24 July, 2007

Jess Franco at the Public Library

I never thought I'd see Jess Franco's 1972 EROTIC EXPERIENCES OF FRANKENSTEIN (LA MALDICION DE FRANKENSTEIN) at a local library (I live in a VERY conservative community) but there it was, listed as "SPANISH FRANKENSTEIN." Actually, it was the IMAGE DVD, RITES OF FRANKENSTEIN (onscreen title LA MALDICION DE FRANKENSTEIN). I first saw this under the title THE EROTIC RITES OF FRANKENSTEIN (my preferred titling), and it's one of the few JF films I prefer dubbed into English. I noted that the scenes shot for the Spanish "covered" version, featuring Lina Romay, are slightly speeded up, as if the operator wasn't cranking the camera properly!

Here's my IMDB review from 2005:

Totally delirious take on BRIDE OF FRANKSTEIN: 100 Proof Jess Franco, 23 July 2005Author: monell579 from Antigua and Barbuda
Cagliostro (Howard Vernon) and his bird woman daughter work tirelessly to create a female mate for the silver skinned creature created by Dr. Frankenstein (Dennis Price).A wild ride deep into Jess Franco terrain. This is an unhinged, no-budget attempt to redo the Universal horror motifs in the style of Italian Erotic Comics. It works, at least in the nude/uncovered version, simply because Franco and his cast immediately go way over the top and stay there: ratty set design, the silver skinned monster who looks like the confused survivor of a spray painting attack, the nude whipping scene, the mysterious sect led by the perverse, totalitarian Cagliostro, Melissa-the flesh eating human vulture who predicts pleasure and death, are typical "Jess Franco" elements, but this time he stages them with such Sadean glee that those who "get it" will be utterly transfixed while those who hate will cite it as another file in the case against the director. It's a long way from James Whale...The version made for Spain contains additional scenes featuring Lina Romay as a gypsy and omits all of the outrageous nudity which is so essential to Franco's aesthetic (or anti-aesthetic). The score is an iconoclastic collection of sonic blasts, jarring cues and odd sounds.

At the top of this blog is the cover for the Japanese DVD, which was NOT at the local library. Thanks to M. Kino.

(C) Robert Monell, 2007


Anonymous said...

Dupe of the Dutch vhs (English language with nudity) on eBay.
Ps nice to have that at the library!

John Seal said...

Fascinating...but do you REALLY live in Antigua and Barbuda??

Robert Monell said...

Thanks for the link, Bruno. I have several videos of the uncovered version in English. I'd like to have it on DVD, and I have the IMAGE covered version. I wish they'd do a R1 DVD of the uncovered version. When I talked with Jess he said he preferred that version.

Robert Monell said...

Welcome to the blog, John, I wish I did live there! I actually live in one of the coldest cities in N America.