Torture Bloody Torture Continues
I brought up the subject of blood vs no blood in our films to argue that films like FANTOM do not sell the same way as films like the new exceedingly bloody film CruXtreme II – The Roommate or a favorite oldie like the tremendously intense Agent X do on a frequent basis. The bloody films go out regularly while the non bloody movies sell at a rather slow pace.
Eulalia Thanks Margot. Yes, Martyr, Maleficarum, Olalla and Justine were just the films I had in mind. It’s interesting – perhaps not surprising – that they aren’t necessarily the best-sellers, compared to more straightforwardly ‘bloody’ bdsm, though they seem to still have steady sales? But those films with more character and story are ones I can watch again and again, I think people who buy them may watch them more times than the ‘bloody’ ones!
I didn’t mean to imply that the high production value films like Maleficarum are not good sellers. They are HUGE sellers. Maleficarum and JUSTINE are the biggest sellers of all time for us, together with our very first film Red Feline On The Cross and I expect they will continue to be thus for a long while.
There’s another issue at play when comparing the big production movies with the bloody BDSM “smaller” films. Those “smaller” films are the ones that make it possible to make the big ones and for many reasons.
The production of Martyr Or The Death of St Eulalia was possible because Red Feline On The Cross and the Red Feline Faces The Inquisition series made lots of dough. There was enough cash for Jac to go to France to cast two leading actors and to fly most of the principal cast from France and Bolivia to NY, lodging and feeding them for over a month plus extra expenses. Most importantly, Jac could finally buy a more sophisticated SD digital camera, a tripod, a crane, rent a great set of movie lights and even hire a camera operator.
But even then, when that big production was going on, Jac did not stop producing the no-budget BDSM films. Just before buying the new camera and shooting Martyr, Jac and Vero worked in the very bloody four part series Seven Days on the Cross, and shortly after shooting Martyr they worked in the two part series CruxBride, not bloody at all. CruxBride was shot with the new camera and the lights Jac rented for Martyr.
In 2005 a totally new adventure began.
Jac took Martyr and another film he produced, Nocturnia, to international film festivals including two in Bolivia. It was during that period of time when he was contacted by NatGeo to produce a docudrama, set in the 60’s, about an epidemic in the amazonian part of Bolivia. Jac needed North American actors to play the US doctors that investigated the epidemic and found the deadly virus. Many candidates answered the casting call, including one who was Irish. He showed up with an intriguing female companion … Amy Hesketh, who ended up joining Jac for a decade of exciting work.
Between 2006 and 2008 Jac and Amy worked in a few BDSM bloody movies, including Red Room, The Perils of Jane in the Green Inferno and AristoCrux. The new productions were the backbone for what was to come. In addition, the jump from the SD digital camera to more sophisticated HD cameras was made. Two cameras joined the Canon used in Martyr. Later a fourth camera was added to the pack but it was not the end of camera acquiring.
Jac was planning bigger films back then, he was toying with some ideas; however, Amy had a great story for a low budget feature and proposed it to Jac. A romantic s&m story very much in line with a couple of her favorite movies and books. Jac loved the story and the dynamic duo began work for the production of Sirwiñakuy, Amy’s first film as director.
Amy wanted Vero to play the lead female character with Jac in the leading male role, Amy loved the chemistry Vero had with Jac in Martyr.
Vero and her baby daughter were flown to Bolivia from France, she had two suites in the best hotel in town. A few scenes were shot in that hotel.
In November of 2008, the production of the first feature of the new cycle of movie making was on its way.
Vero arrived in November 2008 for a two month stay. While preparing to shoot the new film, Jac asked Vero to try a dress Amy found at the large open air fair up in the Andes, where you can find anything from socks to tractors, at a low price. Amy and Jac visited that fair frequently to find vintage clothing, antiques and whatever they found interesting, including strange furniture. One of those finds was a bride’s dress from the 1930’s.
Jac asked Vero to try the dress. She did. “you look like a ghost” he said admiring her beautiful pale face framed by her long black hair. At that moment he thought of an idea, a ghost story. Soon after Sirwiñakuy was completed, Amy, Vero and Jac were in the castle in the rain forrest, where AristoCrux was filmed a few months before, to shoot the ghost story, Specters of Blood Castle, which was shot in only three nights.
As if that wasn’t enough, the trio also worked on Double Cross and Cross and Barbed Wire.
Sirwiñakuy went into post production, but production work did not stop. Amy and Jac worked on Agent X as well as The Via Crucis of Jane I and II. They were also toying with the idea of making a film about a Marquis.
In 2010 Amy had another script ready, Barbazul. Jac was working on his own script loosely based on Jekyll and Hyde, he titled it Dolores’ Cage. It was going to have Mila and Amy as leading characters. This is before Mila did any acting work, Jac was training her to play a leading role as one of the wives of Barbazul.
