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Askew Review 15

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(Blue Underground) 1968. Erotic drama. 124 minutes. NR, nudity, sexual situations. Directed by Jess Franco. Justine, a young beautiful virgin, finds herself in a world of trouble after she is tossed out of the orphanage that she called home. Almost instantly, Justine is robbed of her money and forced to perform housework in exchange for a place to stay and food. As what happens with most young virgins, Justine is thrown into a French women’s prison for a crime she didn’t commit. Soon after, Justine breaks out of the prison with a seasoned criminal veteran and the trouble really begins. From this point on, Justine is forced into all sorts of wacky sexual junk, branded a murderess, and ends up with an insane monk (Jack Palance).
Based on a novel by the Marquis de Sade, Justine proves that ol’ Marq has issues with young women being forced to perform sexual acts they’d rather not (see Eugenie). This movie is slow and loaded to the hilt with French annoyances. And what’s the deal with Jack Palance? This guy has always annoyed the snot out of me and he continues his notorious behavior with this nutty role. Extras include an interview with Franco and producer Harry Allen Powers, trailer, stills gallery, Franco bio, etc. Klaus Kinski also plays a small role as the wig wearing Marquis de Sade. Romina Power (Justine) is just a tad too young looking in this movie which made me feel just as uncomfortable as I was bored. – Denis Sheehan



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