Original Title: L’éventreur de Notre-Dame
Directed by: Jess Franco
France/Spain/Belgium (1974) 1979
Distributed by: Extreme - WorldWideCinema
Jess Franco gets a lot of undeserved critique for making quick and dirty movies – technically too - and amongst the movies that get the most complaints are the Eurocine movies. It’s no understatement he made more “lesser” movies than “better” movies with Eurocine – but at the same time it’s also the studio that produced some of Jess Franco’s absolute finest moments. Such as the magnificently sleazy, depraved and violent Exorcism or The Sadist of Notre Dame or Demoniac depending on which version you actually get to see. This is one of Franco’s wildest, darkest and strangest movies, and a shocking, disturbing and outstanding tour de force of Jess Franco cinema.
Pulp author Paul Vogel – or Mathis depending on which version you are watching [Franco] is writes seedy, sensationalistic crime stories for The Dagger and Garter Weekly. His latest short, The Torture Chambers of the Inquisition, tells the exploits of a sadist who Vogel claims to be based on a real character, hence the absolutely authentic details - which the readers love! Office clerk Anne [Lina Romay], who also participates in the opening nightclub performance, works in the Venus Publications offices too. The meeting ends on a sour note, when Anne and boyfriend Raymond (or Pierre depending on which version you are watching) [Pierre Taylou] candidly without knowing he’s still in the hallway, mock Vogel.