Paris seventeen ninety-four, a criminally insane
man scribbles out barely pornographic, cheap, lust
novels masked with poetic sounding prose. Aided by a
chambermaid at the asylum, the books make print with
copies selling faster than prostitution.
The film begins with a very nicely filmed
execution scene and a bloodthirsty observation, "How
quickly pleasure is taken from one and given to
others." The sex-guilty maiden is fitted to the
guillotine as the townsfolk enjoy the
Soon the crazy Count demands a warmer form of
payment from the maid (Kate Winslet), "A kiss a
Winslet coyly replies, "May I blow them or must I
administer them?" She then asks if there's room for
negotiation, to which the Rush smugly expounds, "The
price is every bit as firm as I am."
It's a festival of snobbish, yet still plainly
sophomoric puns. Though, I chuckled a few times,
these were rarely due to the double entendres.
Surprisingly and inappropriately, a serious film
erupts from between the buttocks of this
Shakespearean-like farce. The Abby in charge of the
Asylum and the crazy Count debate human nature "To
eat, sh*t, f*ck," the Count insists. Countering the
Count, the Abby offers, "To fall in love."
But the staid half of the production relies too
heavily on vanity as a motivating force for every
turn, mudballing the film into a mucky progression of
farcical twists that never seems to stop rolling. The
film itself becomes like the Terminator. Seeming
ending after seeming ending, it just won't die.
Rumor had it that this is a sexy picture. Eek,
about as sexy as necrophilia. The lewd fable proves
an inhospitable host for the more meaty conflict
between priest and pervert. "Have you no faith in
your own mission?" Rush bitingly asks the Abby, ... a
great poke toward a subplot that unfortunately drowns
in the muddle.
Though the performances are fair and the costuming
& sets very nice; these characters have no depth.
All but Rush's are mere whims of the author, vehicles
for pointless plot twists. Simply stated, the film is
a cheap novel itself with an insulting attempt at a
moral stapled on at its end. I'm not appalled by the
vulgarity ... I'm appalled by the lack of