Monday, 10 October 2016

Alex Bakshaev is back! Review of S & M: Les Sadiques

S & M: Les Sadiques
Director: Alex Bakshaev

Marie (Nadine Pape), bored with life in her stifling suburb, leaves the shackles and restrictions of her father’s house for the bright lights of Berlin. With little money and possessions the young woman is hoping to rely on the goodwill of friends while she settles into city life. But those Marie think she can count on let her down, and after narrowly escaping being raped by an acquaintance she has no option but to sleep rough.

The beautiful Sandra (Sandra Bourdonnec) discovers Marie, dejected, alone and freezing cold, huddled in a stairwell in her apartment building like a frightened animal. Sandra takes the gracious Marie in. Marie is instantly attracted to her benefactor, and is intrigued and aroused by the various BDSM implements openly displayed around the apartment. Sandra, the master, quickly inducts Marie, the willing slave, into her heady world of whips, boots and corsets. Like modern-day vampires, the pair prowl the streets after dark in sunglasses and bondage-chic wear, seeking out handsome young male prey for them to “play” with. Marie may have broke free from her father’s grip, but now she’s under the lock and key of her mistress Sandra, with their sexual escapades gradually descending from lust and desire to murder and madness....

After being impressed by Alex Bakshaev’s excellent The Devil of Kruezberg, the recent release of the dynamic director’s  S & M: Les Sadiques  was a very welcome and pleasant surprise. S & M is both a stunning tribute to the cinema of Jess Franco and a tour-de-force opus of its own accord. Mesmerizingly shot, with both strong performances from leading ladies Nadine Pape and Sandra Bourdonnec and the supporting cast, with both heady and uber cool, sexually charged atmosphere to burn, Bakshaev’s output only gets better and better. A highlight is the dreamlike BDSM club stage shows, which would fit into any of Franco’s very best works seamlessly. This hypnotic essay into the pleasure and pain of sadomasochism is captivating from beginning to end; it doesn’t overstay its welcome and is contemporarily stylish without ever veering into irritating hipsterdom or pondering pretentiousness. A visual and aural treat not just for Jess Franco but for all lovers of top class independent cinema, Alex Bakshaev continues to prove that he is one of the most gifted young filmmakers of his generation with S & M: Les Sadiques.
Gorgeous promo image inspired by which Jess Franco film?


  1. Excellent review of this strikingly original, microbudgeted feature. I've copied a link to it on a new thread I started for the film on CINEMADROME

    1. Thanks! Can't wait to see Alex's future work, he only gets better and better.