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Askew Review 15

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(Blue Underground) 1972. Historical Drama. 115 Minutes. Not rated. Tons of simulated sex scenes woven loosely into the writings of The Marquis de Sade. Poor Justine (The delectable Alice Arno) is a sweet, virginal girl who is attacked on all sides by every manner of sexual perversion under the sun. From S&M to wild group sex with a group of monks. Justineís life is spent in trying and failing to keep her morality intact. With each encounter she tries to withstand the assaults on her virtue and with each one she slowly succumbs to the temptations of the flesh.
   Blue Underground has managed to give us the definitive version of director Claude Piersonís film. How definitive, you ask? Scenes that only existed in the subtitled French version are plugged into this film. It can be a little disconcerting while watching the film to all of a sudden go from dubbed English to subtitled French, but you get used to it pretty quickly. Besides, if this is the only way we are going to get this version, then itís better than nothing. There is a lot of simulated sex as well as a couple of faked money shots that look like water more than, well, you know. If youíre looking for hardcore youíve come to the wrong show, but this is pretty good for intense soft-core sex. After a while the constant scenes of Justine begging for her virtue and then getting banged anyway start bordering on the comedic. I really didnít feel too much for the poor girl, but Alice Arno is breathtakingly beautiful naked so, I guess I was on the bad guys side for this one. Blue Underground does a magnificent job of restoring a film that is wonderful to look at and an important entry in the specific genre of filmís based on the writings of The Marquis de Sade. Iím amazed that Franco didnít do this one. ĖDouglas Waltz



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