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Eurotika (TV documentary)

Related: European exploitation - 'Euro trash' - European cinema

Je suis frigide... pourquoi?/I Am Frigid...Why? (1972) - Max Pecas


Channel 4ís Eurotika documentary treads the same territory as Pete Tombsís quintessential book Immoral Tales: Sex And Horror Cinema In Europe 1956-1984. Here are the episode titles:


During the 1960s and 1970s, European low-budget films went kinky, emerging as a new type of cinema that blended eroticism, surrealism, horror, and over-the-top atmospherics.

Vampires and Virgins: The Films of Jean Rollin,
Vampires and Virgins takes a look at the life of Jean Rollin, a director best known for his sexy vampire flicks. Through interviews with Rollin, the film reveals a sensitive artist whose work, while reviled in his native France, was acclaimed throughout the United States and Britain.

The Diabolical Mr. Franco: The Films of Jess Franco
The Diablical Mr. Franco explores the life and times of Jess Franco, widely regarded as European cinemaís foremost rebel, and the creator of the first Spanish porn film. His more than 200 films include Vampyros Lesbos, about a mysterious countess who lures young women back to her castle, and Necromonicon, adapted from a medieval book on the occult. The film includes interviews with Monica Swinn, Jess Franco, Michel Lemoine, Daniel Lesoeur, and Nigel Wingrove.

Blood and Black Lace: A Short History of the Italian Horror Film
Blood and Black Lace focuses on Italian horror filmmakers Mario Bava, Dario Argento, and Lucio Fulci, whose baroque and bloody horror thrillers were also slick and stylish. The program features interviews with Erika Blanc, Orchidea de Santis, Daniela Giordano, Luigi Cozzi and Al Festa.

From Barcelona to Tunbridge Wells: The Films of Jose Larraz;
From Barcelona to Tunbridge Wells looks at Spainís steamy sex and horror film master, Jose Larraz, who caused a sensation at the Cannes Film Festival with Symptoms. The film features interviews with Larraz, producer Brian Smedly-Aston, and former Benny Hill star Marianne Morris.

The Pope of Perversion: The Films of Jose Benazeraf
The Pope of Perversion is about the controversial French porn king Jose Benazeraf, who, now in his 70s, continues to make porn films.

Strange Behavior: Eurocine-A Life
Strange Behavior profiles a Paris-based, family-run production company named Eurocine. For nearly 50 years, Eurocine has been producing some of the most recognized low budget European flicks, including striptease movies and sexy crime thrillers.

I am a Nymphomaniac: The Films of Max Pecas,
I am a Nymphomaniac explores the classy erotic films of Max Pecas, a pioneering force in French sexploitation films who discovered the talents of Elke Sommer, Anne Libert, and Sandra Julien.

Blood and Sand: All You Ever Wanted to Know About Spanish Horror Films
Blood and Sand focuses on classic Spanish horror, which distinguished itself as gorier, grittier, and more down-to-earth than works being produced elsewhere in Europe. The film features interviews with horror star Paul Naschy as well as some of his female co-stars.

The Blood Beast: The Films of Mike Reeves.
The Blood Beast looks at the films of British director Michael Reeves (Witchfinder General/The Conqueror Worm), who died under mysterious circumstances at age 26. Interviews include TV star Ian Ogilvy, who starred in all three of Reevesís features; award winning author Iain Sinclair; and Paul Maslansky, who produced Reeves's first film.

Gary Morris review

Thanks to a flourishing underground video scene, the works of European sex 'n' sleaze auteurs of the '60s and '70s have become widely available. Films with titles like Virgin Among the Living Dead, Joe Caligula, and Natalie, Fugitive From Hell certainly sound enticing, but what about the men (all men, in this case) who made them? Eurotika!, the BBC's nine-part series of mini-documentaries on the phenomenon of Eurosleaze uses interviews and loads of clips -- featuring full frontal nudity, beheadings, zombies, eviscerations, etc. -- to offer some welcome context on this surprisingly enduring movement.

Jean Rollin, profiled in Vampires and Virgins, is the cut-rate Cocteau responsible for Shiver of the Vampires and The Nude Vampire. Yes, Rollin's specialty was the undead, specifically "twin lesbian vampires" wandering through cheesy, surreal tableaux. Rollin, like the other subjects here, comes off as a good-natured old fart. Equally cool is France's porn king, Jose Benazeraf, sketched in The Pope of Perversion. He's surely the only director ever to put Marxist rants into the mouths of lap dancers humping a pole. The Diabolical Mr. Franco eclipses his peers in one regard: While financing was problematic for most filmmakers, Jess Franco has managed to make more than 200 features since the 1960s. His films, like Succubus, have a creepy reality that transcends the tacky sets and bad dubbing.

Blood and Black Lace: A Short History of the Italian Horror Film puts Mario Bava in this company, which almost seems blasphemous given Bava's vastly superior visual talents. But since he did more or less create the giallo -- stylish mystery-horror films exported from Italy in the '60s -- he surely belongs here. Jose Larraz typifies the higher goals these dime-store directors aspired to. He describes mining his flicks with allusions to classical mythology and literature, but the viewer will be forgiven for missing these references in his films' sea of T&A. Bring the binoculars. --Gary Morris, sfweekly.com | originally published: February 6, 2002, partyl reproduced at http://www.brightlightsfilm.com/43/stabs.htm

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