Lina Romay as Sylvia in Countess Perverse
A Word About My Countess Perverse, I don’t speak no Spanish review
For this review of Jess Franco’s Countess Perverse, I am going to do something slightly different. What’s that you say? Am I going to do a review that covers the technical aspects of the film, as well as it’s deeper meaning in society? Hell no, if you are looking for that go elsewhere. Am I going to refrain from off-color remarks, or sexual and anatomical humor? In a Franco film, get real.
No what I am going to do is review this film, in my own style, having only watched it in it’s original language, with no dubbing or subtitles. Why? Because that’s the only copy I had on hand, and come on, it’s Jess Franco. The dialogue isn’t really that important is it?
I have tried to watch foreign films on their native language before. A good film should be enjoyable even if you aren’t able to understand the language. Acting is more than just speaking, and a movie is more than just dialogue. I always get lazy though, and run back to my comfort zone. Not having a fall back bunker for Countess Perverse left me with two choices. Watch the film, or don’t watch it.
I watched it. Having read a short synopsis, I wasn’t totally blind, still I found myself wishing I could speak Spanish. Basically Countess Perverse is a retelling of The Most Dangerous Game ala Jess Franco. Which means lots of sex and nudity. Lots of nudity. Lots. Did I mention there was lots of nudity? Anyone with much familiarity with Franco would expect a large amount of nudity, and Countess Perverse delivers.
Countess Perverse opens up with Bob (Robert Woods) and Moira (Tania Busslier), finding a nude girl washed up on their beach. They take her back to their house where she wakes up screaming. Boy does she scream. It’s annoying to, so much that you tend to forget she’s naked and just hope for her to shut the hell up. I’m pretty sure the English translation of “AHHHHHH” would be pretty close to “AHHHHH”, so I was getting a clue some bad shit had went down.
Then in flashback she tells of washing up on another island (bad fucking day for her, huh?), this time fully clothed. I’ll add here that fully clothed is usually still pretty sexy in a Franco film. There she is taken in by the swank and stylish Count and Countess Zaroff (Alice Arno and Howard Vernon.
Relativity in Countess Perverse
One look inside their house and you realize that M.C. Escher apparently was a set designer. Seriously the inner house is almost an exact copy of the Escher Relativity piece. I sure at some point some of the Spanish mumbo jumbo had to translate to “dig that crazy staircase.”
In the house they serve the water-logged visitor (Kali Hansa) a special meal before taking turns raping her. Turns out the couple are cannibals who enjoy a good raping before hunting and barbecuing their guests. Guess it goes to show you that not every weird couple, living in a creepy ass house, on a deserted island can be trusted.
Of all the rapes I have ever seen on film, this was probably the most erotic. Don’t hate on me, I know rape is evil, no means no, but it is what it is. While the Countess goes down on her she moans, and thrashes (trying to get away? Hell most of the time she isn’t even being held down). Then the count takes his turn. While I do admire Franco for his liberal use of nudity, I could have done without Vernon’s ass and balls in my face as he thrusts away.
Flashback over we are treated to another round of Kali’s annoying screaming. Thankfully Bob shoots her up to calm her down and she passes out. They then decide to take her back to the island. OH NOES!!! They are in league with the evil Zaroffs.
After dropping of Kali, we find out that the next intended lunchable is Sylvia, played by the ravishing hot Lina Romay. If you aren’t familiar with Lina Romay, she is a Euro goddess, husband to Jess Franco and star of many of his films.
Bob and Moira pick up Sylvia for some hot ass loving, which is actually pretty boring. Especially the more explicit scene between Busslier and Romay. Did I just say lesbian sex involving full nudity was boring? Yes, sadly I did. There was absolutely nothing exciting or sensual about it. It just looked technical and overly directed.
More than boring it was actually a bit annoying as the sounds didn’t even seem to match the on-screen action (and I use action very loosely). Maybe it was the language barrier, but like “AHHHH” I would assume sucking and slurping sounds don’t lose a lot in translation. The only thing to hold my attention was Busslier’s enormous “welcome to the jungle” bush. I just kept wanting to comb it, or pick it, or apply some Dapper Dan, anything to tame it.
The lesbian triste is broken up by Woods (FINALLY) and we see the first hints of jealousy between the threesome. After he gets his fill of hairy Eurobabe, the three take off for the island where they go skinny dipping. Romay and Busslier frolic in the surf showing their plump, edible asses, but are soon joined by Woods. Dong alert!
