Dr G’s Random, Inconsistent, and Unqualified Film Recommendations

Marquis de Sade’ Justine, Chris Boger. 1977. It’s a B-movie starring a manic Jack Palance (believe it or not) as a perverted monk, Klaus Kinksi as de Sade (without a single line), and a frequently nude 20 year old named Koo Stark in the titular role. Filmed on location in Gaudi-esque buildings or on sound stages that resemble a Disneyland adventure ride, the sets are best described as surreal. Yet the film is truer to de Sade’s original theory and implication than anything with a bigger budget and grander ambitions has accomplished (cif, Pasolini’s arty-farty version of 120 Days of Sodom).  The cruelty inherent in human nature, which seems its most depraved when mixed with lust and bodily fluid, is explored in the de Sadian key of life, which in the end is less a source of titillation than it is a bottom-up view of both obnoxious left-wing peace and love rhetoric and repugnant right-wing “only the fittest survive” ideology.  That the sadist critique involves buggery is the price of admission.

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