A Jess Franco Blog.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Six Franco flicks that changed my life.

I just finished posting a blog on my MySpace page…
http://myspace.com/vincedamato
…Where I’d listed 20 movies that changed my life (or at least somewhat changed my outlook on Cinema and/or its various genres). So to that end, I thought it might be appropriate to list off a few infamous Franco flicks that had some kind of profound reworking on my psyche… for better or for worse. Well, here goes…

1. She Killed in Ecstasy – This is, I believe, where I fell in love with Soledad Miranda. It took me a while to warm up to both this film as well as Vampyros Lesbos, but I have to say it was the lesbian-death-by-inflatable-pillow that slam-dunked this one.

2. Succubus – I have to admit, I didn’t get much out of this one until Blue Underground’s new film transfer/DVD reissue. Definitely the best rediscovery of the lot.

3. Venus in Furs – Another Blue Underground DVD release, this one starring Maria Rohm (love her too) in a twisty jazz-laded psychedelic supernatural romp along the beaches of Spain. Also stars Klaus Kinski!

4. Two Undercover Angels (SadisterĂ³tica) – Boasting one of Franco’s favorite explorations; two women in a campy Bond-esque entanglement. For more of the same, you can also check out Kiss Me Monster, with the same two lead actresses, and the same go-go striptease in the middle of the film(s).
5. Exorcism (Exorcism and Black Masses) – A trippy, raw, voyeuristically clunky Catholic-based murder-mystery that involves a sociopathic Priest and a female newspaper reporter (Lina Romay) who moonlights as a stage performer who puts on sarcastic presentation of black mass ritualistic murders, grand guignol style. This is purportedly one of the films that got Franco into hot water with the Catholic Church in Europe, prompting them to label the sleaze auteur one of the most dangerous filmmakers to the Catholic Church. Go figure.

6. Female Vampire – I hated, hated this movie when I fist saw it. Then I didn’t hate it so much, after letting it fester for a while, and then even later I came to find it rather charming… It’s so inept and overtly voyeuristic, how could you hate this movie? Of course, it’s so inept and graceless, how could you love it? Or not love it? Ah, just find yer own copy and decide. (And by the way, it’s a way better deal to get the Jess Franco box set that includes this flick plus three others, for about the same price as this one DVD back on the original DVD release.)

-V.