24 March, 2014

MARI-COOKIE AND THE KILLER TARANTULA (1998) Vintage Review & Link to the Complete Film

MARI-COOKIE AND THE KILLER TARANTULA

Mari-cookie & The Killer Tarantula/incubus (Jess Francoversio


[ A VINTAGE REVIEW FIRST PUBLISHED ON MHVF in 2000; Thanks to John Charles]
Produced by One Shot Productions/Draculina Cine Directed and Written by Jess Franco
Photography: Raquel Cabra
Music: Jess Franco
Cast: Lina Romay (Mari-Cookie), Analia Ivars, Linnea Quigley, Michelle Bauer (Sheriff), Robert King, Peter Temboury, Amber Newman.

During the Spanish conquest of Europe a pregnant woman is raped by a conquistador. Shortly afterwards, a tarantula enters the woman and deposits its eggs. The spawn is a mutant female who transforms into a lethal spider when sexually aroused. Centuries later, in present day Spain an erotic dancer performs in a bizarre persona, "the killer tarantula." After her shows she picks up willing victims who will end up entangled in an awesome, tortuous web back at her lair. A local Sheriff (Michelle Bauer) becomes attracted to the performer while investigating the disappearances of several club patrons. Meanwhile, the distraught mother (Linnea Quigley) of a wayward stripper (Amber Newman) seeks out her daughter. All will eventually bear witness to the seductive powers of the mysterious creature.
hqdefault.jpg
Women in The Web....
A squiggly, green title announces "An Outrageous Film by Jess Franco," as if his long time fans needed to be primed for this softcore horror fantasia. The focus is on kinky sex and elements of deliberate self-parody are constantly popping up. The spider-woman motif goes all the way back to the director's 1961 pastel-colored musical VAMPIRESAS 1930 and Estella Blain in the classic MISS MUERTE (1965). The naked, tormented half alive bodies of victims hanging in the awesome web festooned across the tarantula's living room, the sado-erotic arachnid rubber-gear, the obsessed audience at the club, are all images which continue Franco's career long obsession with Performance.

The eye popping visual design of glittering colors and outre costumes hold sway during the extended sexual encounters between Romay and everyone else in the cast. Even such risible effects as the inflatable tarantula with a human face seems a reasonable synapse and bears comparison with the mutations in the 1950's version of THE FLY.

Lina Romay performs with enthusiasm and humor, though her physical appearance is somewhat at odds with the requirements of her role. She easily manages to upstage American scream queens Bauer and Quigley, although Bauer's Sheriff-outfit of black leather jacket, fedora, g-string and boots is something to behold. It all ends with the classic Fu Manchu threat, the world will hear from her again. In the spirit of the old Warner's cartoons there's a final imprint of "That's All Folks!"
(C) Robert Monell, 2014

No comments: