While a new release from Mondo Macabro isn't necessarily guaranteed to be a great flick, you can always count on it being something different. The company bills itself as presenting the "wildside of world cinema," releasing some truly obscure examples of exploitation cinema from around the world. Their upcoming release The Blood Rose, which streets on August 28, is a French film claiming to be the first sex-horror film ever made -- a bold and frankly inaccurate statement, but it's an entertaining movie nonetheless.
Inspired by Jess Franco's 1962 film The Awful Dr. Orloff, which in turn took its cues from Georges Franju's Eyes Without A Face, The Blood Rose is broken into three sections dubbed The Past, the Present and the Future. During the segment dubbed The Past, famous artist Frederic Lansac (Philippe Lemaire) reflects on life as he awaits a doctor's verdict (or at least that 's what the onscreen text says). Through a flashback we see Lansac end his relationship with the status-seeking Moira (Elizabeth Teissier) for Anne (Anny Duperey), the true love of his life. The two set up shop in Lansac's secluded family chateau, even though Anne is startled (as was I) to learn that the place comes with Igor and Olaf, two mute dwarf servants wearing animal skins. On the couple's wedding night, Moira confronts Anne and the beautiful young bride stumbles into a fire, setting her gown ablaze. The segment ends with Lansac receiving the news that Anne has been left disfigured, unable to walk and nearly blind.