Marquis could be described as a crossbreed between Quills (2000) and Meet the Feebles (1990). It is a re-enactment albeit a loose one of the life of the Marquis de Sade and the French Revolution all conducted by puppets, puppets that are decidedly less than Disney or Henson-like. The fact that one of the central characters in the film is the Marquiss talking penis should give one an idea of where the film is centred.
Marquis makes for fascinating comparison to Quills. Both cover essentially the same territory the Marquis de Sades imprisonment. (Although, where Quills is set around de Sades later imprisonment in the Charenton asylum, Marquis concerns itself with his earlier incarceration in The Bastille. It is historically inaccurate in that de Sade had been moved ten days prior to the Bastilles storming, although there is the possibly apocrpyhal claim that de Sade crying out the window from his cell, initially upset at being refused coffee by a guard, is what alerted and incited the crowds). Both works get inside de Sades urge to write no matter what, using sheets and his own blood, although Marquis makes far less melodramatic fuss about the frustrated creative urge than Quills does. Both are also sympathetic portraits of de Sade in fact, Marquis goes even further than Quills in seeing de Sade as essentially a peaceable man more interested in the letters than depravity. The film takes a Romantic position in fact, a Manichean one of a man of intellect and letters warring with his sexual drive (and even has an end when his penis takes off to find a life of its own). In truth though, the Marquis de Sade knew no such restraint, felt no such war between mind and flesh. His work could not be regarded as something pure and aside from his baser urges his urges plainly overran his work, it was construed as pornography simple and unadulterated.
Marquis has a literate script in its satiric take on the Revolution. Where it succeeds the most is in the outrageous joy of its obscene puppets. (Although these are not puppets so much as they are actors wearing animal heads, not unakin to a pantomime version of The Wind in the Willows ). The faces are surprisingly fluid and expressive. There are some outrageously entertaining scenes like where the Marquis fucks a hole in a talking wall with his penis; or where he buggars a guard with a lobster; or of the guard masturbating milk from the cow heroines udders. There are animated visions of a spider becoming an octet of spread female thighs, or a coffin going into the ground becoming an outrageous image of it fucking the Earth. Scabrous, brilliant, a classic.
Film online in several parts beginning here:-