SINFONIA EROTICA (1980)
Label: Severin Films
Region Code: Region-FREE
Duration: 84 Minutes
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.66:1)
Audio: Spanish DTS-HD MA with Optional English Subtitles
Director: Jess Franco
Cast: Lina Romay, Susan Hemingway, Armando Borges, Georges Santos, Aida Gouveia,, Candice Coster, Armando Sallent
During a visit to the home Martine's physician Dr. Louys (Albino Grazian, Oasis of the Zombies) informs Armand that his wife is physically frail and the slightest strain on her mind or body could prove fatal, thus a scheme is hatched to poison her and invoke a shock that will send her over the edge and into the chasm of death, a plot that the naughty nun Norma is to be complicit in.
The film set in a grand Victorian era mansion on a sprawling countryside estate with gorgeous gardens and mazes, the baroque setting has a whimsical dreamy quality highlighted by some artful soft-focus cinematography that brought to mind the lurid arthouse films of Walerian Borowczyk (Immoral Tales), it definitely feels like an older early 70's Franco film, not one from '80, a credit to Franco's savvy eye for the period setting, realizing it with minimalism and not grand overkill.
Audio/Video: Sinfonia Erotica (1980) arrives on Blu-ray from Severin with a new 4K scan of the only known decent film element, a 35mm print, framed in 1.66:1 widescreen, which is similar to the Sadist of Notre Dame Blu-ray, but this print is in significantly better shape than Sadist, it's got some natural wear and tear, but nothing egregiously awful. The grain can heavy in some of the oddly lit scenes but physical damage is mostly relegated to minor white speckling and some occasional scratches. The diffused light and soft focus cinematography looks great but doesn't offer a lot of fine detail, more atmospheric than crisp, that said the colors look accurate and but tend to fluctuate a tiny bit, all things considered, given the scarcity of any other elements this is a very pleasing presentation. Audio comes by way of a Spanish DTS-HD MA 2.0 mono track with optional English subtitles, the track is dubbed and has a lot of reverb layed on it, with the lush score coming through nicely.
- Jess Franco on First Wife Nicole Guettard - Interview with Director Jess Franco (7 min) HD
- Stephen Thrower on Sinfonia Erotica - Interview with the author of "Murderous Passions - The Delirious Cinema of Jesus Franco." (22 min) HD
Sinfonia Erotica (1980) is a lush, erotic and deliciously twisted psycho-sexual thriller from Jess Franco, the new Blu-ray from Severin looks as good as it can, all things considered. I wasn't expecting to discover an all-time Franco favorite with this first time viewing, but this is right up there with She Killed In Ecstasy (1990), making this a top five Franco film for me.