12 May, 2015
A Virgin Among the Living Dead
One of Franco's better-received efforts, A Virgin Among the Living Dead (Franco's intended title was Night of the Shooting Stars) can be described as an extremely low-budget cross between the Addams Family films and Alain Resnais' Last Year in Marienbad. Appropriately named Christina Von Blanc retains a rather blank expression during her many encounters with a family of mischievous spectres populating the baroque Monteserate castle. Franco's skilful use of wide angle lens and an occasional welcome dolly shot lends this somewhat plodding affair a unique visual identity. Nicolai's distinctive score helps liven up the bizarre proceedings another notch. Seeing Howard Vernon wearing a busy shirt while singing hymns (actually proverbs) in Latin during the strange liturgy episode is worth the price of admission alone. A Virgin Among the Living Dead is one of the few Franco projects not to be remade by the man himself in the following decades. Perhaps Jess was satisfied with the film?