|Venus in Furs
|Harry Alan Towers
|Commonwealth United Entertainment
Venus in Furs (Italian: Paroxismus - Può una morta rivivere per amore?, German: Schwarzer Engel) is a 1969 Italian supernatural erotic thriller film directed by Jesús Franco and starring James Darren.
The film (also known as Paroxismus and Black Angel) bears only a superficial resemblance to the 1870 novel Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. The title and character names in Franco's original script were changed to the novel's for commercial reasons. Franco's film is a surreal supernatural erotic thriller about unattainable love and how far one is willing to go for the person they desire. It is not a study in masochism as the novel is.
James Darren plays a jazz musician who becomes obsessed to the point of madness with the mysterious fur-clad Wanda, then finds her dead body washed up on the beach.
British avantgarde fusion band Manfred Mann Chapter Three wrote and recorded the soundtrack for Venus in Furs. The band had just formed at the time. Excerpts were released in 2019 as part of the album Radio Days, Vol. 3: Manfred Mann Chapter Three (Live Sessions & Studio Rarities). One of the tracks, entitled "At the Party" on the soundtrack, later ended up on Manfred Mann Chapter Three Volume Two as "Jump Before You Think".
The New York Times gave Venus in Furs a negative review on its initial release, saying that the film "features much inept fancy moviemaking (including echoes of "La Dolce Vita" and even "Vertigo"), some semi-nudity, and virtually endless confusion". Glenn Erickson was more positive.