Very weak, atypical film from Russ Meyer
24 May 2018
Fanny Hill proved to be something of a one-off for famed sexploitation director Russ Meyer. For one thing, it was a film he made in West Germany and it was also a period film based on a literary source. It was hardly, therefore, the kind of material that Meyer was used to tackling. As such, it is definitely one of the less personal films he ever made, where he truly seemed like no more than a director-for-hire. The story follows a young woman who falls on hard times but is welcomed in a house populated by women; which the wide eyed innocent doesn't recognise as a brothel.

Whenever Meyer veers too far out of his comfort zone it often ends in trouble and Fanny Hill is unfortunately no exception. It is a film which will be unlikely to satisfy many Meyer fans nor those who liked the novel I should imagine. It's neither erotic nor funny and also commits one of the worse cinematic sins in being over-long too. Definitely a film which Meyer completists should at least see but it is something of a slog to get through though, so be warned. The most interesting aspect of it for me was the appearance of Laetitia Roman in the lead role. I had hitherto only known her from her starring performance in Mario Bava's highly influential year-zero giallo The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1963), which needless to say was a considerably better film than this one. But it was nice to see her in something else at the very least.
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