16 October, 2009

THE DEMONS: German Theatrical Version & Music


The 2004 X-RATED KULT DVD: LES DEMONS/DIE NONNEN VON CLICHY: The X-RATED NUNSPLOITATION SERIES 5, DOPPEL DVD SET, will be one of the crown jewels of the serious Jess Franco collector. PAL, Code 2, 16:9 anamorphic.


I just re watched the vintage German theatrical version of Jess Franco's 1972 Nunsploitation/Witchfinder General epic. It struck me how this second version of the story of Judge Jeffries violates history and the director's own first version [THE BLOODY JUDGE-1970] by having the character undone by a supernatural curse ["the kiss of death"]. Of course, Britt Nichols and Anne Libert are the erotic objects in this film, and the director can't seem to wait to get them out of their habits and either into bed with assorted partners or into the torture chamber. One really can't compare John Foster [Cihangir Gaffari] as Jeffries to Christopher Lee's intensive portray of the character. Gaffari tries to look intense, and he does have striking features. Gaffari and DP Raul Artigot went on to make the contemporary witchcraft thriller, THE WITCHES MOUNTAIN, the same year.

This version is one of three on the X RATED KULT set, still my favorite Jess Franco DVD. The "Original Deutsche Kinofassung mit Bonusszenen" is a Grindhouse delight, complete with lime green scratches, missing frames, visible flags at reel changes and all sorts of blemishes. It's letterboxed wider than 2.35:2, its OAR. An educated guess would be 2.50:1, cutting into the top of the images. It's also the only version of the three to contain the vintage 1972 credits, in German DIE NONNEN VON CLICHY. Run time approximately 85m. It's definitely preferable to a cropped 1.33:1 presentation and has some historical value. Luis Barboo takes over the role of the Inquisitor, played by Howard Vernon in THE BLOODY JUDGE. It's always good to see the mangled visage of Barboo and one has to admire how Vernon, the memorably vicious Inquisitor in the first version, can be just as effective as the only totally sympathetic, enlightened person in the court.

What holds the film together even in its many compromised states, at least for me, is the startling, sometimes anachronistic score by Jean-Bernard Raiteux. Parts of the score, which could be described as a mixture of early 70's acid rock and period Baroque, were reused in Franco's 1973 LA COMTESSE PERVERSE. Franco's compositions also range from the symmetrical to the classical to the frenzied zooming and panning of the opening. Note the lens ravishing of Britt Nichols and Doris Thomas during their extended masturbation sequences.


I'm still interested in hearing from anyone who has the score on CD or vinyl, if it was ever issued. I would like to somehow get a copy. Thanks to Tony of Xploited and Squonkmatic.





11 comments:

Tower Farm said...

Wow! That is a cover!

JM

dfordoom said...

I just recently bought the Redemption version of this movie but haven't had a chance to watch it yet. I'd love to find some of these Kult DVDs but I have no idea how on earth to get hold of them.

Robert Monell said...

haven't had a chance to watch it yet. I'd love to find some of these Kult DVDs but I have no idea how on earth to get hold of them.

Please report on the runtime of this if you can watch it, asap. And the soundtrack. I was wondering if this is the 2003 "Director's Cut", also part of the set, in which he rescored it with cuts from other, unrelated films [ie BARBED WIRE DOLLS] with Daniel White music. I prefer the original score. I got mine through Xploited. It may OOP, but do check it out. You get three different versions, including the 114m version + woom Bonus!!!! The 114 M vers is probably Franco's director's cut with all kinds of footage cut from other releases, censored for sex/violence. This has it ALL intact. Given that Spanish, English German tracks are availabel that's six different ways you can watch the three features along with numerous alternate takes, scenes, footage in the various supplement folders. In other words, you MUST have this DVD. Also try www.t-m-shop.de

Robert Monell said...

That is a cover!

It was available in a selection of covers. The one I have has different, equally lurid, imagery.

Anonymous said...

Didn't much of the music come from the Trafic Pop album by JM Lorgere? If so I have a copy. - Damian

PS: I consider this DVD release to be the "crown jewel" of my Franco collection. One of the best DVD purchases I've made.

Frédérick said...

Yes, it is the TRAFIC POP album.

smithfu2000@yahoo.com said...

Greetings Robert,

While not the soundtrack to "The Demons," I stumbled upon some Raiteux music used in Franco's films.

You may already be aware of the following ... but, I found a download for Jean-Bernard Raiteux's "Harlem Pop Trotters" LP. Listen to Track 9, it was definitely used in both "The Perverse Countess" and the ending to "Diary of a Nymphomaniac." And, Track 10 was in "Perverse Countess."

The page with the download link is

http://my.opera.com/JC%20PIERRIC%20VINYLE/blog/harlem-pop-trotters-vol-1-2


All the best,
Curt

Robert Monell said...

't much of the music come from the Trafic Pop album by JM Lorgere? If so I have a copy. - Damian

Thanks, Damian. That's it. Could you email me asap?

Robert Monell said...

it is the TRAFIC POP album.

Thanks for confirming, Frederick. This music really adds so much audio atmosphere and commentary to these films. It's really the key element as much as the camera work. I can only hope it someday appears on CD.

Robert Monell said...

. Listen to Track 9, it was definitely used in both "The Perverse Countess" and the ending to "Diary of a Nymphomaniac." And, Track 10 was in "Perverse Countess."

The page with the download link is

http://my.opera.com/JC%20PIERRIC%20VINYLE/blog/harlem-pop-trotters-vol-1-2

Thanks so much for the download link, Curt. Could you please email me at monell579@hotmail.com asap. Thanks again!

Keith said...

I've never seen this. I do love that cover.