(aka "Heroïnes du mal" or "Heroines of Evil" or "Heroines of Pain" or "Three Immoral Women" )


directed by Walerian Borowczyk
France 1979


Walerian Borowczyk's anthology follow-up to his IMMORAL TALES features three stories set in different time periods. In Renaissance Italy, Margherita (stunning Borowczyk regular Marina Pierro) the baker's daughter uses sex for profit as the simultaneous lover of Vatican artist Raffaelo (François Guétary) and grotesque banker Bini. This first story is the longest and certainly the best. The other two pale in comparison. In Belle Epoque France, Marcelline's (Gaelle Legrand) parents resent her too-close relationship with her pet rabbit and plan a special dinner for her. Last (and certainly least), in modern Paris Marie (Pascale Christophe) is kidnapped and held for ransom and her husband would rather invest that money in an expensive painting. Luckily, Marie's amorous pet Doberman is on the scent.

While the final tale seems like a throwaway bit, the first two establish Borowczyk's position that it is not the women's sexuality that is immoral; rather it is how sex is used to achieve certain ends (money for Margherita, revenge for Marcelline). As such, the disc is worth the price for the first tale alone though some may find the second tale more enjoyable than myself.

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: 7 March 1979

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DVD Review: Severin - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:54:34

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.54 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio French Dolby digital 2.0 mono; English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Severin

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.66:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer
• Walerian Borowczyk bio

DVD Release Date: January 30, 2007

Chapters 18




Another winning transfer from Severin of an underrated film. The anamorphic 1.66:1 transfer is well-framed, showing off Borowczyk's exquisite and naturalistic compositions. Despite the mid-range bitrate, the transfer capably conveys Borowczyk's soft lighting and the blacks are free of noise.  

The French and English mono tracks are in good shape . The English dub track is quite good for first story but poorly done for the other two. Unfortunately, the disc is light on extras with just a trailer and bio.

 - Eric Cotenas


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