16 July, 2006

Spanish DVDS: LILIAN/WHIPS/SADIST/UNCLE JESS/PLEASURE

No-budget DVD labels abound here in the US, offering such Franco related titles as OASIS OF THE ZOMIBES (1981)[MILL CREEK:CHILLING CLASSICS 50 MOVIE PACK] and the dire TERROR TALES: vol.4 ("From the Hood" you have to love the lurid covers on these), offering an "SE" double bill of THE DEVIL HUNTER (1980) and M. Cano's VOODOO BLACK EXORCIST. Those transfers are as awful as Dr. Orloff and you get what you pay for. A bit better are some of the Spanish DVD's, sometimes called the "Spanish Newstands DVDs" which have surfaced in the past few years and quickly either sell out or disappear into an unknowable vortex.

LILIAN (1983) is a nice, colorful, even luminous letterboxed transfer of what could have been a terrific little erotic crime-noir if Jess hadn't cut in a lot of ultra boring hardcore footage to insure boxoffice.
Once again familiar [from Franco and other productions] Daniel J. White cues {CRIMSON, SEXUAL STORY OF O}set the tone for a postmodern pre TWIN PEAKS scenario of a young woman trapped in a hell of dance clubs, white slavery, corrupt police officials, whips, leather and muscles. There are no extras on this disc except for 3 Scene options. The main menu, though, is fun and colorful. In Spanish language with no English subs.

GEMIDOS DE PLACER is probably the most important Franco title released by CINE EROTCO INTERNACIONAL so far. Other titles listed in their promo booklet include LA HISTOIRA EXUAL DE "O", another highly recommended early 1980s slice of sadisterotica, LAS ORGIAS INCOFESABLES DE EMMANUELLE and MIL SEXOS TIENE LA NOCHE (1982), a gorgeous remake of NIGHTMARES COME AT NIGHT (1970).
One title we would like to see released on one of these micro-labels is BLACK BOOTS, LEATHER WHIPS(1982), our very rough translation of BOTAS NEGRAS, LATIGO DE CUER0, a tropical noir set on the Sun Coast where the references to Robert Siodmak's THE KILLERS (a personal JF favorite) abound, with Antonio Mayans at his all time best as sleazy PI Al Pereira trying to be tougher than Robert Mitchum in the all time classic OUT OF THE PAST.
We also look forward to the future DVD releases of a number of Franco's late 70s Triton Films productions including his crucial EL SADICO DE NOTRE DAME (1979), which melds footage from EXORCISM (1974) with 1979 footage of Jess wandering around Paris murdering disco queens, hookers, etc while visiting the friendly priest at Notre Dame on his days off. Liner notes will be by the world class Franco authority, Francesco Cesari. More info on the label which will be releasing these at a later date.
Speaking about Uncle Jess' acting, he's pretty damn impressive in LILIAN as the burnt out cop and at the top of his game as the twisted titular SADIST. We think that's his real voice in the French version of EXORCISM and it sure sounds like him in LILIAN...
Getting back to GEMIDOS DE PLACER, 2005 saw the Cine Erotico Espanol disc of this extended experiment in mise en scene where the film unfolds in a series of extended plan-sequences representing a dusk to dawn time period where "Un liberal matrimonio quieren probar a realizar un trio sexual con una amiga de ambos. Pero en realidad la utilizan para matarse el uno al otro con argucias u todo tipo de artimanas. El desenlace es sorprendente." It's 4:3-Mono-Region 0, letterboxed at something close to the 2.35:1 Techniscope ratio listed on the print, which itself was liberally marked with scratches, flecks, and other minor annoyances, but it was nice to see it in a widescreen format since we had to deal with the fullscreen Caliente VHS for the past two decades! In Spanish with no English subs. Many Thanks, Francesco!

2 comments:

Francesco said...

The OAR (but not anamorphic) DVD editions of GEMIDOS DE PLACER, HISTORIA SEXUAL DE O, LAS ORGIAS INCONFESABLES DE EMMANUELLE and MIL SEXOS TIENE LA NOCHE, originally sold only on Spanish newsstands, will be soon available also by Spanish on-line stores. As far I know, HISTORIA SEXUAL DE O is already available.

Nowadays, the owner of all the 1980s films produced by Larraga (Golden Films) and by Franco himself (Manacoa Films) is Enrique Cerezo. I hope he wouls release all these titles, some of which still completely unknown to the fans and students of Jess Franco.

Robert Monell said...

Thanks for that info, Francesco. I would also like to see some of the completed and unreleased Golden films like SCARLET, VOCES DE MUERTE, AIDS, THE 20th CENTURY PLAGUE and many others. I spoke with Jess about these last years and he was also anxious to have these films finally on good DVD presentations after years of being shelved.