31 May, 2012

3 NEW JESS FRANCO FILMS!

Thanks to Jess Franco blogger Alex Mendibil for informing me about three new Jess Franco films going into production soon to be produced by Ferran Herranz with the help of Antonio Mayans as producer. Alex includes these details:  "One is an Edgar Wallace adaptation "El caso de la guiri asustada" or "El caso de la señorita asustada" (titles are not definitive) and Mayans has also one of the main roles. The other one is called (by the moment) "Sor Vampiria" and it is more like an experiment in the Paula-Paula style. Principal shooting was scheduled on this month. Mayans is, of course, a longtime Franco actor (MACUMBA SEXUAL) and production manager. 

Alex will also be involved in a Jess Franco documentary produced by none other than Eurocine! According to Alex, "The documentary in which I'm working as scriptwriter is produced by Eurociné and directed by Pedro Temboury. It is a feature film (maybe 70-80 minutes) with lots of interviews, HD remastered footage by Eurociné and a little fictionalized story around it."


The Edgar Wallace adaptation seems to be the long planned Franco presentation of the novel, "The Case of the Frightened Lady" which was last filmed in Germany in 1963 as THE INDIAN SCARF. That film features Klaus Kinski as one of the suspects among relatives vying for an inheritance by staying in a haunted house during a storm. I've seen the film. It's not bad but nothing to go out of your way to see. There are much better Wallace films including Franco's own THE DEVIL CAME FROM AKASAVA (1970). It will be interesting to see what he does with this. It's bracing to hear he's going ahead with new projects. 

Thanks to Alex and don't forget to visit his essential EL FRANCONOMICON   EL FRANCONOMICON

28 May, 2012

COUNTESS PERVERSE: The Mondo Macabro DVD is here!

Bob (Robert Woods) resists the offer of a cannibal meal, defying The Perverse Countess (Alice Arno). The new MONDO MACABRO DVD presentation of this key 1973 Jess Franco film is both visually stunning and finally gives us a look at the long lost director's cut. A must have!

Thanks to Eric Cotenas for the screencap.

22 May, 2012

Daniel J. White Centennial Today

The great composer of memorable music for numerous Jess Franco films (FEMALE VAMPIRE, MISS MUERTE) was born 100 years ago today near Paris, France. He also composed music for other director's films including CRIMSON (1975) and other Eurocine coproductions. He was heavily influenced by Debussy and could compose for orchestra, piano, other instruments (listen to his trumpet score for MISS MUERTE) and the human voice. The haunting female vocal accompanied by a piano piece in FEMALE VAMPIRE may be his signature film composition. He began composing film music in 1950 and was a key Jess Franco collaborator for over 30 years.

He also played in supporting roles in Franco's MISS MUERTE (as a police inspector), LA FILLE DE DRACULA (1972), THE EROTIC RITES OF FRANKENSTEIN, REVENGE IN THE HOUSE OF USHER, among others. The best image of him I could find is included above, shot from behind playing the piano as a Nazi officer in Eurocine's ELSA: FRAULEIN SS (1977).

He also composed the jazzy score for Eurocine's CRIMSON, a 1973 film featuring Paul Naschy, among other projects.

The IMDB credits him with composing the scores for 134 films and appearing in 17 as an actor. 

17 May, 2012

LES DEMONS (1972): Vintage Lobby Cards



Here are some vintage lobby cards for Jess Franco's 1972 nunsploitation epic LES DEMONS/SHE DEMONS/THE DEMONS/DIE NONNEN VON CLICHY. I recently revisited the long 112m 59s. version, the longest extant cut of the film, and it looks stunning on the 2.35:1 X-RATED KULT DVD. It's an excellent print with luminous colors and good sound quality (German language only). You also get the "Director's Cut" (with English and Spanish language options) from 2003 with new music added (not too fond of this edition) and a grindhouse quality German print *85m. I tend to prefer this version of the Judge Jeffries story to the 1968 Harry Alan Towers produced THE BLOODY JUDGE, which has a quality performance by Christopher Lee as the Judge, a higher budget but sometimes "stars" and higher budgets inhibit the director's inspiration.

01 May, 2012