31 March, 2008

THE EUROSPY FILES:


Pierre Chevalier (aka Peter Knight) directed Jack Taylor through remote control by inserting footage of him into the 1974 Eurocine composite THE HOUSE OF THE LOST DOLLS. Ten years later Chevalier and Taylor worked together in the flesh on the Eurocine-backed PANTHER SQUAD, where Jack teamed up with co-producer Sybil Danning to save the World Space Program.


After appearing in AGENTE SIGMA 3--MISSIONE GOLDWATHER Jack Taylor went on to appear in numerous examples of European Trash Cinema as well as the odd Hollywood mainstream film (CONAN THE BARBARIAN; THE NINTH GATE) and became one the most familiar faces of the 1970s Spanish Horror boom.


Or how a 1960's Eurospy film devolved into an incredibly sleazy sexploitation epic featuring kidnapping, rape and white slavery via a Eurocine composite...


Maison des filles perdues, La (1974)
It's so bad that it's... well, let's just say that it's So Bad! But who to blame? THE HOUSE OF THE LOST DOLLS/GIRLS began its existence as an obscure Eurospy film made in Italy and co produced by Eurocine (we'll be copying this over to THE EUROCINE ARCHIVES).



Agent Sigma 3 (Jack Taylor) pursues the villain to his death! Taylor appeared in my favorite Jess Franco film NECRONOMICON (1967) and ten subsequent JF projects.*




AGENTE SIGMA 3, MISSIONE GOLDWATHER was the 1960's Eurospy item cannibalized for THE HOUSE OF THE LOST DOLLS (1974)and (OASIS OF THE LOST GIRLS (1981), among others.

Here's an expanded-updated version of an archived 2006 blog:

THE HOUSE OF THE LOST DOLLS (1974): A Franco-Italian production. Pierre Chevalier (THE INVISIBLE DEAD) actually "directed" this Eurocine composite under the name Peter Knight. This used to be listed by VSOM as a "Jess Franco" film in their old 1990's era catalogues, and the IMDB lists Franco as co-writer of the "script."

I fell for it and purchased one to discover footage from a 1967 Italian spy film featuring Jack Taylor AGENTE SIGMA 3: MISSIONE GOLDWATHER composited with footage from a French-lensed film about white slavers operating in Paris and Marseilles, presumably a Chevalier directed effort, title as yet unknown. BOTH of these feature Silvia Solar as a femme fatale in separate roles filmed in two different decades! So, it all gets very confusing. Sandra Julien (THE SHIVER OF THE VAMPIRE) also appears as a mini skirted undercover agent whom white slave kingpin (and frequent 1970's era Jess Franco performer) Olivier Mathot attempts to rape.

There also appears to be footage from a third unknown film in here of agents raiding a cargo ship and breaking up a rape of a nude slave in bondage below deck. It all adds up to a supersleazefest with music by Daniel J. White and uncredited cues from Bruno Nicolai's great score for EUGENIE DE SADE (1970, the cue I'm thinking of plays over Soledad Miranda's change into that wild rain gear before the first murder. The upbeat trumptet tempo is heard over during a nightclub scene, originally in SIGMA 3, in HOUSE.).

Footage from this composite was later mixed with scenes from an actual Jess Franco film, OPALO DE FUEGEO (1978) and was re released with newly shot footage by "John O'Hara" as OASE DER GEFANGENEN FRAUEN, at least that's the title of the German language version which was released on DVD a few years ago by the German company, X-RATED KULT DVD. There are also Spanish and French versions.

The French version is L'OASIS DES FILLES PERDUES. The new footage features Francoise Blanchard, probably best know as the title character in Rollin's LA MORTE VIVANTE (1982). "John O'Hara" is actually the Spanish director Jose Jara. It opens in a disco as Blanchard and friends party the night away only to be invited to an apartment by several sleazy looking males. Once there they are drugged with spiked champagne (these scenes are very similar in staging to the way the kidnappers in Jess Franco's own WILDE LUST/MADCHEN IM NACHTVERKEHR, a 1976 hardcore produced by Erwin C. Dietrich, who is sometimes credited with the direction). They are then taken onto a ship and molested in the hold by Yul Sanders (Claude Boisson), this 1980s footage is intercut with Chevalier's 70s footage of other actresses in the hold getting the same treatment from a obviously younger Yul Sanders. It goes on and on like intercutting footage from three, maybe four, directors and the SIGMA 3 reappears, only this time with different dubbing and scoring.

A prolific Eurotrash performer from the 1950s onward Silvia Solar's birth name was Geneviève Couzain.

Jack Taylor and SIGMA 3 director Gian Paolo Callegari are not credited on the English language print of THE HOUSE OF THE LOST DOLLS.



(c) Robert Monell, 2008





4 comments:

David Zuzelo said...

A real favorite jigsaw puzzle of mine as well. I recently watched the original Goldwather (I found that one pretty enjoyable actually) and would love to know where or what that footage of the ship is from.

The French version of Oasis is one I have not seen-thank you for pointing it out! Also, I had no idea who John O'Hara was, thanks for that as well.

Robert Monell said...

Thanks for your feedback, David. Good to see you here. You can get the German 1981 composite on DVD, probably from Xploited. I've never seen Goldwather. It's amazing how much the footage clashes with the Chevalier shot stuff which is really ugly and inept. And that footage of the white slaves in the ship's hold being raped looks like from another film or a specially shot insert. I wonder if Franco might have shot it. Who knows?

Kaya Özkaracalar said...

SIGMA 3 was actually a Spanish-Italian co-production which Eurocine picked up for distribution in France.
You say "AGENTE SIGMA 3: MISSIONE GOLDWATHER composited with footage from a French-lensed film about white slavers operating in Paris and Marseilles, presumably a Chevalier directed effort, title as yet unknown." well, that should be LA MAISON DES FILLES PERDUES itself. It doesn't have to be a case of two distinct movies composited into each other, but simply new footage edited around SIGMA 3. I mean, I don't think the main non-SIGMA 3 footage comes from a movie which had a separate existence by itself.
For the record, LA MAISON DES FILLES PERDUES was theatrically released in Turkey as GÖNÜLLÜ YOSMA, which translates as 'The Willing Bitch', an interesting way to title a movie about sexual slavery. It was released here by a very major distributor which had also picked up Eurocine's MAFIA A PIGALLE as EĞLENCE KADINLARI (Women of Entertainment).
At some point, I'd considered buying OASIS as a curiosity item, but after watching its trailer as an extra in another dvd, I demoted it to the lower ranks of my to-buy list. It looked like a very ugly picture.

Robert Monell said...

Many thanks for your clarifying information, Kaya. In OBSESSION, Jack Taylor says in his interview that "we did a movie in Rome in... 1967, it was called AGENTE SIGMA 3... with Lesoeur." That's why I assumed there was some Eurocine/French input in that production. They may have been silent partners or put up some cash to get eventual distribution rights.
Yes, the 1980s reedit is indeed an ugly film in all respects.