Convergences: Maria de Zayas, Spain's 17th century exploitation filmmaker

Reading Thomas Pavel's Lives of the Novel right now, and this bit summarizing one of the tales in Maria de Zayas's 1647 Disenchantments of Love make me think that her stories could have been filmed by fellow Spaniard Jess Franco a couple of centuries later:

In "Too Late Undeceived," Don Martin sleeps with an unknown lady, falls desperately in love, and later finds and marries her. But a female slave falsely informs him that his wife has had an affair with her cousin. Don Martin burns the cousin alive and locks his wife in a kennel, forcing her to drink from the dead man's skull and eat only scraps from his table. As a reward, the slave becomes Don Martin's mistress, but two years later, gravely ill, she admits that she lied. Don Martin stabs his mistress to death and rushes to free his wife, who has just died of a broken heart. The man goes mad. (75)

You'll find the same mix of sex and revenge and bloody retribution in pretty much any Jess Franco movie. One of my favorites is 1971's She Killed in Ecstasy, which YouTube summarizes thusly:

A young doctor kills himself after a medical committee terminates his research into human embryos, considering it too inhumane. His wife then seeks revenge on those who drove her husband to his death by luring each member of the committee into compromising situations and then killing them one by one.

Hell, here's the whole movie: