11 December, 2018


botas negras, latigo de cuero 1982 89 MINUTES European Trash Cinema (U.S. import) DIRECTED BY JESS FRANCO WITH: CANDY COSTER, ROBERT FOSTER, IDA BALIN, ALFREDO KIER, MIGUEL INFANTE/ Produced by Emilio Larraga-Golden Films Inteenacional --------------------------------------------------------------------  BLACK BOOTS AND LEATHER WHIPS: A Film Noir Story.

One of Franco's favorite characters, private investigator Al Pereira (Robert Foster, a.k.a Antonio Mayans) has got an addiction and he's got it bad. The kind where he just can't keep it in his pants no matter what. It's gotten him in trouble before, but this time it will be the end of him. Al is frantically packing, trying to get away from trouble with sex, women, money, and all the people who are after him. Then Candy walks in. She's bleach blonde, wide eyed, and those long legs under her trench-coat just can't wait to wrap themselves around their next victim, who happens to be Al. She wants him to pick up some dirty money stashed in a wrecked car in the local junkyard, that's all. But Al doesn't bargain on having to kill two thugs, just so he could get back to his seedy apartment, where Candy waits with her legs spread wide. He doesn't bargain for the strip-club and Candy's male friend, who likes to wear make-up.

 Then there was the phony psychic and her friends, who like to strip and play S&M games with black boots and leather whips. When they make Al strip at the party and start beating him, he really loses it and begins shooting people. He doesn't bargain for that, either. So, running from the police and the mob he drives to end of a bayou, where he makes love to Candy one last time. As the seagulls reel overhead, stirred up by Candy's horny cries, she pulls the pistol out of her trenchcoat pocket (she was nude underneath) and pumps a few slugs into Al's side. "Puta" is the only thing he can get out as he falls to his knees, pants still around his ankles. Death was coming to the party, and he is the guest of honor. Like Robert Mitchum in OUT OF THE PAST he plays the sap right to the end. The burning, wet feeling in his side had finally made the lump of flesh between his legs go soft. He always called the nude playmate taped to his wall, "Mi Madre". But where was she?  It was all too much of a good thing. The bitch of it all was that Candy, who was long gone, hadn't gotten him, the mob hadn't gotten him, the cops hadn't gotten him. He got himself.

 BLACKS BOOTS AND LEATHERS WHIPS is the blackest panel of Franco's series of films about eternal fall guy Al Pereira. It's a film noir rendered in the saturated oranges, lemons and aquas of the glittery, trashy Costa del Sol. As embodied by Mayans (in one of his most dead-on performances for Franco), Al is a frantic, at times charming and boyish, womanizer who has a deep seated problem with obsession and compulsion. Romay's femme fatale is lush, slutty sexuality with an icy edge, barely perceptible and totally invisible to Al. This time around, Al might be a character out of Jim Thompson, and the his grim finale is inevitable for a man whose thinking capacity never rises above his waist. Daniel White's urgent score is perfectly appropriate for this rush-toward-death cautionary tale. One thinks of Renoir's 1930s noir LES CHIENNE, the bitch gets her man, all right.  Franco and Juan Cozar's citron color scheme has never seemed quite as ironic and becomes a post-modern Costa del Sol eqivalent of those liquid black nights and mean streets of Robert Siodmak and Jacques Tourneur.

(C) Robert Monell

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