Groovy & Wild Films from Around the World

Monday, May 10, 2010

Immoral Tales 5: Kiss Me Monster!

This title always reminds me of the best nudie-cutie in the world; Peter Perry's “Kiss Me, Quick!” Truthfully, if I had to choose one of these two films to be stuck on a desert island with, it would be the latter one. Years ago, when I was first getting into Jess Franco's extensive (massive) filmography, I started out with Franco-Lite, this pair of secret-female-agent films were among the first five of Franco's films I'd seen, and I immediately took to them the quickest. Now, I think there are far better films in the Franco cannon, and definitely more entertaining ones, those it isn't for lack of trying on the parts of these film (Kiss Me Monster and it's sister-production, Sadisterotica). And back then, so many years ago, I found I'd enjoyed Sadisterotica a lot more than Kiss Me Monster, the one I'd initially found slightly more boring than the other – now, I find my opinion reversed. I actually found Kiss Me Monster (now eleven years after the initial discovery) to be a lot more fun that its predecessor, but having said that, and even with the inclusion of some bubbly cartoonish Jekyle-and-Hyde-style lab experiments, Janine Reynaud's boobies in a “naughty” peek-a-boo stage number, and some relatively harmless Pit of Bloody Horror-type sadomasochism-lite (all of which brought back thoughts of Perry's “Kiss Me Quick”) this pair of Franco flicks fails to live up to their own kitsch and go-go- sensibilities. Put another way, the idea of these cute flicks far outweigh the actual results. Re-watching these films admittedly felt somewhat like a waste of time, but it was also a somewhat amusing waste of time. Again, this entry stars the two loveably sexy goofball female detectives, played by Rosanna Yanni and Janine Reynaud.

Rumor has it that Janine Reynaud was married when she did Franco's films, but slept with the financier in order to help secure the film's budget and keep him pacified during the production. Not only was she a trooper, but her husband, one of the actors in these films as well, understood that she was doing it for the sake of the film. To him, it was just good business. Those Europeans are so damned artfully minded! Puts us to shame. Reynaud was in one of Franco's best films (in my opinion, obviously), the lush 1969 slice of psychedelic cinema called Succubus, which evidently was Franco's biggest claim to fame as it was arranged for Fritz Lang to see the film at a European film festival screening, where he publicly proclaimed the film to be some kind of erotic arthouse masterpiece (you can read more about that in the Immoral Tales book under Franco's chapter). And while Reynaud would act in at least a couple of dozen films in her decade-long career between the late sixties and the late seventies, her three Franco films and her stint with Sergio Martino in his Italian giallo “The Case of the Scorpion's Tale” (which came out the year before “Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key” – I love Giallo titles!) are probably the most notable genre offerings she participated in. There is something about this statuesque androgynous beauty.

(Last still from “Succubus”)


1 comment:

Alex B. said...

A great review, to the point!