Four tales set in different times in history, all exploring eroticism and taboos through the times. Using figures such as Elizabeth Báthory and the Pope to bring out the erotic sides of wrong.
Walerian Borowczyk has alot of movies under the belt, but will most likely always be remembered as the director of "The Beast", the monster meets girl erotic film that shocked all in 1975 and on. But a year before, "Contes Immoraux" was made. An erotic ride through the times, with actresses such as Swedish Marie Forså and the daughter of Picasso, Paloma Picasso. "Contes Immoraux" became one of the biggest erotic hits from France, and was even the first erotic film to air on TV in the home country. But does all of this matter when the movie is so god damn boring?
"Contes Immoraux" contains four erotic tales, each set in different epochs; Present day (1974-ish), 1890, 1610 and 1498. The first story, the present day one, is "La Marée (The Tide)". This is most likely the most interesting one of the bunch, looking at it from an artistic point of view. This is my opinion, obviously. Yet it's not my favorite, for reasons I'll give later. "La Marée (The Tide)" is about a guy (20 years old) and his girl cousin (16 years old). Basicly, it's about him trying to get her to give him blowjob. Immoral, indeed. But this isn't the part that makes it interesting, but it's rather the way they use the ocean and the coming tide as a metaphor, and how they work that through the story.
Next up is "Thérése Philosophe". This one is, above all, the would that would be considered "hottest", or most erotic. While the rest become alot more boring (don't get me wrong, this isn't exactly the most eventful film out there either) rather than erotic, this one keeps much of it focus on just a girl and her having a good time with herself. This one suffers from everything that isn't focused on the girl as it becomes really, again, boring.
My favorite of the stories is "Erzsébet Báthory", but this was really too fucking long. I really enjoyed some of the parts, but the problem is that they go on or just repeat themselves. What makes this the best is the amount of naked ladies though. Lots and lots of naked ladies indeed. And it was interesting to see this take on the "Countess", Elizabeth Báthory.
And then we have the final story, "Lucrezia Borgia". This one didn't interest me in the slighest. Not even for it's taboo of mixing the people of the Church with incest and sex. I really tried to get into this one but there was nothing that made this one better than the previous stories, that also were fairly boring.
With all of this said, the movie isn't a completely waste. I am not a big fan of the things I have seen from Walerian Borowczyk in the past, and I think alot of these French erotic art house films are really boring and at times pretentious. They lack a decent plot and aren't eventful enough to keep my interest. Some might say I have a short attention span, some will say I "just don't get it". I honestly don't mind, as my reason for not being interested in these aren't about not getting it, but rather about not being impressed enough. There are certain things I want out of art house films, and "Contes Immoraux" didn't deliver that. But, the film is filled with plenty of erotica and sexy women. It has some great shots and cinematography that you really don't get anymore (which can also be found in Jean Rollin's earlier films, a kind of style that is a love/hate for me). Watch this if you are a fan of Walerian Borowczyk or these boring French art films, otherwise you should just avoid it like the plague. Okay, if you wanna see some 70's ladies, it's worth checking out too I guess.