The Sadist of Notre Dame (1979)

aka L’eventreur de Notre-Dame, Demoniac
Article 3477 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-15-2011
Posting Date: 2-20-2011
Directed by Jesus Franco
Featuring Jesus Franco, Lina Romay, Catherine Lafferiere
Country: Belgium / France / Spain
What it is: Another Jack the Ripper clone

An excommunicated priest is knocking off loose women to save their souls.

One of the problems of a movie-watching project like mine is that sooner or later you just get tired of certain types of movies. I realized after watching this one that I am sick to death of movies about serial killers with sexual hang-ups going around killing women. For every movie that actually does something interesting with the subject, there are about 20 or 30 that just use it as an opportunity to give us lots of sex, nudity and violence. The fact that movies like this can be made on extreme low budgets probably explains why there are so many of them. I will give a little credit to Jesus Franco here, though; there are a couple of touches that I find interesting, like the fact that our madman has a little more dimension than you usually find, and I’ve rarely seen a movie of this type end the way that this one does. Furthermore, it’s one of the rare times where Franco gives himself a prominent role in the cast, and he does a decent job. But the rest of it is the usual stuff; when it’s not belaboring the cliches of the genre, it’s belaboring all of the usual Franco obsessions. Apparently, there are several different versions of this movie out there with varying degrees of sex and violence; the one I saw was the one with the title I gave above, and I’m just not interested enough in Franco to hunt down all different versions for the sake of comparison.


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