SEXY SISTERS (Die teuflischen Schwestern)
1977, dir: Jess Franco
The film opens up in good form with a nice Satanic themed erotic dance (filled with signature Franco closeups) in a shady exotic nightclub. A young and wealthy Countess by the name of Edna von Stein, played by Pamela Stanford (Cannibal Terror), uses the club as her hunting ground for men to seduce. Tonight’s her lucky night! She picks up a young, flash chap by the name of Joe, played by Kurt Meinickle (Bed Hostesses). After getting it on her car, she takes him back to her estate to carry on the fun. Turns out she has something of a dark secret, chained up and imprisoned in the estate is Edna’s younger sister Millie, played by Karine Gambier (Women of Cellblock 9). Millie is mentally ill and suffers from severe nymphomania. Edna lets Millie in on the action from time to time. She’s not all bad right? Not exactly, because Edna may have a darker motive than just sharing and caring with her sister. Millie is teased and mentally antagonised by the sexual antics of her sister. To help with Millie’s apparent mental deterioration, Dr. Charles Burnes, played by Jack Taylor (Pieces), but just like Edna, he could have his own motives. To make matters worse for Millie, she is haunted by her past, suffering from ‘horrific’ nightmares and may or may not be hallucinating. What exactly could her tormentors gain? Well, I will tell you. Millie and Edna are actually step sisters. Millie’s father has left all of his estate to her, leaving Edna penniless and extremely bitter. Luckily for Edna, if Millie is deemed mentally unable to look after herself, Edna will take full control of the whole inheritance. It’s a classic take of treachery! Will Edna get away with it? Will her scheme be exposed?
The first third is almost a confusing mess, but everyone’s motives become clear. It may not be the most well written or intelligent story, but it’s solid enough. Agatha Christie has nothing to worry about, but she also won’t exactly be spinning in her grave. The film is filled to the brim with style and I just adore the decor of the von Stein Estate. If you love cats, you are going to just LOVE some of the art on display. If you want some hilarious dialogue, you’ve come to the right place! The sex talk is simply out of this world! There’s a lot of flesh on show, pretty much all the cast are involved in an erotic scene. Speaking of which, this is cheap softcore production, so yeah, there’s plenty of awkwardly executed kissing and hip gyrations! That works in the favour of the film, trust me! Another plus point is the wonderful jazz score from Walter Baumgartner (who also has a small cameo in the film). It really adds to the overall mood and is often more erotic than the slap and tickle on show. All in all, it’s a very entertaining (pretty much for the wrong reasons) piece of sleaze. There may be a few slow and drawn out sequences here and there, but it’s far from a dull film. Of you are looking for some stupid fun, this is definitely worth a watch.
In terms of the release itself, this is a worthwhile addition to the collection. It’s lacking on the special features front, you only get a trailer and photo gallery, but the film looks and sounds great. Peter Baumgartner’s cinematography, especially the wide angled exterior shots look great. Sure, there’s some scenes where the camera is clearly knocked and some shots seemed to be rushed, but the colours pop off the screen for the most part. It’s not a perfect restoration either, there’s some print damage, but Ascot Elite have a done a great job with the materials at their disposal. The sound is just as good, purely going from the English dub of course. Speaking of which, there are English, German, French and Spanish audio options available, with only a Japanese subtitle track available. We should be thankful that we’re getting English friendly Franco, but English subs could have been great. That being said, the film would lose some of the silliness and charm. As I said earlier, the English dub is great! Overall, this is a nice addition to the sleaze library. Francophiles will already own this one, but if you’re looking to get in to the cinema of Jess Franco, this is a good place to start. It’s not his finest work (both in the technical and entertaining sense), but it’s a solid film regardless.
Sexy Sisters is available on DVD and Blu-ray from Ascot Elite Entertainment.