Michel Lemoine – Les Week-ends malefiques du Comte Zaroff AKA Seven Women for Satan (1976)
Pete Tombs’ Mondo Macabro label has been unearthing cinematic obscurities for almost two years now, digging up such oddball entries as Pakistan’s THE LIVING CORPSE, Italy’s THE NUDE PRINCESS (with transsexual superstar Ajita Wilson), and Indonesia’s MYSTICS IN BALI. Now, they have uncovered a long-lost French sexploitation film, SEVEN WOMEN FOR SATAN, directed by Franco regular Michele Lemoine and starring familiar Franco face Howard Vernon, and reportedly banned in its home country.
Lemoine plays Count Boris Zaroff (hold your chuckles, please), a stuffy aristocratic businessman to unassuming eyes, but get him in the bedroom and WOW! Zaroff has deep unidentified psychotic tendencies, especially when confronted with beautiful women. Case in point: he picks up a lovely brunette hitchhiker, spends the evening tying her up in front of the fireplace, pouring champagne over her body and licking it off, then drives her to an isolated woods area, beats her, tries to apologize, then runs her down with his car as she tries to run away! His manservant Karl (the great Howard Vernon, who also plays Zaroff’s dying father with a scraggly fake beard) acts as his accomplice, aiding in selecting candidates for Zaroff’s violent outbursts. There is barely a coherent plot here, SEVEN WOMEN is a clothesline for beautiful naked women to writhe, moan, dance, and be tortured and murdered. The ghost of Zaroff’s fiancé, whom he accidentally murdered (played by Jean Rollin favorite Joelle Coeur), reappears and waltzes with him in the loft of the barn, and continues to reappear to haunt him! A beautiful blonde secretary is invited over, drinks some wine, then does a wild dance on a stage, writhes naked on Zaroff’s bed while rubbing a blue boa over her abundant curves, then is chased through the house and out a window by Inga, Zaroff’s bloodthirsty dog! Muriel and Francis, a young couple whose car broke down, happen upon Zaroff’s mansion and stay for the night. As punishment for snooping around the house in the middle of the night, the young lovers meet their ends in the torture chamber!