The French Sex Murders

The French Sex Murders

"Love is a dangerous thing in a place like this."

At a Paris brothel run by Madame Colette (Anita Eckberg), petty thief Antoine Gottvales (Pietro Martellanza, credited as Peter Martel) argues with his prostitute girlfriend, Francine (Barbara Bouchet) before storming out the door. When Francine is subsequently found murdered in her room it seems like an open-and-shut case and Antoine is quickly found guilty and sentenced to death, but not before vowing to return from the grave to avenge his wrongful conviction. When Antoine is killed during an escape attempt everyone breathes a sigh of relief... until people involved with the case start turning up dead! Could the curse be coming true? Anyone could be the next victim, from Antoine's ex-wife Marianne (Rosalba Neri) and her new husband, nightclub owner Pepi (Rolf Eden) to author Randall (Renato Romano), who is writing an exposé of Paris prostitutes. And who are the mysterious hooded figures who frequent the brothel? Inspector Fontaine (Robert Sacchi) is on the case.

The French Sex Murders is a workmanlike giallo and is entertaining enough despite being poorly written, directed, shot, acted and lit. The one thing that stands out here is the casting of Robert Sacchi who based his career – starting with this film – on his uncanny resemblance to Humphrey Bogart. 
  • The French Sex Murders was written (under a pseudonym) and produced by Dick Randall, a colorful, larger-than-life character who made his living by making cheap, trashy movies and selling them around the world. Randall makes a cameo in The French Sex Murders as a fez-wearing patron of Madame Colette's. Note that the writer in this movie is named after him. Randall's wife, Cloriss shares some great stories about her husband on the DVD's special features.
  • Check out the mummified skull on Professor Waldemar's desk. I'm pretty sure that it's the same prop that would be used a few years later as the walled-up corpse in Dario Argento's Deep Red

What the Hell Am I Watching?

I love the moment where the hooded figures at the brothel can't figure out how to use a doorknob.

After a second murder posthumously proves Antoine's innocence, Inspector Fontaine tells Marianne that he never believed in Antoine's guilt because "the evidence was too against him."  ... WHAT!?

Professor Waldemar is a terrible scientist who smokes in his medical lab, keeps dirty stray dogs around, and dissects an eyeball as if he's wearing greased-up socks on his hands

Fashion Moment

Marianne kills it in this black gown with a plunging neckline and silver flower detail.

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