Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 15th, 2007
Theatrical Release Date: France, 1982
Director: Jess Franco
Cast: Muriel Montossé, Richard Darbois, Christian Dragaux, France Lomay, Olivier Mathot, Antonio Mayans, Robert Merckx, Pierre Taylou
DVD released: January 29th, 2008
Approximate running time: 105 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono French, Dolby Digital English
DVD Release: Blue Underground
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $29.95
Synopsis: Cecilia is a bored housewife whose sexual taunting of the servants leads to her being raped by her chauffeur drivers’ brothers. Cecilia was aroused instead of being revolted during her sexual encounter with the rapists. After the rape Cecilia and her husband start to slowly drift apart as she loses herself in a series of sexual encounters. After a brief period apart Cecilia finally realizes that there is only one man she loves her husband.
Cecilia is a film that was made after Jess Franco’s return to Spain and in many it ignited his last great collection of films before he lowered himself to the one shot productions in the 1990’s. Cecilia is a Eurociné production thus actually making it more a French production then a Spanish one. Anyone familiar with Franco’s other Eurociné productions will see many locations that looked vaguely familiar. Even with the use of recycled locations that over production design and look of the film is very high for a Franco film post 1970’s. Visually Jess Franco gives a very bland and simple story a classy and often dream like look to it. Franco keeps things interesting without ever going overboard into his gymnastic camera tricks.
Story wise there really is not much to Cecilia as the whole plot is essentially a bored house wife getting in on and then discovering that the one she wants the most after all is her husband. The sex scenes which make up the bulk of the film are not some of the more erotic moments from Franco and yet even in their awkwardness they still are just dirty enough around their rough edges. The films score like so many of Franco’s films is composed by the incomparable Daniel White. The most effective/erotic moment in the film occurs very early on when Cecilia is being raped by her chauffeur drivers’ brothers.
The cast is minimal in Cecilia with a brief cameo from Lina Romay while the bulk of the story focuses almost entirely on Cecilia who is portrayed by actress Muriel Montossé who has worked with Jess Franco in the past on such films like The Inconfessable Orgies of Emmanuelle, The Devil Hunter and Two Female Spies with Flowered Panties. Muriel Montossé is one of sexier women to appear in a Jess Franco film and she has a strong screen presence in Cecilia. The pacing of the film is very good and it would have been even better if the film was about 15 to 20 minutes shorter than its 105 minute running time. Ultimately Cecilia ends up being an above average Franco film despite starting off strong and a few moments later in the film that are first rate Franco.
Blue Underground brings Jess Franco’s Cecilia to North America for the first time ever uncut and on DVD. Cecilia is the fifteenth Jess Franco film released by Blue Underground and anyone who has sampled any of their previous Franco releases know what to expect audio/video/extras wise.
Besides a trailer for the film the only other extra included for this release is a seventeen minute interview with Jess Franco. Once again Franco recounts every moment with great detail and clarity.
From top to bottom this is another spectacular release from Blue Underground who gives Cecilia its best audio/video presentation on home video to date, recommended.