Written by: Michael Den Boer on June 8th, 2008
Theatrical Release Date: Spain, June 25th, 1984
Alternate Titles: Lillian, the Perverted Virgin
Approximate running time: 73 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen
Director: Jesus Franco
Writer: Jesus Franco
Cinematograper: Juan Soler
Composer: Daniel White
Cast: Katja Bienert, Antonio Mayans, Emilio Linder, Mari Carmen Nieto, José Llamas, Daniel White, Rosa María Martín, Lina Romay, Jesus Franco
Synopsis: After escaping her tormentors’ young woman named Lilian is rescued by a man named Mario. Lilian tells Mario and his friend Bernardo a tale about the sexual assault she suffered at the hands of her captors. Mario is forced to take matters into his own hands when the law refuses to punish Lilian’s tormentors’.
Jess Franco had made several forays into the world of Hardcore XXX cinema. Most of these films are sterile and impersonal with very little redeeming qualities. Lilian out of all of his hardcore films stands head and shoulders above the rest. Lilian is a film of historical significance since it was the first legal hardcore XXX film to be released in Spain. The hardcore sex scenes look like they were shot later on and none of them with Katja Bienert. Despite this they are edited/intergraded in the rest of the flawlessly.
Lina Romay does participate in some of the hardcore scene which involves lesbian and falacio. One of the best sex scenes a three way ends with Lina Romay licking semen off of another woman’s ass. Franco does a masterful job shooting the hardcore around his star Katja Bienert who only appear topless and runs around naked during the opening credits. Visually every frame of Lilian is beautifully framed and lit. Franco’s sense of knowing when and where to juxtaposition images and objects with-in the frame adds layers’ of depth to the story.
The story is nicely paced around the handful of hardcore sex sequences. Franco once again incorporates a nightclub sequence into the film. In this nightclub scene we are treated to a scene where Lina Romay’s character Irina plays a dominatrix who assaults a chained man with her whip. The scene finishes off with another woman going down on Irina. The sex scenes as a whole are all well constructed and erotic. The films score was composed by Daniel White under the alias Pablo Villa. Most of the musical motifs are familiar and most likely recycled from previous Franco films. Daniel White even has a brief role in the films as a corrupt security officer.
In the films lead role of Lilian is German actress Katja Bienert who had worked previously with Jess Franco on Diamonds of Kilimandjaro, Linda and Wicked Memoirs of Eugenie. Katja Bienert is a natural beauty that radiates an aura of innocence that is missing from most of Jess Franco’s leading ladies. Even though she never goes further in the film then being naked Franco is still able to photograph her in such a way that you cannot take your eyes off of her. Lina Romay does a superb job in the role of one of Lilian’s abductors/tormentors. Emilio Linder is not as convincing as Lilian’s other abductor/tormentor. He lacks the sadistic quality Lina Romay brings to her performance. Antonio Mayans under the alias Robert Foster is solid in the role of Mario the man who helps save Lilian. Antonio Mayans is one of Franco’s more frequently used leading actors’ having appeared in Tender and Perverse Emanuelle, Wicked Memoirs of Eugenie, Linda, Cannibals and The Devil Hunter. Jess Franco also appears as an actor in this film. He has a larger role then he usually does as Mario’s friend Bernardo. The acting is very good all around with no performance standing out a lesser or weak. Overall Lilian is Jess Franco’s hardcore masterpiece.
Note: The only DVD release of Lilia to date was in Spain where it was only available at newsstands.