But then Ralphus, of GIMP fame, contacted Amy, offered some nice cash if she would be roasted alive in an inquisition film… and Maleficarum was born. Dolores’ Cage was put aside.
As busy as Jac and Amy were preparing to shoot Barbazul, they added the new film about the inquisition to their schedule. Amy worked for 30 days to make all the period clothing for that film while Jac went around getting the locations. When the great location was found, Amy got busy building the main torture instruments, the Rack and the Spanish Horse.
By the time Vero arrived to work on Barbazul, the team was already busy with the production about the best film ever dealing with the infamous Holy Office also known as The Inquisition.
At the very end of 2010 and for the next few months, our team produced three expensive films. Maleficarum, Barbazul and Le Marquis De La Croix
Although Ralphus contribution to Maleficarum was inspiring enough to begin that project, the production of the inquisition film needed a load of cash, so did Barbazul a film that had a large cast, a far away location and much more.
Sirwiñakuy was released theatrically in July of 2010 and by December it had been playing at the big screen for 5 months straight and it was very popular. It was bringing in cash on a weekly basis. In addition, films like Agent X, released the year before, were bringing solid cash to the company as well. It was so nice, that after the team was done with Barbazul and Maleficarum, and when they were about to leave the wonderful dungeon, Jac said wisely … Let’s make another film in this location! And so it was. Amy directed Jac and Mila in Le Marquis De La Croix.
The production of big films take time. The process of preparing, writing and approving a script can take months, even years. Then comes the funding of the big idea, the casting, the location scouting and so on. Making those films is not the same as making a movie in Jac’s house, with one actress and no script.
Deciding what film to make is not an easy task either. And yet, in 5 years, between the end of 2010 and the end of 2015, Amy and Jac produced 7 big production value films: Maleficarum, Barbazul, Le Marquis De La Croix, Dead But Dreaming, Olalla and including the two that were made, back to back, at the end of 2015, Pygmalion and JUSTINE. That’s more than one big film per year.
All those films were released theatrically, went to festivals, got great reviews and were covered by international film magazines like Fangoria.
Making so many big production value movies in such a short time is an incredibly big and expensive task. None of those costly films lost money, two of them are the biggest sellers in our catalogue, they all make money. Individually, they make more money than any of the BDSM simple films; but these simple films are not exactly easy to make either. It may take a few weeks to produce them, and few months to edit them, but they do not cost an arm and a leg and they don’t need an elaborate production plan. So, it’s fairly simple to come up with an idea, without a script, and just shoot it. Because the “smaller” BDSM films do not cost a lot of money, they bring in good steady income which makes it possible to jump into bigger productions, like Jac is preparing to do now.
nardnob Margot said: What I’m trying to say is that the films where beautiful bodies are under horribly bloody torture, the bloodier the better, sell more than beautiful bodies deliciously tortured without blood. May I be so bold as to suggest “The Passion of Isabel” is a worthy contender in the genre??? So young, so beautiful, so pure, so ultimately destroyed on the Altar of Sadism
The set for Maleficarum, Le Marquis De La Croix and JUSTINE, was still in Jac’s control after Amy left in 2015. The administrators did not mind him storing the torture instruments he used in JUSTINE in the location. In 2016 Jac was busy with another NatGeo project and working on the post production for JUSTINE.
When he was done with NatGeo it was already 2017, he decided to do something in the set before giving it up. Bea was willing to work on a film and Jac had a great and simple story The Passion of Isabel.
The Passion of Isabel became the first film of the new cycle, without Amy, and it had a cast and crew of two, Bea and Jac…. that’s all. Like Amy and Jac before in a number of movies, or Camille and Jac in another whole bunch.
When JUSTINE was released theatrically, Dani saw it at the Cinemateca, fell in love with it, and contacted Jac, she wanted to work with him in films like that. And so, the new cycle went into high gear and with a low budget but complex movie, Monxa Mala.
The now smaller, yet very active team of Dani, Mila and Jac, is presently busy with a bunch BDSM bloody films like CruXtreme I – The Playground, CruXtreme II – The Roommate, already out in our stores. CruXtreme III – The Callback, CruXtreme IV – Another Roommate, Crux Simplex (For Two) all of them already in the can and in post and CruXtreme V – Playmates, presently in production.
Not satisfied with that, they are preparing a few big production value films which will have bigger cast and crews: 69 Anneé Érotique, Diabolicas, Casa De Fieras, Teresa De La Cruz, Aventura, Sagarnaga, amongst them. There are more stories in mind but those come to mind right now.
We have 46 film in our stores catalogue, ten of those are high production value films, theatrically released. All of them produced between 1996 and 2021, that’s 16 years, that makes it almost 3 films per year, not counting the 15 documentaries, the miniseries and the other feature films we produced, including a few shorts and a good number of music videos. I think we’re pretty busy.
One thing I’m pretty sure is that for one reason or another, all of them are watched over and over and over again.