Review: The Frightened Woman
Blu-ray: The Frightened Woman (AKA: The Laughing Woman)(1969)
Dr. Sayer (Philippe Leroy) is the head of a philanthropic foundation with peculiar views on humanity’s issues, which young journalist Maria (Dagmar Lassander) finds out to her detriment when she is drugged by Dr. Sayer and subjected to a series of increasingly bizarre and sadistic acts while trapped in his home.
However, all is not as it first seems, with Maria slowly being the one pulling the metaphorical strings that at one time were binding her.
To say any more would be to give away too much, and despite the narrative ending becoming obvious before the credits role, it is one worth experiencing with as little prior knowledge as possible.
The Frightened Woman is a psychedelic 60’s journey into the psyche of a man who believes he could be God, with visuals and narrative threads that bring to mind an amalgam of the work of Jess Franco and David Lynch.
The psychedelic set designs and colours really pop in this Blu-ray release by Shamless Films, which is pristinely restored from a 4K scan, with director Piero Schivazappa quoted as saying “…this is the version which you should watch”, which it most definitely is.
The beautifully framed shots, the lighting, the set design, the score, all come together to create a sensory treat, with certain scenes becoming an impressive art experience and the essence of cinema. One such scene involving just 2 people, no dialogue, some gauze and a glass of J&B…I shall leave you to discover that for yourself.
The Laughing Woman won’t appeal to the majority of mainstream cinema goers, but if you are a cinephile who loves to discover and experience all that is out there, then this definitive release of the movie by Shameless is one that you should pick up.
A couple of interesting interviews add even more value to the package.