Blu-ray Review: Jess Franco’s Shining Sex (1977)

August 21, 2020

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Shining Sex begins the only way it could; with a whistling Lina Romay dabbin’ at a photo of a dude with his schlong out with an eye shadow brush.

Well, turns out Romay… or rather her character Cynthia is an exotic dancer that performs some sort of grease and gold plastered interpretive dance; the eponymous Shining Sex… a heady combo of pubic area razor burn, baffling close-ups, and shag carpeting that is guaranteed to have the audience scratching their heads as well as their crotches.

After that showstopper, Cynthia is whisked away to the plush roof-top penthouse of Alpha (Evelyne Scott), where she immediately begins having sex with the lady of the manor… oh, and in a story ripped from today’s headlines; Alpha is an alien from another dimension with telepathic abilities, as one does.

So what is Alpha up to?  Mostly sitting around with her naked Lou Reed lookin’ man-servant, Andros (Raymond Hardy)… oh, and weaponizing our heroine’s vagina via magic lotion. A Tuesday indeed boils n’ ghouls.

Fortunately for horny people everywhere, and by “everywhere” I mean the seaside resort of La Grande Motte naturally, wheel chair-bound psychic/paranormal investigator Dr. Seward (writer/director/genius Jess Franco himself) is hot on the heels of this pan-dimensional menace, and their increasingly sparkly human sex-bomb!

Personally I feel that whatever shit I wrote up yonder should be more than enough to convince you of two things; one: this movie is absolutely fucking insane, and two: you need to own this shit immediately if you dig on Franco and near mind-blowing levels of nudity and nonsense… and if you don’t this damn picture may just convince you of the errors of your ways!

The main attraction here is the absolutely gorgeous Romay, and believe you me, you get to see more of her here than in most of her past pictures with Uncle Jess combined… I’m talkin’ almost medically thanks to that ever zoomin’ camera.

Speaking of gorgeous, the seascapes and retro-futuristic architecture of the aforementioned La Grande Motte give the film a unique atmosphere, which is only accentuated by the fever-dream narrative, and psychotronic editing and cinematography.

As if you needed any “bonus” content with all of that glory mentioned above, Severin have given ya some anyway! First up we get the next installment in author Stephen Thrower’s travelogue through Franco’s old haunts, followed by an interview with the same examining the themes of Shining Sex.

Following that we get an interview with filmmaker Gerard Kikoine (who worked with Franco in the ’70s) and his dog… who gets mighty confused at one point, a selection of x-rated outtakes, an interview with producer Daniel Lesoeur.

Last up comes an informative audio commentary courtesy of Franco scholars Robert Monell and Rod Barnett that details just how this flick came together from a production standpoint, along with plenty of facts and anecdotes… as well as filmmaker Christophe Gans (The Brotherhood of the Wolf) discussing Franco’s influence on his career, and the film’s trailer.

Absolutely jaw dropping in it’s mix of kink and kitsch; Shining Sex is a masterpiece of erotic insanity by the maestro of the genre!





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