Sunday, January 2, 2022

Shining Sex – Severin Films (Blu-ray)

Theatrical Release Date: Italy/France/Belgium/Switzerland, 1975
Director: Jesus Franco
Writer: Jesus Franco
Cast: Lina Romay, Evelyne Scott, Monica Swinn, Olivier Mathot, Raymond Hardy, Simon Berger, Jesús Franco

Release Date: August 25th, 2020
Approximate Running Time: 105 Minutes 28 Seconds
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVCC
Rating: NR
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $29.98

"Lina Romay is at her most explicitly seductive as an exotic dancer whose body is inhabited by a being from another dimension to explore desire, depravity and death, while Uncle Jess himself portrays a wheelchair-bound psychic obsessed with the paranormal." - synopsis provided by the distributor

Video: 4/5

Here’s the information provided about the transfer, “scanned from the original negative for the first time ever anywhere”.

Shining Sex comes on a 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 44.3 GB

Feature: 28.5 GB

The source used for this transfer is in great shape and any source-related debris is minimal. Colors and flesh tones look correct, image clarity generally looks crisp (this film has an intentional soft-focus look) and though there are a few compression related moments, these are minor.

Audio: 3.5/5

This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English, and included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles. Outside of a few very minor source-related imperfections, dialog always comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced.

Extras: 

Extras for this release include English language trailer (3 minutes 40 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English, no subtitles), very NSFW XXX outtakes (13 minutes 10 seconds, Dolby Digital mono), an interview with filmmaker Christophe Gans (29 minutes 13 seconds, in French with English subtitles), an interview with producer Daniel Lesoeur titled Franco at Eurocine (17 minutes 39 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), an interview with filmmaker Gerard Kikoine titled Never Met Franco (6 minutes 26 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo French with removable English subtitles), an interview with Stephen Thrower, author of Murderous Passions, Franco Volume 1: The Delirious Cinema of Jesús and Flowers of Perversion, Volume 2: The Delirious Cinema of Jesús Franco titled Shining Jess (19 minutes 14 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), a locations featurette titled In the Land of Franco Part 3 (12 minutes 42 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English and Spanish with English subtitles) and an audio commentary with authors/pod-casters Robert Monell and Rod Barnett.

Summary:

Jess Franco was a prolific filmmaker who worked in just about every genre of cinema. And though he’s most remembered for his contributions to erotica cinema, Most of his films are actually a melting pot of film genres.

Case in point: In Shining Sex, a film that mixes eroticism and science fiction, That said, there are science fiction elements in Shining Sex. This is, after all, a Jess Franco film, and the result is unlike any science fiction film that came before or since.

Front and center in Shining Sex is Jess Franco’s muse, Lina Romay (Female Vampire, The Hot Nights of Linda). She portrays an erotic dancer whose routine is Shining Sex. She delivers a force of nature performance where she exposes every inch of her body. Next to Lina Romay, the rest of the performances all pale in comparison. Another performance of note is Jess Franco in the role of Dr. Seward, a wheelchair-bound cripple who connects via telepathy with Lina’s character when she has sex.

Content-wise, Shining Sex has all the elements that have become synonymous with the cinema of Jess Franco. Most notably, a loosely contracted narrative, minimal dialog, and an ample amount of naked flesh. Although Jess Franco often gets criticized for his overuse of zooms. He actually had a strong visual eye, and nowhere is this clearer than in Jess Franco’s knack for picking visually interesting locations.

But Jess Franco made more than his fair share of Z-grade cinema. There’s no denying that when he was clocking on cylinders, he delivered films that have stood the test of time. Ultimately, Shining Sex is a textbook example of Jess Franco’s brilliance as a filmmaker.

Shining Sex gets an exceptional release from Severin Films, highly recommended.








Written by Michael Den Boer

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