When they tire of tanning their privates they venture up to the house to meet the Count and Countess Perverse. Once again they are served what appears to be almost raw meat. The count himself is gnawing on a ridiculously large bone. Bob doesn’t appear to be enjoying his meal, and soon angrily leaves the table while Romay picks at her food.
Bob and Moira leave Sylvia and head back to their own island. Later that night Sylvia and the Countess engage in some lesbian sex that is far more interesting than the earlier scene with Moira. Unfortunately it’s still boring when compared to what’s easily available on the internet.
Later, wandering around the house, nearly nude in a sexy borrowed lingerie, Romay walks in on the perverted pair as they are butchering Kali. Realizing that the couple are cannibals, and finally noticing the mounted human head on the wall, she collapses.
When she wakes up, she is outside the house completely nude (except for shoes). Realizing that shit just got real she takes off running. Soon the countess, nude except for shoes and a quiver comes after her with a hunting bow. The chase through the bush is on. There has to be a good bush joke here, but I’m not willing to work for it right now.
Meanwhile back on the other island, Bob appears still tortured about leaving Sylvia to her destiny as a main course. Apparently he is in love with Romay, and who can blame him? Her boobs are much bigger than Busslier’s, and her bush is much more under control. He breaks it off with Moira by choking her to death. The betrayal is so shocking, that Moira doesn’t even let her arms drop after she dies.
Back on the island of Countess Perverse, the hunt goes on. Fortunately for the viewer, the hunt consists of a lot of close up shots of Lina Romay’s round, fine, ass as she crawls through the brush. That mixed with shots of her running with big bouncing breasts, and full frontal shots of the much less follicularly challenged Alice Arno keep it exciting.
Bob reaches the island as things are coming to a head. He too is armed with a bow and arrow, but thankfully both he and the count are fully dressed. One can only assume that the bows are a result of gun control on nearly deserted Mediterranean islands. The Countess catches up to Romay and shoots her in the back of the shoulder. Bob then tops the hill and shoots Arno in the back.
Bob goes to the dying Sylvia, as the Count appears. He picks her up, crying and marches into he surf with her, walking until they are both soon underwater. Meanwhile the Vernon stares at his dead wife, wondering how best to prepare wife stew.
Ok so I really can’t comment on the dialogue or much of the actual plot of Countess Perverse since I could only understand a couple of words in the entire movie. However plot and story are almost always second to style in Euro films. I have only seen a few of Franco’s films, but this is one of the most beautiful. Even discounting the acres of nude female flesh, the film is beautiful. His camera catches the beauty of the island paradise. It also, combined with the score sets a creepy mood with scenes that otherwise might be just the opposite.
Brooding in Countess Perverse
Still the main draw to this film are the lovely ladies. Romay is a Franco staple, and what a sexy staple she is. The fact that her, Busslier, and Arno spend more time completely nude than dressed doesn’t hurt at all. The film is basically a soft core porno, with lots of female crotch shots and several penile displays. The most commonly available versions actually have hardcore inserts (pun intended) added at the behest of the producers. I can only hope these real sex acts aren’t as boring as most of the suggested sex actually in the film. Only the rape scene has any real interest as far as titillation ( DONT HATE ON ME), and that’s the worst thing about Countess Perverse.
Outside of the bouncing breasts and crotch shots, it’s actually pretty boring. True that’s a harsh assessment for a viewing in a language I didn’t understand, but I can’t see the dialogue being that big of an influence. It is a Franco film, not a Tarantino after all. There is also very little violence or blood for a film that deals with cannibals. The deaths at the end are completely bloodless, and only a few scenes with any blood at all. The ridiculous mounted head trophy inspires more giggles than chills.
Some moments are actually a bit silly. Like why the meat they are eating always looks rawer than the meat cooking on the fire. With lack of an understandable dialogue, I can only assume the rawness was meant to add a somewhat gruesome note to the movie.
Don’t watch Countess Perverse expecting a hardcore, violent cannibal tale like The Hills Have Eyes. Don’t watch it expecting a thrilling action adventure films or hot lesbian action either. If you watch Countess Perverse, watch it to see one of Franco’s most beautifully filmed movies. Watch it to enjoy the voluptuous Lina Romay Watch it to marvel at the 70s Euro bush on full display. Most of all watch it to step into another age and style of film making.
The House on the Hill