03 November, 2006

DAY THE WORLD ENDED
















Three images from Jess Franco DVD presentations which I never thought would have possible when I started ordering VHS dupes from Mail Order companies around 1986. Oh, Yeah, Twenty Years Ago! The first was THE EROTIC RITES OF FRANKENSTEIN which arrived in a blurry incarnation and seemed unwatchable to a few friends I dared show it to. We got a laugh out of the silver skinned "monster" {where was Jack Pierce when you really needed him?}the fumetti aesthetic didn't register. The oversized Wizard A VIRGIN AMONG THE LIVING DEAD and OASIS OF THE ZOMBIES video boxes and PRIVATE SCREENINGS X-rated video THE LOVES OF IRINA were just starting to show up in the adult sections of long gone video stores. It was the pre-VW era and Jess Franco didn't have many advocates among US critics.

About a month later I decided to try another company. The title I wanted was MACUMBA SEXUAL, which is now available in a brand new transfer from SEVERIN FILMS in OAR and with English subtitles. I waited for weeks and finally had to call the honcho who said he simply forgot to send out the tape. When I finally viewed it the fullscreen print was in even worse shape than the previously acquired TEROF, which at least was partially letterboxed. The films themselves were even more outlandish than SUCCUBUS, which I had appreciately theatrically in 1969. And Jess Franco himself played mutant-like flunkies of Evil in both, which was a plus as far as I was concerned.

By the time I finally got around to ordering EL SEXO ESTA LOCO I was somewhat addicted to what I called "Jess Franco videos." Now, as I await my Manga DVD of that experimental sci fi effort, I realize that era is long gone and we are now in some kind of Jess Franco DVD Golden Age when even his most minor hardcore efforts are turning up on Spanish newstand discs.

I'm watching an old Roger Corman pre-AIP sci-fi epic DAY THE WORLD ENDED (1956) as I type this and I sometimes have the feeling we'll be seeing various JF DVD presentations until then! Or will it all end as upredictably as it began? An aesthetically appropriate query since Corman begins his film with THE END and ends with THE BEGINNING, not unlike EL SEXO ESTA LOCO. Corman once presented an award to Jess Franco, I would have liked to have been privy to what the two Kings of the B's said to each other.

All I can say is enjoy it while it lasts. I won't even hazard to number the JF DVD's I now have in my collection! The thing is, I want SOOOO many more, especially the mid 1970s Robert de Nesle productions like LORNA THE EXORCIST (1974), to come out on DVD. With the filmography of JF, the possiblities are endless, and, like his most adventurous work, non-linear.

BTW, if you are the first to name the future Jess Franco performer who is in DAY THE WORLD ENDED, I'll be sending you a Jess Franco DVD at my expense....

COMMENTARY COPYRIGHT ROBERT MONELL: 2006

7 comments:

Uwe Huber said...

Funny, Bob, I just watched Corman's DAY THE WORLD ENDED some days ago, so this is easy for me. But maybe I should pass here, because you would have send the Franco DVD to Germany. ;)

Robert Monell said...

The DVD can be sent to any US address Uwe. Since the Franco film in question isn't on US DVD or video, it may take some cross referencing.

Frederick Durand said...

That would be Mike Connors, also seen in Jess Franco's DOWNTOWN HEAT.

Robert Monell said...

Yes, that is correct! "Touch" Connors, as he's listed in the credits, appeared as a "Steve", a US agent out to bust "Radeck" (Craig Hill) in this 1990 film, which I think is somewhat underrated. Please email me at the CONTACT above for details on the DVD. And Welcome to the Franco blog, Frederick.

Uwe Huber said...

Congratulations, Frederick!

Just one interesting footnote more: A charakter named "Radek" appears also in the Corman film!

Frederick Durand said...

Thank you very much Robert for that interesting contest. I will write to you today. I'm reading your blog since you started it.

Frédérick

Robert Monell said...

Thanks for your positive input Frederick. Hope to see you here often! RM