become merely silly and stupid. Quite frankly, I don't have much use for this movie; if I'm in the mood for arty, erotic horror, I can always turn to Jean Rollin; unfortunately, I'm rarely in that mood. And I'm afraid that, despite all the name dropping of famous people and cultural icons (including the Marquis de Sade, the name people like to trot out to demonstrate that their delvings into sadism are actually high art of some sort), I suspect that there's really a whole lot less here than meets the eye.
Anthony Nield, DVD Times
It's not quite a horror film, not quite an art film and not quite a sex film.
Fritz Lang, Cinema Nocturna
A truly visionary and beautiful film!
Vincent Canby, The New York Times
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