AKA The Chambermaid’s Dream
A sexually frustrated woman, living with her sister and the latter’s husband, is tormented by bizarre nightmares and violent erotic fantasies.
This is actually a superb erotic remake of Polanski’s classic “Repulsion” but this film goes much further in terms of showing nudity, sexual activity, sexual violence and sadomasochism. Janine Reynaud plays a sexually repressed woman who lives with her sister and her sister’s doctor husband in a large house in the middle of the snowy nowhere of Europe. Observing the affection and overhearing the sounds of lovemaking between the sister and her husband soon begin to shatter the mind of Reynaud, and she begins to have sexual fantasies involving the husband, then fantasies about three-way relations between her, her sister and the husband, until finally progressing to extremely violent, over-the-top fantasies involving sexual torture of both her sister and other women. The affection for her sister becomes overpowering, and the film heads toward a very depressing ending.
Ponderous yet powerful, “The Chambermaid’s Dream” is an unforgettable viewing experience. The director’s penchant for infusing politics into a landscape riddled with repressed sexuality and depravity is here in abundance, and the viewer cannot help but find the political dialog, at times intercut with scenes of sadistic sexual violence, disturbing yet appropriate in the film’s context. The film’s ability to shock comes mostly from these sadoerotic scenes. Reynaud’s character is essentially an extension of her character in “Succubus” but her character here is more sympathetic, or pathetic, if you will. Reynaud’s husband Michel Lemoine co-stars as the doctor and co-wrote the script, and his oddball performance works and contrasts well with his co-stars.
In conclusion, this is a true erotic horror film, made in the days when competent directors with integrity and style were at the helm, and so “The Chambermaid’s Dream”, terrible re-titling and all, should be sought and seen.