Judge David Johnson's brain burns.
A scent of women and scandal! (Plus, another, more noxious scent.)
It's time for another "classic" of French erotic cinema and I'm still hopelessly confused.
Facts of the Case
Because this entire production is an incoherent mess, I'm going to defer to the disc case synopsis for a plot rundown:
The notary, also the village pervert, needs to get married so as to quench the rumors about his taste for orgies and lusty behavior. He shows great interest in Evelyne, who succumbs to his advances, irresistibly attracted to his fortune. But she also entertains a relationship with a lesbian who doesn't accept the situation.
I don't know what it is with director Jean-Marie Pallardy, but he just loves putting old, flabby guys in his sex movies. "Doug," the perverted notary, is the stud of the hour and he's got the face of Colonel Sanders and the physique of Elmer Fudd. You, the lucky viewer, will have the pleasure of watching this guy participate in an outdoor make-out session, group sex and lots and lots and lots of talking.
Don't be fooled: the title "My Body Burns" may sound provocative, but the only thing you'll burn through watching this tedious, talky, decidedly unsexy affair are brain cells. And any goodwill you've earned from your DVD player. Unlike Erotic Diary of a Lumberjack, which was just as un-erotic and nonsensical, My Body Burns has zero sense of humor. It's not bawdy, but tries to play it serious what with the love triangle and the perverted notary trying to work a land scheme (or something) and the small-town, social stigma of lesbianism and it fails utterly.
There is a lot of nudity. It's weird nudity though. Like women just lounging around talking with their bathrobes open or traipsing through the woods sans blouse. Occasionally you'll get a love scene, maybe between the sleazy bartender and his lady friend or Evelyne and hers, though these are so shoddily filmed and edited you'll likely be more flummoxed than titillated.
Which brings me to l'elefante in the room. This has to be one of the worst shot movies I have seen. That is not hyperbole. Edits are haphazard and clumsy; there will be a dull dialogue scene and then the camera zooms in uncomfortably tight so the exchange is now taking place between two sets of eyeballs; some cuts happen well after the camera has moved away from the scene, as if the cinematographer (Ha! Good one!) had a sudden muscle spasm, and Pallardy opted to leave the sloppy camerawork in for kicks. I'd say 40 percent of this movie looks as if it were filmed by a narcoleptic. Consider yourself blessed. You will have been spared from an excruciating plot, dopey characters and nudity that manages to be dull and off-putting.
The full frame transfer was allegedly sourced from the original materials, but the process didn't do the finished product any favors—this is an ugly, flawed picture. The 2.0 stereo sound is thin and when the awful score fires up, it's ear-splitting. Extras: the same 60-minute interview with Pallardy that's on the other discs and the same collection of stills.
Don't waste your time. Go adopt a greyhound instead. Or play online Battleship.
Guilty. Take some of this balm and go away.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: MVD Visual
• Director Interview
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