Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 6th, 2006
Theatrical Release Dates: France, 1974 (Tender and Perverse Emanuelle) USA, 2002 (Incubus)
Director: Jess Franco
Writers: Jesus Franco (Tender and Perverse Emanuelle), Jesus Franco, Kevin Collins (Incubus)
Cast:Norma Castell, Jack Taylor, Lina Romay (Tender and Perverse Emanuelle), Carina Palmer, Carsten Frank, Lina Romay, Fata Morgana (Incubus)
DVD Released: 2005
Approximate Running Time: 77 minutes (Tender and Perverse Emanuelle) 83 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 Anamorphic Widescreen (Tender and Perverse Emanuelle) 1.66:1 Non-Anamorphic (Incubus)
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English, Dolby Digital Mono German
DVD Release: X Rated Kult DVD
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL (Germany)
Retail Price: $29.95
Tender and Perverse Emanuelle: Michael Dreville is a psychiatrist who has been asked by a wealthy friend of his Gordon Douglas to come up to his home and help keep an eye on his wife. Gordon’s wife Emanuelle is a pianist and lately she has been having visions that someone is trying to kill her. Emanuelle’s body is found on the beach the day Michael arrives and the police make him one of the prime suspects because he was Emanuelle’s former lover. After Michael is cleared by an alibi he decides to launch his own ivestiag6tion into the final moments that lead up to Emanuelle’s death.
Jess Franco is a prolific filmmaker who has made just as many good films as he has bad ones. Tender and Perverse Emanuelle was made during his busiest time as a director. This film opens with two women embracing each other as they caress every inch of each others bodies. This scene is dimly lit like many scenes in the film that follow it showcase Franco at his seductive best. The films plot is hardly original and many of the moments especially early on are lifted from Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo. The more we learn about the Emanuelle character the further we are also drawn into the seductive web Franco has concocted.
Two Franco regulars Jack Taylor and Lina Romay give outstanding performances that help elevate the rest of the casts’ performances. Actress Norma Castell who plays the films lead Emanuelle gives a solid performances that is equally sympathetic and sexy. It is unfortunately that she would only make a handful of films before fading away into obscurity. Daniel White’s haunting score perfectly set the atmosphere. Franco directs this film with his usual sense of rhythm and style with his strongest moments being the flashback sequences. Overall Tender and Perverse Emanuelle a first rate murder mystery that will keep you occupied tell the very end.
Incubus: Johan Harker is a struggling artist whose wife is also extremely ill. One day he encounters a woman named Lorna who promises him fame, fortune and cures his wife’s illness if he and his wife agree to bear a child for her. After twenty years of good fortune Lorna returns to collect the child she is owed and when Johan refuses to complete the deal back luck then befalls everyone around him.
Jess Franco has made career out remaking his previous and this is even more evident in his most recent films. Scenarios and character like Lorna have been recycled many times. The acting is pretty bad in Incubus with one exception that being Lina Romay who starts off slowly before coming into her own when her characters looses her mind. The performances are also hampered by the how bland the English dubbed makes each person sound. Franco shows hints of his past greatness with a few interesting shots and the films orgy finale is some of his best work in many years. In a somewhat unrelated but interesting twist Franco during the scene where Lina’s character looses her mind zooms in on a book about Klaus Kinski.
Overall Incubus is mess that is very hard to digest in one sitting and outside of Franco fans that must see every one of his films I would suggest everyone else skip it.
Tender and Perverse Emanuelle is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that frames the film at about a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The opening credits do show some signs of cropping and outside of this the rest of the film doesn’t feel cramped. Like many of X Rated Kult’s releases this transfer is a mixed bagged as the image looks hazy and colors look slightly off. At first glance this transfer almost looks like it was taken from a VHS and not a film source. Despite these setbacks this transfer is more then watch able.
Incubus is presented in a letterboxed widescreen that framed the image at about a 1.66:1 aspect ratio. The image like many films shot of video suffers not as much from its transfer as it does from the source material. The image is clean, but lack detail and lucid colors.
Tender and Perverse Emanuelle comes with two audio options English and German. Both are presented for this release in a Dolby Digital mono. Since this release comes with no English subtitles I only sampled the English language mix. The dialog is easy to follow and there are no problems with distortion or hiss. Overall the audio fares better then the transfer.
Incubus comes with two audio options English and German. Both are presented for this release in a Dolby Digital stereo. This film also doesn’t come with English subtitles so I concentrated on the English Language mix for this review. The audio sound muffled and distorted which makes adjusting the volume a must. Removable German subtitle have also been included.
Extras for this release include two trailers for Tender and Perverse Emanuelle with no English subtitles. Each film comes with a photo gallery and Incubus also comes with a few pages of the films script.
For this release X Rated Kult have paired together two Jess Franco films from two distinctively era’s of the filmmakers career. The two films quality wise couldn’t be more like night and day. Incubus is a disaster Tender and Perverse Emanuelle is a prime example of Franco near the top of his game.