Viol, la grande peur (1978)

Here’s a nasty low-budget bit of sexploitation from the incomparable Eurocine. Eurotrash fans will doubtless be familiar with many cast members, from Brigitte Lahaie to Olivier Mathot to Pierre Taylou. Script girl Ilona Kunesova is also on hand, a familiar credit to hardcore Franco-philes who have acquired the taste of his work for the LeSeour brothers (some of his most ambitiously freeform work, despite non-existent budgets). Pierre Chevalier brings a suitable mediocrity to the proceedings, artlessly cobbling together tasteless scene after forehead-slapping scene. By 1978, it wasn’t necessary to cloak this sort of film behind a guise of moral self-righteousness, but that’s what makes the film so enjoyable (in the sense of being wrongheaded at every turn, even moreso than a better-known Chevalier flick from Eurocine, the sublimely ridiculous Dr. Orloff’s Invisible Monster).

Brigitte Lahaie turns up (guess what happens), and one wonders if it occurred to her that all of her efforts to go mainstream were in films that were far inferior – artistically, aesthetically, dramatically, in every way – to the nonstop run of XXX masterpieces she was starring in at Alpha France.

The film itself purports to be based on actual incidents, sleazily recreated. There’s courtroom scenes with the defense lawyer accusingly shouting, “No brassieres!”, the most deranged cast of male sex psychos ever (EVERY guy in the film is a sweaty predator, eyeing up the ladies like meat) to woman-in-the-street interviews with a rumply greaseball pushing his mike into woman’s faces and asking plaintively, “What do you think of rape?”Needless to say, this is wonderfully entertaining for those who appreciate this sort of thing.