Belladonna of Sadness

Director: Eiichi Yamamoto
Year Released: 1973
Rating: 1.0

The title ain't lyin': on her wedding night, Jeanne is raped by the local lord, then she's visited by a floating tampon that tells her he can make her strong, then she gets a gig as a tax collector, then she's raped again, then she's called a witch, and then she says damn it all and makes a Deal with the Devil (it was inevitable).  I find it hard to empathize with movies that wallow in suffering with no way out and this is definitely one of those - she goes through hell and back and is eventually crucified (but her spirit lives on ... ha) - and its attempt to be seen as a feminist statement should be met with hearty laughter, so its sole reason for existing is as a psychedelic experiment with plenty of visual flights of fancy and nude bodies melding into each other ... that is, when it isn't just static images with voice-over.  I only took one note while watching: "I'd have preferred it in colorized book form so I can flip through it faster."