Written by: Cliff Wood on October 30th, 2017
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1977
Director: Roberta Findlay
Writer: Roberta Findlay
Cast: Tara Chung, Jennifer Jordan, Jake Teague, Jeffrey Hurst, Marlene Willoughby, Crystal Sync, Michael Gaunt, Clea Carson, Robert Kerman
BluRay released: October 24th, 2017
Approximate running time: 85 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Vinegar Syndrome
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $32.98
“Don and his wife Frances have been struggling in their marriage. Frances’s mentally ill sister, Karen, who lives with them, is taking a toll on their romance and as such, the Comptons have been considering having her committed to an asylum. Upon overhearing their plans, Karen runs away, taking refuge in an empty house on a remote beach. But slowly her grip on reality diminishes, giving way to increasingly violent delusions and an ever-growing bloodlust…” – Synopsis provided by the Distributor
A Woman’s Torment was written and directed by Roberta Findlay whose other notable films include, Alter of Lust, Angel on Fire, Mystique and The Tiffany Minx. She also worked extensively as a cinematographer and some of her notable credits as a cinematographer include, A Thousand Pleasures, Snuff, Babylon Pink and Blonde Ambition.
Content wise, A Woman’s Torment is more of a horror film, than it is a XXX sex film. With the film’s premise bearing a strong striking resemblance to Roman Polanski’s Repulsion. Pacing is not an issue as the film does a great job letting each violent outburst linger for their maximum effect. And another strength of this film is how is quickly establishes a foreboding mood that builds to a fever pitch by the time its climax arrives.
The cast are all strong in their respective roles. With this film’s most memorable performance being Tara Chung in the role of Karen, the woman whose torment ignites her killing spree. And when it comes to the cast, there are several recognizable faces in minor roles like Robert Kerman (Cannibal Holocaust) who appears as a guest during a party scene, Marlene Willoughby (Sunny) in the role of a noisy neighbor whose curiosity gets her killed and Michael Gaunt (The Intrusion) in the role of Larry the Lineman, an overly friendly power company employee.
The sex scenes are best described as serviceable. With the most memorable of the sex scenes being the sex scene where Larry the Lineman’s kindness to Karen does not end well.
As mentioned before this film is more a horror film, than a XX sex film. And it should not come as a surprise that this film’s greatest asset are its visuals which do a superb job reinforcing Karen’s state of mind.
A Woman’s Torment comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The source for this releases transfer was newly scanned and restored in 2k from the 35mm negative. The source used for this transfer is in great shape. Grain remains intact, colors and flesh tones look accurate, details look crisp and there are no issues with compression.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English and included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles. There are no issues with background noise or distortion, dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced.
Extras for this release include, reversible cover art, an interview with actor Michael Gaunt (16 minutes 7 seconds), Quad Cinema screening with a Q & A with Roberta Findlay (22 minutes 38 seconds), R Rated version of the film (87 minutes 13 seconds – 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC / DTS-HD mono English with English SDH subtitles) and an audio commentary with Roberta Findlay.
Topics discussed in the interview with Michael Gaunt include, how he got cast, Roberta Findlay, onset memories, how he prepared for his scene, his thoughts about Tara Chung’s performance, Marlene Willoughby and Robert Kerman.
Topics discussed in the Q & A and audio commentary include, background information about D.F.S. productions, the visuals, the casting process, Tara Chung the lead actress and how they finished the film after she left the film before its completion, locations, background information about the cast, the origins of the film, background info about the music that appears in the film, how this film was shot simultaneously with two other films The Tiffany Minx and From Holly with Love, how the film Beach House has outtakes from these three films and other production related topics.
Also, included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo. Overall A Woman’s Torment gets an exceptional release from Vinegar Syndrome, highly recommended.