Je brûle de partout (I Burn All Over) – Pulse Video (Blu-ray)
Theatrical Release Date: France, 1979
Director: Jesus Franco
Writer: Robert Hughe
Cast: Susan Hemingway, Brigitte Lahaie, Jean Ferrère, Didier Aubriot, Filo Lemoine, Aida Vargas, Mel Rodrigo, Martine Fléty, Jesús Franco
Release Date: June 28th, 2022
Approximate Running Time: 81 Minutes 15 Seconds
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVCC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono French
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: OOP
"Lorna and Tom are a couple of low life hustlers who make a living in the skin trade. Setting their sights on the naive Jenny, they coax the beautiful virgin home from a nightclub for an evening of debauchery, only to drug and sell her into a white slave network. However, they quickly discover that her father is a millionaire and, hoping for an even bigger payday, decide to demand a hefty ransom. But now they’re left with a problem, as they must kidnap Jenny back from the pimps who now ‘own’ her..." - synopsis provided by the distributor
Here’s the information provided about this release's transfer, “newly scanned in 2K and carefully restored to repair severe technical errors in the negative which have plagued all earlier presentations.”
Je brûle de partout comes on a 25 GB single dual Blu-ray.
Disc Size: 23.2 GB
Feature: 21.4 GB
The source looks very good, and though there is some print debris, it is minor. Colors and flesh tones look correct, image clarity and black levels are strong, and there are no issues with digital noise reduction.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in French, and included with this release are removable English subtitles. The audio is in good shape; dialog comes through clearly, and though everything sounds balanced, range-wise, things are limited.
Extras for this release include a limited-edition slipcover, a theatrical trailer (1 minute 34 seconds, Dolby Digital mono French with removable English subtitles), an interview with actress Brigitte Lahaie titled I Burn Over Franco (13 minutes, Dolby Digital stereo French with removable English subtitles), and an interview with author Stephen Thrower the author of Murderous Passions: The Delirious Cinema of Jesus Franco (25 minutes 15 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English with removable English subtitles).
Jess Franco has a massive filmography that has many peaks and valleys. He’s the type of filmmaker who you either loathe or fully embrace. His earliest films were his most accessible, which is not a surprise since most of these were horror films.
By the late 1970's, Jess Franco’s films would experience a steep decline in quality. He ended a partnership with film producer Erwin C. Dietrich. He would return to his no-budget productions that offered him complete control. And though these films are hit or miss, the majority of them fall into the latter category. There are a few gems that would emerge from Jess Franco in the late 1970’s.
One film that Jess Franco made during this period was Je brûle de partout, one of three films that would reunite him with producer Robert de Nesle. Je brûle de partout, unfortunately, lacks the enchantment of his previous Robert de Nesle films, Sinner: The Secret Diary of a Nymphomaniac and Lorna the Exorcist.
Though Jess Franco’s films have always dabbled in the realm of softcore erotica. By the 1970's, softcore erotica was already being obscured by hardcore XXX cinema. And, while some consider Je brûle de partout to be an XXX film, nothing in Je brûle de partout ever goes beyond softcore erotica.
Though Je brûle de partout offered Jess Franco the freedom he craved as a filmmaker, the result is a by-the-numbers film that has no flashes of brilliance that he’s known for. The anemic narrative is nothing more than a means to connect a series of erotic moments. And even when it comes to the visuals, they do not have the flare that’s synonymous with the cinema of Jess Franco. That said, at least there is a copious amount of nudity.
When it comes to the cast, this is one area where Jess Franco always seems to do very well. And for Je brûle de partout, he would cast Susan Hemingway (Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun), an actress whose filmography consists of only seven films, all directed by Jess Franco. She is one of Jess Franco’s great finds, and she delivers a strong performance that more than fulfills the role of the naive victim.
The other key cast member is French adult film actress Brigitte Lahaie, who would go on to star in many films directed by Jean Rollin. She would work with Jess Franco two more times: Dark Mission and Faceless. Despite having made a few non-XXX films by this point in her career. To have her appear in a softcore erotica film feels like a waste of resources. Ultimately, Je brûle de partout is an uninspired softcore erotica film that only Jess Franco completists will find any value in.
Je brûle de partout gets a first-rate release from Pulse Video that comes with a strong audio/video presentation and a pair of insightful extras.
Written by Michael Den Boer
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