8 June 2020 | BA_Harrison
Third time's not the charm.
In 1975, prolific Spanish film-maker Jess Franco directed sleazy horror L'éventreur de Notre-Dame (AKA Exorcism), also releasing a XXX version called Sexorcism which featured much more graphic sex scenes (several members of the original cast getting in on the fun, including Franco himself!). Four years later, Franco released a third version of the film, The Sadist of Notre Dame, re-edited with additional footage and a different storyline, but none of the explicit sex.
Franco plays ex-communicated priest Mathis Vogel, recently released from an asylum, who saves sinners by stabbing them to death with his switch-blade. First to go is a prostitute who makes the mistake of offering him her wares, followed soon after by a young girl walking home alone after an evening of bad disco dancing. Vogel writes a fictionalised account of his slayings, offering his story to a trashy sado-masochistic magazine published by Pierre de Franval (Pierre Taylou) and his assistant Anne (Franco muse Lina Romay), who participates in Satanic orgies at the chateau of a wealthy countess (France Nicolas). Following Anne to one of her depraved parties, Vogel sets about punishing the participants for their sins.
Franco can usually be relied upon for either graphic sex or graphic violence, and occasionally both; failing that, he tends to make his films plain weird or spectacularly bad. Barring some full frontal female nudity, The Sadist of Notre Dame is a relatively reserved film, the stabbings fairly free of gore and the sexy stuff strictly soft-core, and the film is neither bizarre enough or rubbish enough to appeal to fans of Z-grade cult cinema. To be fair, it's never boring, but when one invests time in a Franco film, one expects certain boxes to be ticked, and they aren't on this occasion.
I've not seen Exorcism yet, so I can't say how that film compares, but I have checked out an un-dubbed copy of Sexorcism and can confirm that Franco and company don't hold back when it comes to the naughty stuff.