16 November, 2009

DVDs in question


Are these DVDs worth 20 dollars a pop?




I've been unable to secure review copies of the R1 DVDs of Jess Franco's 1980 erotic-sci fi-comedy EL SEXO ESTA LOCO and the musical comedy LAS CHICAS DE COPACABANA (1979). I'm very much in the dark about the companies who have released these discs and am curious about the audio-visual quality. I also continue to wonder where these were sourced from.

I have the Spanish DVD of EL SEXO..., which is 1.33:1, in Spanish language only. The video quality is fair to good, but could be much better in terms of color, sharpness, definition and general luminosity. It's certainly an improvement over the old VSOM sixth generation dubs I've had for the last two decades! The film itself is one of Franco's most original, satiric, idiosyncratic journeys into genre hyperspace.

I would like to hear any reports from blog readers on these. Please post any comments below. Also, if anyone already has these/is interested in contributing a guest review, please contact me asap.*

The covers have an amusingly tacky quality but I wonder if they properly represent the films. They look like typical bargain bin material in your local Adult Shop.



renegovar@yahoo.com *






15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I believe they are from JEF Films (under another label).

dfordoom said...

An erotic-sci fi-comedy and a musical comedy fron Jess Franco! They sound wonderful!

Revelator said...

Judging from the covers and the lack of information concerning the Region 1 releases of this two works, I think we can expect poor VHS quality. I'm also interested (haven't seen these two Franco films), but I just can't afford to spend so much money on hodge-podge material. I also suspect JEF Films hiding in the background - this is a company I detest, their releases are awful efforts to cash-in while exploiting the naivity or curiosity of the film fans.

Robert Monell said...

also suspect JEF Films

I didn't realize that JEF Films was involved under a cover. I've only heard dodgy things about them but I've never seen one of their discs. Given that these are going for around 20 bucks each I doubt if I'll be buying them. Not only because of the price but I don't want to support this kind of operation. But I would like to see them to confirm they are slams of the Spanish discs and report on that firsthand. The worst part is that these will make legit, quality releases from original materials much less likely.

Robert Monell said...

They sound wonderful

I still haven't seen LAS CHICAS... but I highly recommend EL SEXO ESTA LOCO, but not necessarily these discs.

Revelator said...

I heared and read horrible things about JEF Films and its hybrid companies before, but I just could not control myself when BEYOND EROTICA (shot in 1974, original Spanish title: No es nada, mamá, sólo un juego)came out under their Televista moniker, so I ordered it immediately (it cost 23 dollars). It's a sarcastic film full of black humour and has many Jess Franco-type moments. The cast is impressive: David Hemmings, Alida Valli, Francisco Rabal and Andrea Rau(beautiful sidekick of Delphine Seyrig in Harry Kümel's DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS)stars. The quality of the DVD was unbelievably bad, the worst I've seen since the Alpha Video days.

Robert Monell said...

Thanks Revelator for the report from Hungary on BEYOND EROTICA. I haven't seen this film yet but it has a more than interesting cast. I don't think I've seen any JEF DVDs so far. But I still want to see one of these new Franco discs. I'm very reluctant to pay 20 dollars for them, though.

dfordoom said...

I was going to say that anything with Andrea Rau in it would have to be worth a look, but if we're talking Alpha Video quality then maybe not!

coughin'dave said...

I have Chicas... and I'm almost certain it's a rip of the Spanish disc. Pretty good image quality, Spanish audio but with English subs added. I'm about to order El Sexo... so can't comment on that disc as yet.
-Dave

Mondo Pete said...

Yes. It's Jef Films. They're opportunistic pirates of the worst sort. This does no-one any favors - just lines the pockets of some already rich crooks. DON'T BUY THESE!!!!

Robert Monell said...

Yes. It's Jef Films

Thanks for the confirmation, Pete. That's unfortunate. It insures that legit releases will be highly unlikely in the near future and encourages pirate versions in the future. Someone is sending me one and I do plan to review it and discuss these implications.

Patrick said...

Yeah, these are JEF Films releases under some other name (Televista for LAS CHICAS and Sinful Mermaid for SEXO ESTA LOCO).

They usually steal prints from other DVD's around the world and slap them with a dubious cover. The exception this time is that for the first time that I know of, they actually did some work and added subtitles for both these Franco films and the Jorge Grau LOVES LETTERS OF A NUN (starring Lina).

I'm wondering if they actually translated the films or picked up subs somewhere...

Robert Monell said...

'm wondering if they actually translated the films or picked up subs somewhere...

Patrick, the grey market VSOM company subtitled EL SEXO way back in the early 1990s. I have that video. It's rather poor video quality but it is English subbed. I wonder if they got that and copied those subtitles?

Patrick said...

That's what I was thinking of, I also have that poor quality copy. I'm not aware of subtitles for the two other films though.... so maybe they put some effort this time ?

In any case, they seemed to have timed their releases when no other Franco material is being issued or announced in R1.

Rollo said...

Hi Robert,
Don't own it but have been looking for info on it. It's Jef Films (don't want to argue here, and I'm not trying to make excuses for myself or anyone else, but I do own a few Jef releases. They are either ports of foreign discs or dubs of VHS tapes, though always looking better than Alpha, VideoAsia, Mill Creek and many BCIs. Yes this is underhanded, but it's not too far off from collector tapes/dvds, where the same thing is done, though on a much smaller scale. Also it's probably not taking any more money than the collectors market does out of the indie DVD company pockets and definitely less than the companies listed above, and definitely much less than the used market and downloading does. Severin released Nightmare Castle and Synapse released Castle of Blood and Dark Sky released She Beast -let's hear it for Babs Steele!- all public domain staples, so this shows that companies can and will still release these things even if the market is already flooded with them. I don't exactly know how they sold, though. Also everybody has double dipped before, so if you put out a strong version of a weak released title it will sell. Sorry for using your site as a soapbox, Robert, I'll move on to why I stopped by, and no, my name is not Jef). Found a site with some screen caps for the release, here you go:http://thisisquietcool.blogspot.com/2009/11/jess-francos-sex-is-crazy-el-sexo-esta.html Colors look nice. I'll probably get it, and stop back with more information if anyone's still interested. Nice blog, BTW, Robert.