17 January, 2009


2001 X RATED KULT DVD version

Even male lead Jack Taylor wonders: Which version is which?!

A confused Ramon Ardid is the hotel masseur who gets a full service blow job by the Countess Irina in the hardcore versions while in others just gets teased before it cuts to his body being carried away by helpful female vampire butler Luis Barboo!

How many versions are there of the 1973 Jess Franco project best known as FEMALE VAMPIRE? COUNTLESS!

Filmed under the title, LA COMTESSE NOIRE, as a non hardcore erotic vampire film set on the island of Madeira, this popular title had alternate scenes shot of bloody vampire attacks (for EROTIKILL) and still later hardcore scenes were added for that market. Franco/Eurocine obviously wanted different versions for different venues.

I'm going to attempt to do a single blog on each and every version I have on video/DVD or have heard about.

Deutsch [German language] Dolby
Dolby Stereo
Code 2/Europa

Extras: Trailers for Jean Rollin's ZOMBIE LAKE; JF's DIAMONDS OF KILIMANJARO (tinted); MONDO CANNIBAL; others.

This version contains all the hardcore footage but none of the straight bloodsucking footage seen in EROTIKILL [Force Video] and in the IMAGE FV extras folder.

VIDEO: Fair. Soft, generally unsharp, somewhat faded color, visible print damage.
AUDIO: Fair to poor- The most unusual, and annoying, aspect of this presentation is that the German dubbers have added various sounds made by the supposedly mute Countess Irina, she goes "Uh...", "Oh..." and "Umm...", moans and emits other atmosphere destroying noises. Why this was done is beyond me. She's supposed to be completely silent! At least the movie works best that way.

I would be interested to know how many distinct versions of LA COMTESSE NOIRE blog readers have in their own collections and which are the favored ones. Don't try to collect them all. Remember, there's a recession on!


Douglas A. Waltz said...

Now wouldn't that be a great boxed set? All the versions of this flick! I have the Erotikill version as well as the one with all the hardcore and blood from a grey market print. I think the one that incorporates a lot of the footage would be my favorite, but I have a hard time watching the flick. Franco is trying to depict the slow, languid life of a vampire and the soundtrack sounds like one endless lullaby to me. Puts me to sleep everytime.

Robert Monell said...

Now wouldn't that be a great boxed set? All the versions of this flick! I

That's a really interesting prospect, Doug. I think that set would definitely sell well, also. I have at least half dozen different versions including EROTIKILL, the one reviewed above, FEMALE VAMPIRE, the VSOM composite THE BARE BREASTED COUNTESS which does seem to contain all available footage including XXX and blood sucking stuff but has poor audio visual quality.

And I know what you mean about its languid pacing, atmosphere and music. But perhaps getting lulled to sleep by this film is an appropriate response. One can always wake up and continue at some point. And it's about a world which is half real half dream anyway.

Brian D. Horrorwitz said...

I think besides the Force Video "Erotikill" and the X-Rated German DVD you just reviewed I have "Loves of Irina" on Private Screenings VHS, the Redemption Benelux "Female Vampire" PAL VHS and the Synapse "Female Vampire" DVD. The Redemption tape seemed to me to be the longest non-porn version. The Synapse DVD was similar but missing a few seconds of oral sex. And the Private Screeings tape had the oral sex but was missing some dialogue and maby a few naughty bits? I haven't seen some of these versions in years so I could be wrong on some of this!

Robert Monell said...

thanks for you versions list, Brian. You know, there must be numerous we don't even know about, like the various XXX variations released in Franco and around the world. The original runtime, listed by OBSESSION and Alain Petit in MANACOA FILES is 82m, which must not be hardcore, but rather a shorter soft version. Interesting that the Synapse/Image one you mention is missing the hc shots in the Loves of Irina version. They were actually edited out by the DVD company, so I don't even consider it a vintage version.

scott said...

I never bought the Image dvd of this I heard bad things I thought..maybe someday I will dirt cheap. I keep hoping for a better release to make the holding off worth it. Not sure that can happen though.

Robert Monell said...

One advantage to the IMAGE DVD is that is has the French soundtrack available, unfortunately wo English subs. It's interesting to hear how it plays that way but Eng subs would have been real nice also.
Also the IMAGE print used is superior to the R2 X RATED KULT one and has a better [anamorphic] transfer. It's still the best LOOKING version I've seen on home video.

