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The Sadist of Notre Dame

The Sadist of Notre Dame (1979)
L’Éventreur de Notre-Dame

Jesus Franco (as James P. Johnson)

Henri Bral de Boitselier
Jesus Franco screenplay (as David Khune)
Jesus Franco story (as David Khune)
James C. Garner
Marius Lesoeur (as A.L. Mariaux)

Daniel Lesoeur associate producer
Marius Lesoeur producer

Lina Romay – Anne (as Rosa Almirall)
Catherine Lafferière – Martine
Jesus Franco – Mathis Vogel, aka Laforgue (as Jess Frank)
Catherine Lafferière – Rose, a sadist (as Lynn Monteil)
Nicolas France – Countess
Pierre Taylou – Pierre de Franval
Roger Germanes – Malou, the deputy inspector
Monica Swinn – Maria, a sadist
France Nicolas – The Countess
Sam Marée – David Carter
François Guillaume – Martine’s Lover
Caroline Rivière – Gina, the Nightclub Girl (as Carole Riviere)
Philippe Lebrun
Olivier Mathot – Inspector Tanner
Antonio de Cabo – (extended edition)
Maria Forlan
Richard Bigotini – The Count’s Butler
Claude Boisson – Bidouille, the Poacher )
Raymond Hardy – Hotel Receptionist
Claude Sendron – The Count
Daniel White – The Doctor

Review by Sven Soetemans

A violent crusade of purification,
Slow, terrifically build up shock-tale that easily passes as one of Franco’s finest achievements, almost on the same level as “The awful Dr. Orloff” or “Miss Muerte”. The acting is weak but the film is well-scripted and versatile enough to appeal to wide cult-audiences…Throw in some rancid sleaze and eerie Parisian dark alleys and you’ve got yourself a truly undiscovered Euro-horror gem. Just make sure you watch an uncut version, preferably the one under the title “The Sadist of Notre Dame”.

The premise handles about the mentally unstable ex-priest Mathis Laforgue (played by maestro Jess Franco himself) who recently escaped from a psychiatric clinic and now dwells the streets of Paris. He sees himself as a redeemer, sent by God to wipe out all that is impure. Laforgue kills prostitutes; horny teenagers and erotic party-goers, claiming he’s doing it to save their souls…Call it a revival of the Inquisition, set in present day Paris!

This is a cruel film with a cruel message. Even though it all sounds quite far-fetched, the film is brought with a strange sense of realism. “The Sadist of Notre Dame” makes up in cruelty what it lacks in budget possibilities. There are quite a few sequences that contain severe acts of torture and mutilation, interfered with the most perverted sexual undertones.

Franco at his best, in other words. And I was quite surprised to see his acting capabilities are above average too! Franco, with a constant nihilistic glance in his eyes, outshines the rest of the cast. His regular actress – Lina Romey – was at her most ravishing during this era and she willingly shows this whenever she cans. You get the picture, this is a real must for the more demanding cult-collector.

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70s Films

A tour through the great and not so great films of the seventies The seventies saw a huge change in styles and genres from the advent of the slasher horror movies like Halloween and the blockbuster summers films started by Jaws. More...

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