25 March, 2016

Jess Franco Personnel: Who is "Shirley Knight"?

"Shirley Knight/Night" is actually a Croatian actress featured in such Eurocine co-productions as Jess Franco's CANNIBALS/WHITE CANNIBAL QUEEN, Pierre Chevalier's PANTHER SQUAD, Jose Jara's OASIS OF LOST WOMEN, Andrea Bianchi's COMMANDO MENGELE aka Angel of Death. Nzoog has informed me that her real name may be Dragica Steiner.

Commando terrorista (1990) directed by Luis Colombo. With Draguy Steiner,…imdb.com, is an additional credit and alternate name pointed out by Francesco Cesari on the EL FRANCONOMICON Facebook group. Luis Colombo was the DP on CANNIBALS, on which Knight/Steiner also worked. There is also a "Draky Steiner" credited among the production crew of Jess Franco's 1980 EUGENIE, UNA HISTORIA DE PERVERSION. Does anyone know anymore information about her filmography or background? Not sure if she is the same person as "Draky Steiner" (see low quality screen cap below) or if she had anything to do with EUGENIE....

She appears as Barbara Shelton in CANNIBALS/WHITE CANNIBAL QUEEN (1980). There is no further information on her on the IMDB. All the above films were shot at least partly in Spain, but I'm not sure whether or not she is Spanish. Aka Shirley Night.

This image at the bottom of this post is from OASIS OF LOST WOMEN (1982), in which she plays the warden of a tropical brothel where kidnapped women are forced to work. This is another typically sleazy, cheap Eurocine composite with footage included from at least 4 different different films, Jess Franco's OPALO DE FUEGO (1978), Pierre Chevalier's THE HOUSE OF THE LOST DOLLS (1973), another unknown French thriller, Gianpaolo Callegari's 1967 Eurospy AGENTE SIGMA 3-MISSIONE GOLDWATHER, with Jack Taylor, along with newer footage shot by Jara (sometimes credited as John O'Hara) featuring Knight/Steiner and Yul Sanders [Claude Boisson] as the headsof the kidnap ring. The late Francoise Blanchard appears as a kidnapped heroine. Both THE HOUSE OF LOST DOLLS and OASIS... are mixtures of Eurospy and Women in Prison tropes.

Thanks to Nzoog and Francesco Cesari for adding pertinent information.

(C) Robert Monell, 2016


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