JVT said...

The only version I have of La Comtesse Noire is... La Comtesse Noire (french VHS)! ^^
It is the straight version, the Franco version also, 'cause the add of porn scenes is due to the producer of Eurociné (and Franco was against theses adds).
It is the version I prefer, far better, stranger and poetic when Lina Romay remains silent and even more sensual without porn.

Robert Monell said...

Thanks JVT, I would like to know more about that vhs. Do you know the exact runtime? Is it 82 or so minutes. I always figured that the X porn was later added by Eurocine, but didn't know Franco was against that. This version should be on DVD!

JVT said...

My pleasure.

The VHS which I have is in fact a TV recording (thus not a commercial VHS) of one emission presented by Jean-Pierre Dionnet entitled "Cinéma de Quartier" (or was it in "Quartier Interdit" ? I don't remind...) on the French channel Canal +, and which was diffused approximately 10 years ago; it is there That I have discover the movie (and recorded it on VHS ! ^^).

It is necessary that I excavate in my huge stock of VHS (not certain that it is at my home, perhaps stored in the dark cellar of my parents, 'cause no more space in my home !^^), and as soon as I find it (maybe not very soon, sorry), I will indicate you the exact duration of this version (however, I do not know if it were marketed).

(And sorry for my poor english, and the long answer)

Robert Monell said...

Thanks for the information, JVT. This sounds like an interesting version. I know what you mean about huge stock[s] of vhs tapes. I have so many that I can't find certain ones when I want to watch them! I'm terrible at keeping them organized. And we like long replies here.

Mario said...

I always hated this movie, first time saw it it was Redemption VHS version. Years later don't know why (I think it was the cover) bought X rated porn version and hated it even more!!! but wait! Maybe horror version is not that bad for me. You never know.
BTW, BJ scenes in porn version, were shot by Franco? The girl seen to be Lina in my opinion. Best.-

Robert Monell said...

The first time I saw it, as Private Screenings LOVES OF IRINA, I didn't like it, but it has won me over as one of my favorite JF films over the years. But not the XXX version.

Richard said...

I first came across Franco while hunting down misc erotica at a local video in St. Louis in the late 80s/early 90s. They had tons of Private Screenings tapes and THE LOVES OF IRINA was one of them. I was entranced and turned on. It was explicit in a teasing sort of way. I since bought Image's FEMALE VAMPIRE which seemed a lot less sexy, and X-Rated Kult's EROTIKILL which included the unnecessary, continuity-defying hardcore inserts. Regardless of total completeness, I'd say THE LOVES OF IRINA is my favorite cut, perhaps out of nostalgia, but also maybe because I just can't seem to get a hold of a copy.

Mario said...

Do you know wich release contains the horror version??

Robert Monell said...

Thanks for your comment, Richard, and welcome to the blog. The IMAGE FEMALE VAMPIRE DVD edited out a very brief glimpse of hardcore activity. So, actually THE LOVES OF IRINA is more explicit.

Robert Monell said...

Do you know wich release contains the horror version??

That's EROTIKILL, a 71m version released by FORCE VIDEO in the 1980s. It has the bloodsucking scenes and omits much of the sexual scenes. There's a review and discussion of it on my site here. www.cinemadrome.yuku.com

Go to THE WORLD OF JESS FRANCO FORUM to find it and please join in the discusssion there.

Vivian said...

I just ordered the X-rated German DVD version two days ago. Now I'm waiting for it to arrive.
I just want to know if Monica Swinn's masturbation scene is included in this version. I'll find out soon, I guess, but I'm just curious right now.
It's funny; I seem to have this unhealthy obsession with her right now..

Robert Monell said...

Yes Vivian, that scene is there and this is the longest version containing all the footage from the FEMALE VAMPIRE, BARE BREASTED COUNTESS, etc. FEMALE VAMPIRE was, of course, cut by the IMAGE video company.

If you go to my www.cinemadrome.yuku.com site I'll be discussing these soon.

Robert Monell said...

Yes, Vivian, that and all the explicit softcore/hardcore footage is in this longer version. It's the longest version I know of: 105 +9m