Immoral Tales (1974)

Immoral Tales (1974)

“Love, delightful as it is, pleases even more by the ways in which it reveals itself.”

Four vignettes tell stories of erotic perversion throughout the ages.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Episodic Films
  • Historical Drama
  • Sexuality

Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, this episodic soft-core film by Polish director Walerian Borowczyk is “occasionally erotic but mostly boring”. The most notorious of the four vignettes tells the story of Countess Bathory’s infamous taste for bathing in virgins’ blood; it generates pure terror in its literal recreation of exactly how she went about doing this. The opening sequence is also powerful, telling of a nubile teenager who is seduced by her cousin into performing fellatio on him while the tide rolls in. The second vignette, which shows a pious young woman masturbating with cucumbers, holds some prurient interest, but the fourth — about Countess Lucrezia Borgia’s incestuous relationship with her brother and father — should have been scrapped altogether.

Redeeming Qualities:

  • Paloma Picasso (daughter of Pablo Picasso) as the “Bloody Countess” Bathory
  • Sensuous cinematography

Must See?
No, though it’s worth a look simply for its notoriety. It was apparently the second biggest box-office hit in France the year it was released.


One thought on “Immoral Tales (1974)

  1. First and last viewing.

    Pretentious, bourgeois art-house bullshit.

    Presented with scant dialogue, it attempts to make some ridiculous visual point about the ‘power’ of forbidden pleasures. (Suddenly, the 4th story is somewhat talky but its silly damnation of the Catholic Church as corrupt is an excuse for schoolboy-ish porn.) The film takes itself very seriously (esp. in its production value), but it’s tiresome from start to finish.

    If you get a voyeuristic thrill out of a lot of breasts and vaginas, this is the film for you. Otherwise, skip it.

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