Review: Belladonna of Sadness

The long lost 1973 Animerama film, Belladonna of Sadness, has been released on Blu-ray, courtesy of CineliciousPics, SpectreVision and The Cinefamily.

When the lovely Jeanne is raped several times on her wedding night, she sells her soul to Satan, and becomes the most powerful and beautiful woman in the village. As her husband becomes an empty shell of a man and the black plague descends upon the townsfolk, Jeanne offers to heal the afflicted with her newfound powers. 

As she totally surrenders to Satan (presented here as a large, talking phallus) she raises the dead and regularly hosts large orgies in the forest. When the lord of the village hears of Jeanne’s ungodly ways, he sets out to burn the witch to her death.

Belladonna of Sadness is shocking and unforgettable animated experience. It is the last of the Animerama trilogy, which mixed traditional animation with erotic and psychedelic imagery. Belladonna unfolds like a still watercolor painting that occasionally springs to hallucinatory life when you least expect it. The material is undeniably explicit. No doubt, if this film had been submitted to the MPAA, it would have been slapped with an NC-17. 

The film is presented with a brand new 4K restoration from the original 35mm negative. It includes over eight minutes of previously unreleased material, and this marks the first time that the film has been given an official release in the US. The Blu-ray features interviews with the filmmakers, as well as both red and green band trailers and a booklet.

Belladonna of Sadness is a fascinating film. It many ways, it brings to mind Yellow Submarine and Fantasia, only this is strictly for adults. It is highly recommended! Film buffs should add this Blu-ray to their library immediately.

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