If the nearly 10-minute trailer of current and upcoming releases of Mondo Macabro’s library is any indication of the madness, they normally release, I can easily see why Private Vices, Public Virtues was right up their alley. I’ll be perfectly honest with you, my fellow readers, the only reason I’m “reviewing” this flick is because I didn’t want to say no to receiving copies from Mondo Macabro, as they do have some upcoming movies that look damn interesting. I had to take one for the team so to speak so I could enjoy other great Blus. Of course, after they read this review, they may end up not sending me any more releases.
RUN-TIME: 104 min
ASPECT RATIO: 1.85:1
AUDIO: DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0
LANGUAGE: English, Italian
REGION: Region Free
PRODUCTION DATE: 1976
RELEASE DATE: Nov 8, 2016
Loosely based on the famous “Mayerling Incident,” the film is set in a central European kingdom towards the end of the 19th century. Bored by his very proper wife, the youthful heir to the throne spends his time in amorous dalliances on his sprawling country estate, which operates like a kind of proto hippy commune. A mysterious “Circus of Truth” arrives, the champagne is spiked with drugs, and the party turns into a wild, naked orgy that culminates in death and tragedy. Much misunderstood and widely banned, the film caused a sensation when it screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 1976. Today, this overlooked masterpiece of European art cinema can finally be appreciated as one of the most original films of its era. There really is nothing else like it in world cinema. This first Blu-ray edition, uncut and restored from the original negative, comes with a host of exclusive special features.
The problem I had with this movie has nothing to do with the Blu-ray. There are special features to check out, the video, for the most part, was great and I had no major problems with the audio. Mondo Macabro should be pleased with the work they’ve done on it. The problem I have with this release is the actual movie is an incoherent, nudity-filled mess of a flick. How can anyone get any enjoyment out of this movie? It’s quite possible people watch it for the nudity, as there is enough flaccid penises, boobies and 70s bush to make most people blush. I enjoy some nudity as much as the next sleazy person, but I enjoy a story a lot more and Private Vices, Public Virtues doesn’t have a story.
The “story” for Private Vices, Public Virtues is based on the life of Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria. Rudolf refused to marry the woman he was told to marry and instead was in love with a mistress and they ended up committing murder/suicide. The movie, on the other hand, decides to twist it up a bit to have it be a scandal in the government and a coverup.
That’s the gist of what I was able to understand after the movie was over and I sat through the features, however watching the movie without any prior knowledge was a whole other experience. What I got from the movie was a story about a rich dude, who runs around naked and makes out with numerous chicks. He decides to throw a party with his step-brother and step-sister, who he has three ways with all the time. The plan is to get a bunch of high ranking people drugged up and naked and have a massive orgy, taking a bunch of scandalous pictures so his father can’t do anything to him. The party is a success and lots of naked people run around having sex with chickens, kissing boobs and watching the Prince’s mistress, who either has a penis or the world’s largest clitoris, butt screw a General.
Shoot me now, please?
Terrible movie aside, Mondo Macabro has released a really impressive Blu-ray. There are some solid special features to go through and the video was a pretty big surprise. I wasn’t sure how good the movie was going to look at first, but after the credits finished the image quality cleaned up really well and it came out looking quite nice. The audio was fine as well, although I found the English Dubbing to be a bit on the low side.
I have no major complaints with the Blu-ray. Fans are going to enjoy this release.
- World exclusive region-free Blu-ray
- Brand new HD transfer from negative
- English and Italian language tracks with optional English subtitles
- Interview with Michael Brooke on director Miklós Jancsó
- Interview with actress Pamela Villoresi
- Interview with screenwriter and assistant director Giovanna Gagliardo
I hated Private Vices, Public Virtues, but I’m not one to shit on other people’s tastes. Mondo Macabro knows there are people out there that like this movie and they did their best to release a solid Blu-ray. If you’re a fan, pick it up. Everyone else that is a bit curious, you’re better off sitting naked in front of a mirror, clucking like a chicken.