Plot: Martine (Lina Romay) has just been released from a mental institution, so she needs a calm, stable environment to maintain her mental health. But while her home is on a beautiful countryside estate, the serene presence of nature is overwhelmed by her unhinged husband. He is currently involved in a torrid sexual affair with another man and recently found an escaped nun in the woods, so the household is bustling with all kinds of sexual activities. As her husband engages with his new lovers, there is more than just sex going on, as he has a dark plan in mind. He wants to orchestrate the death of Martine, which would allow him to control her sizable fortune and by turn, live a life of even more wild perversions. But as tensions mount and jealousies rise, how will this twisted tale end?
Entertainment Value: This is a dark, beautiful movie that often feels like some kind of perverse, poetic dream, as narrative fades and Sinfonia Erotica is driven by passion, paranoia, and darkness. There are some clear narrative threads in play here, but the movie also leans on eerie, haunting atmosphere and an unpredictable vibe to really drive home the experience. To me, Jess Franco has created a real artistic piece with this movie, as the dreamlike feel, soft focus visuals, and bold sexual elements combine to forge a beautiful, memorable creation. I’m sure some will dismiss this as just sleaze, but I think there’s a lot of artistic merit in Sinfonia Erotica and I’d rank it alongside Franco’s best erotic works. Lina Romay is the heart of the movie, going for broke in one of her finest performances. Her eyes alone are spellbinding here, but she just embraces the sexual madness and shines in the role. Susan Hemingway also has a memorable turn as the depraved nun, going to some wild and bold places. I loved Sinfonia Erotica, as it is pure Franco in his elements, a surreal, beautiful work of art that defies convention and never fails to capture the senses.
As this is a Jess Franco movie based on the work of Marquis de Sade, of course there is a plethora of sexual perversions on showcase here. There is frequent, nearly constant nakedness and sleaze, including some eye popping moments that are sure to make the sensitive squirm in their seats. This includes full nudity from both men and women, so breasts, asses, vaginas, and cocks, all featured often and in vivid detail. The sex isn’t hardcore, but skirts the line at times, especially when Romay feasts on the nun’s flower and later double fists penises. So this is some vivid, intense sexual content and has an eerie, perverse vibe that makes things even sleazier. Not to mention all the masturbation and the scene where the nun’s bleeding vagina is manhandled. This one is about sex, not violence, so outside of the slight blood in the aforementioned rough fingering, no red stuff to mention. The dialogue is suitable creepy and perverted, with some unsettling lines here and there. As for craziness, while not gonzo over the top chaos, the movie is always eerie and dreamlike, with an unstable atmosphere and feel throughout. The wild performances, depraved sexual moments, and unnerving texture ensure the movie never feels normal whatsoever.
Overall Insanity: 8/10