Friday, August 23, 2019

MY NIGHTS WITH SUSAN, SANDRA, OLGA & JULIE (1975) (Cult Epics Blu-ray Review)


Label: Cult Epics
Duration: 85 Minutes
Region Code: Region-FREE

Rating: Unrated
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (2.35:1)
Audio: Dutch DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono, English DTS-HD MA 2.0 with Optional English Subtitles
Director: Pim de la Parra

Cast: Willeke Van Ammelrooy, Nelly Frijda, Hans van der Gragt, Marja de Heer, Franulka Heyermans, Serge-Henri Valcke

Erotic-thriller/black comedy My Nights with Susan, Sandra, Olga & Julie (1975) was the last of Scorpio’s “Dutch Sex Wave” exploitation films, directed by Pim de la Parra (Obsession) with cinematography by Marc Felperlaan (The Lift), featuring the last ever score by composer Elisabeth Lutyens (Never Take Sweets from a Stranger).

The film opens in the rural Dutch countryside where the sexy and promiscuous young women Sandra (Marja de Heer) and Olga (Franulka Heyermans) are picked-up by an American tourist driving through the area. Along the way the trio crack open and bottle of bourbon and before you know it they're pulled over on the side of the road getting to know each other intimately. While he's giving it to one of the ladies the other one for reasons not quite clear picks up the bourbon bottle and whacks him over the head with it, killing him instantly. The girls drive the corpse to a nearby pond and dump his corpse in the water attempting to cover-up their crime, unaware they are being spied upon while doing so. 

They abandon the car and return home, a sort of communal living arrangement where they share a house with a former model named Susan (Willeke Van Ammelrooy, Frank & Eva), the very-sleepy looker Julie (Marieke van Leeuwen) and an anti-social weirdo named Albert (Serge-Henri Valcke, The Lift) who keeps hidden away in a windowless room. Unbeknownst to nympho-killers Sandra and Olga Albert has a peep hole looking right into their bedroom, with him becoming privy to their murderous ways and erotic activities. 

The living arrangement at the house begins to sour with the arrival of new guy Anton (Hans van der Gragt), a young man who seems to be trying to recruit Susan back into modeling world. He ends up staying for a few days and becomes infatuated with all the young women at the house, bedding several of them, as you did in the 70's, I guess. During his stay he becomes increasingly alarmed by the activities in and around the house, including the presence of an dim-witted female weirdo named Piet (Nelly Frijda) who lives in a shack near the property, and who has gone and picked-up the water-logged corpse of the American tourist for her own amusements.

The film is a solid little thriller with plenty of skin, though it's no mere skin show, there are some rather interesting and notable moments of suspense and tension throughout, along with a strange sense of humor that I found very pleasing. 

Audio/Video: My Nights with Susan, Sandra, Olga & Julie (1975) arrives on region-free Blu-ray+DVD combo from Cult Epics with a new HD restoration & transfer sourced from a 35mm print of the film. The 2.35:1 framed image looks solid for a print, colors are nicely saturated, and blacks are decent looking. While there's a bit of white speckling throughout there's not as much as I anticipated, and the grain is well-managed if a bit course, but overall this is a pleasing HD image.   

The disc includes a par of audio options, both the original Dutch and an English-dub via DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono. The Dutch is more natural sounding with better fluidity and nuance. I found the boxy English-dub a bit distracting, probably adding a bit more humor to the film that was originally intended. The atmospheric score from Hammer/Amicus regular Elisabeth Lutyens sounds great. Notably the English dub is sourced from an eighties VHS cassette, so the fidelity of it is of much lower quality, and is also a different translation that the original Dutch audio dialogue, but I commend Cult Epics for the completest inclusion.

Extras on this release include an 11-min introduction from the director who speaks about the troubled production history of the film, as well as his intention to cast of Rutger Hauer  (The Hitcher) in the lead male role! We also get a trio of short films spanning from '66-'70, plus an image gallery and trailers for all four of the Scorpio films currently available from Cult Epics. 

The 2-disc DVD/Blu-ray combo arrives in a standard Blu-ray keepcase with a one-sided sleeve of artwork, the same artwork featured on the wrap also appears on the DVD disc, the Blu-ray disc features a tantalizing illustration of a threesome from the Italian poster artwork  which is available as a limited edition of 500 slipcover when ordered directly through the Cult Epics website. The DVD mirrors the exact same content as the Blu-ray, in standard-definition. 

Special Features:
- New HD Restoration & Transfer from 35mm original print
- Introduction by director Pim de la Parra (2019) (11 min) HD
- Scorpio Short Films: Heart Beat Fresco (1966)(10 min) HD, Joop (1969) (11 min) HD, Joop Strikes Again (1970) (11 min) HD
- Original Scorpio Films Trailers (HD)
- Poster & Photo gallery

My Nights with Susan, Sandra, Olga & Julie (1975) is a quirky Dutch thriller with ample amounts of naughty eroticism and weird little touches that keep it plenty entertaining. It never wears out it's welcome and ending with an odd bit of macabre strangeness that really put a smile on my face. Of the three that I've seen this is my favorite of the four Scorpio films released by Cult Epics, though I have yet to catch up with Blue Movie (1971). With it's broader appeal this ones comes highly recommended for fans of erotic thrillers with an offbeat slant.