Immoral Tales 1974

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Poland’s Walerian Borowcyck was originally hailed as an art-house auteur, but his 1970’s output had a commercial success that was more in keeping with the idea that he was a master of erotica. Somewhere between Goto, Island of Love and The Beast comes 1974’s Immoral Tales, a quartet of short stories from the pen of André Pieyre de Mandiargues. The openers, The Tide and Therese Philosophe, are the weakest, although the former has a poetic sense of time and a modern-day setting. The concluding two, Erzsebet Bathory and Lucrezia Borgia are both visually stunning, the first dealing with the classic story of the countess who bathed in the blood, and the final a tale of religious debauchery. If you can accept the degree of sexual detail involved, Erzsebet Bathothy’s sumptuous locations and music are worth seeing in their own right; the mood and historical content are enough to give soft-core cinema a good name.

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