09 September, 2006


I was in Borders yesterday to purchase the new DVD of my favorite 1950's sci-fi film, THIS ISLAND EARTH. On my way to the checkout the recent DVD of the 1969 Spanish-lensed US western 100 RIFLES caught my eye. I looked at the back cover and got a quick chill from being greeted by an image of the late, great Soledad Miranda in bed with one of the film's stars, Burt Reynolds. At this time both Reynolds and Miranda were working their way up the ladder to international stardom. The film's leads are Jim Brown and Raquel Welch, around whom most of the publicity was centered. But I was immediately reminded that Soledad could match Miss Welch, who was already a Superstar due mainly to her ONE MILLION YEARS BC poster, in sex appeal and acting chops anyday.
Even a quick glimpse of her image through the shrink wrapping on a DVD cover conveyed something of her ferocious erotic intensity which would be exploited to the maximum in a series of films to be directed by Jess Franco in early 1970: EUGENIE DE SADE, VAMPYROS LESBOS, SHE KILLED IN ECSTASY, THE DEVIL CAME FROM AKASAVA. We're still anxiously awaiting the appearance of the ultra-rare SEX CHARADE on DVD. These 1970 features became both the foundation and the heritage of her short career as she was tragically killed in an automobile accident in August 1970.
We'll be returning soon to talk about Soledad Miranda in the two different versions of a Franco project shot under the title, THE SIGN OF THE VAMPIRE: VAMPYROS LESBOS and LAS VAMPIRAS. We'll also be getting back to our series on the three versions of Franco's SUMURU project.

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