Eugenie is one of the most important films of Jess Franco’s career. It addresses many of the concerns that would propel his work in the years to come, and places centre-stage the blend of amorality, fear and desire for which he would become notorious. … The Sadean elements are so committed, so fully integrated in the rest of the story, that the finale feels unnatural and insincere. … Eugenie, therefore, is a flawed Franco film, but in this case it’s so close to greatness that it’s agony to see it fall apart in the last five minutes. … Eugenie is unlike any previous Franco film. Its minimalism, its purity of purpose, its darkness and perversity, strip away the trappings of horror, the lushness of Euro-erotica and the pretensions of art cinema, leaving only the core of his sensibility. It’s a film of the 1970s, whereas even the best of Franco’s 1960s films were somehow wedded to the demands of an older kind of cinema. … In the 1960s Franco learned how to make movies. In Eugenie, he learns how to make Jess Franco films.