*This review might contain some explicit elements of this erotic thriller, you’ve been warned. *
When a horror fan hears or sees the name Lucio Fulci, they think Zombie and gore sliding down the walls, all to the glee of gorehounds, yet there’s another world exists for Fulci, which was thrillers, of questionable sanity. However, in the grouping of thrillers some of them well-known such as Don’t Torture a Duckling or A Woman in a Lizard’s Skin (1971). Another more erotic and borderline sadomasochistic creation exists entitled The Devil’s Honey, complete with strange performances, all trying to heighten the psychological input, set in the 1980s with puzzling storyline to boot.
The primary and principal parties of the film start with Jessica (Blanca Marsillach) a beautiful young woman watches intently her boyfriend Johnny (Stefano Madia) a saxophonist laying down some tracks in the recording studio. Johnny seeking inspiration has Jessica join him as he bumps and grinds his sax between Jessica’s legs and short skirt, all as figurative extension of his tongue, basically performing likely the first ever musical stimulation. His producer Nicky (Bernard Seray) walks out in disgust, as this exhibition all occurs in another booth of voyeurs. (This scene actually plays repeatedly over the menu screen with nudity of Marsillach). Madia plays constantly sexual deviant Johnny character very well, (in fact making sure he’s well hated by female viewers) with the concern on his needs and desires. He extends that onto kinky passions such as having Jessica manually pleasure him on a motorcycle; forceful sodomy and sexual gunplay in various orifices. However not all brings them happiness, especially when she informs him of her pregnancy and his self-centered douchebag mentality of it all destroying his career. Meanwhile, another self-destructive individual named Dr. Wendell Simpson (Brett Halsey) a surgeon, feels he is suffocating in his marriage to Carol (Corinne Cléry), while he entertains and finds pleasure with prostitutes, it all begins to work on his nerves. Carol discovers his secret and does her own version of kink to entice him, begging for treatment like his previous lovers, all leads to request for a divorce. Through an accident, Wendell and Jessica meet on a collision course of hellish proportions. Jessica sets her sights and plans revenge on the dear doctor and it evolves into a dominating and submission exploitation of power and lust between these two lost individuals. Needless to say, the erotic thriller excels quickly with Jessica parading about topless or nude yet showing resisting to Wendells’ charms, and accomplishing her empowerment.
Fulci works with multiple writers (four!) to show how Jessica and the Doctor lives have comparisons, yet extending further to mirror opposites from their original starting position when the film opens to viewers. It’s by the third act with exploitation sexuality and thriller aspects colliding that the audience understands the deeper psychological makeup of these characters and peering into Lucio’s sexual focus. He admitting it centers more in older stage, where the man shows the dominance and the woman wants ‘to be taken’ and lose herself in the sexual conquest almost becoming insane without the satisfying pleasures. His inclusion of the sexual aspects, via the kink, and expanded to sadism, tortures, all leads to slavery of one’s desires controlling another, and their pleasure becoming the addiction to please.
This movie shows a lot of visual imagery, past just the sexual elements, likely a nod to cinematographer Alejandro Ulloa which some might recall from his work on Horror Express (1972) and The Diabolical Dr. Z (1966) herein careful not to show too much too quickly. He however alludes to something bad with a tad too much foreshadowing involving a rock on the ground. This release from Severin Films comes complete with a ton of extras, some complete with subtitles and others not afraid of the actors or staff in crouching their feelings. Namely the extra “The Devil’s Halsey” really gives a lot of wonderful input on films, Fulci, and he bares himself for his opinion on actress who portrayed Jessica.
Severin Films does a fine job with the release of this lost classic but erotic thriller, though the word ‘erotic’ might push it, one likely identifies it was exploitation sexual thriller, fully uncut and while not appealing to many horror fans. Likely generate a raised eyebrow and have the cinematic fans seeking to understand the balancing act of obsession and madness all from a sexual standpoint, curious about Lucio Fulci’s non-horror productions.
IMDb Rating: 5.3/10
Baron’s Rating: 5.9/10
There’s technically no official trailer for the film, a few trailers of theme exists, however an advertisement for Severin Films that is a bit much for this site. NSFW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wobkXQO9vt0&t=1s