28 December, 2009


Jess Franco talks to deep sea creatures in MACUMBA SEXUAL: SEVERIN FILMS DVD





Exactly how many Jess Franco DVDs were released in all regions worldwide between Jan 1 2000 and Jan 1 2010?

For more selections and comments go to JESS FRANCO ON DVD thread @

Please post your favorites in the comments section.

Thanks for reading and Happy Holidays

(C) Robert Monell 2009

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24 December, 2009

A Christmas Eve Movie by Jess Franco

Jess Franco's Robot Monster is coming home for the Holidays!

The ghastly, and probably close-to-home for survivors of dysfunctional families/children of alcoholics, Christmas Eve depicted in Jess Franco's DR. ORLOFF'S MONSTER is one of the best scenes in this bleak family-centered science fiction thriller from 1964 and one of the most sobering Christmas Eve scenes ever. It makes one grateful for what one has in life. A good double bill with Frank Capra's IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE... really!

I have had the experience of seeing the rare, Spanish language EL SECRETO DEL DR. ORLOFF off a projected film print. Thanks to Francesco Cesari and Alain Petit. I wish them and all the blog readers a wonderful Christmas Holiday!

I'll be back in the following days with my selections for the Best Films/DVDs of 2009. It looks like 2010 will be a much better year for Jess Franco on DVD than 2009 was.

Robert Monell (c) 2009

15 December, 2009


LISTEN to the music on this US version of Paul Naschy's first werewolf epic...

And you'll hear cues from this magnificent score...

Two recent discoveries:
Bruno Nicolai's excellent score for the 1969
Italian war movie LA BATTAGLIA DEL DESERTO can be
heard in Jess Franco's 1972 LOS AMANTES DE LA ISLA
DEL DIABLO aka DEVIL'S ISLAND LOVERS (main theme & cues)

His legendary score for EUGENIE...THE STORY OF HER JOURNEY
INTO PERVERSION (1970), perhaps his masterwork, has some
of its most recognizable cues integrated into the replacement
Naschy's first Waldemar Daninsky film, LA MARCA DEL HOMBRE LOBO (1968).
Watching this in the wake of Paul Naschy's passing
was an especially poignant experience.

Maestro Nicolai's cues were often recycled and they tend to work well
wherever they are integrated.

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10 December, 2009

EL SEXO ESTA LOCO: R1 vs R2 DVDs-Comparison


Thanks to Mike Robert for putting this link up on my website's JESS FRANCO ON DVD thread to his eye-opening comparison of the R2 MANGA and R1 SINFUL MERMAID DVDs of Jess Franco's science fiction sex comedy, EL SEXO ESTA LOCO.

Here is a link to the comparison DVD.

08 December, 2009


The 2006 Manga R2 DVD is the real thing...

But what about this one?

I finally got a look at the "Televista" DVD, THE GIRLS OF THE COPACABANA. It has been speculated on this blog by some readers than this is a port of the 2006 Manga R2 LAS CHICAS DE COPACABANA DVD by JEF Films using the Televista name as a cover. The title THE GIRLS OF THE COPACABANA only appears as the title on the box cover, on the print itself the onscreen title is LAS CHICHAS DE COPACABANA.

The first thing I noticed is that there is no DVD company name on the box, the Televista logo is printed on the DVD itself but is so small that it's impossible to make out the name. That's enough to make one suspicious. The logo does appear onscreen before the menu screen and the Televista name appears at the end of the presentation with a 2009 Copyright trademark .

I didn't know what to expect but the Menu screen raises more questions. It's in Spanish, including the main title, menu options [which include English subtitles, a slide show of a few dozen fair quality stills and scene selection guide [all the individual scenes are also titled in Spanish]. English translations of the main title and menu options are provided in parenthesis. The menu screen artwork shows the three main characters, Juan (playing a guitar), Juanita and Hans (the latter two nude and in bed together with Juanita's image vibrating over Hans). Their images are superimposed over a vista of Rio's famous coastline seen from the sky. Since I haven't seen the R2 disc I can't report if this is the same as that menu screen. It suggests a US 1980s era sex comedy, which I guess the film itself was made in response to. The theme song, which plays an important thematic role in the film is heard over the menu.

Reading some reviews of the R2 disc which noted a 1.66:1 aspect ratio I was somewhat surprised to see that this disc is dysfunctionally displayed with very thin, irregular black bars at the top and bottom. At least that's the way it plays back on my monitor. It's certainly not 1.66:1 and will appear full frame or 1.33:1 to the untrained eye.

The color and general video quality is highly variable, ranging from fairly good to washed out. It's not exactly bursting with primary colors and as razor sharp as the best Severin Franco DVDs have been (cf Severin's MACUMBA SEXUAL). And the transfer, or the print, lacks detail and is rather dark/grainy at times. This may have something to do with the shooting conditions. OBSESSION: THE FILMS OF JESS FRANCO reports the film was shot in 16mm and reconstituted in another format two years later!

LAS CHICAS DE COPACABANA was a low-budget French (Eurocine)-Spanish (Triton P.C./Madrid) co production which includes a lot of inconsistently graded stock footage of the Rio Carnival, but the film certainly deserves a less questionable presentation. The print does appear to be complete. I'm awaiting the Spanish R2 DVD to make a more definitive comparison. If the fault lies with the film itself, that's one thing, but I did enjoy it even though it's obviously not a candidate for tier one.

I'll be returning soon with my comments on the film itself.

Thanks to Robert Guest and Francesco Cesari.

(C) 2009 Robert Monell

03 December, 2009

Coming from MONDO MACABRO in 2010!



Need I say more?

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01 December, 2009

PAUL NASCHY: (1934-2009)

One of the many faces of Paul Naschy.

Jacinto Molina Alvarez aka Paul Naschy died today in Spain after a battle with cancer. He was 75. He has been known as El Hombre Lobo and the Lon Chaney of Spain but I have always considered him the King of Spanish Horror.

As an actor, director and writer he was kind of the polar opposite of another famous Spanish genre-film artist, Jess Franco, but his films are equally passionate and feature a unique, personal vision. His epic cycle of Waldemar Daninsky-werewolf films spanned over 30 years and 12 titles.

Some of my personal favorite Paul Naschy titles include his under appreciated medieval fantasy EL CAMINANTE, the macabre HUNCHBACK OF THE MORGUE and his eccentric vampire opus COUNT DRACULA'S GREAT LOVE.

Thank you, Paul Naschy, your work brought a great deal of joy and entertainment into my life over the years. You will be missed. RIP....

30 November, 2009


Thanks to my friend and colleague Francesco Cesari for alerting me to the upcoming "Homage to Jess Franco" in Venice, Italy, which he helped organize. Three of the director's most unique titles will be screened, THE DIABOLICAL DR. Z (1965), A VIRGIN AMONG THE LIVING DEAD (1971) and EL SEXO ESTA LOCO (1980). These are three of the prolific filmmaker's most personal films and he appears as an actor in all three.

Here are some more details Francesco emailed me:

["2 december Franco-day at the "House of
Cinema" in Venezia is ready. Thanks to Ferran Herranz, Antonio Mayans will be the "Guest of Honor". The event is organized by the University of Venezia (Ca' Foscari). "]

Actor Antonio Mayans, who has appeared in dozens of Jess Franco films since the early 1970s right up to the present day, will be a Special Guest at the event, which will unfold on December 2nd and 3rd.

For Italian language readers this is from Francesco's FACEBOOK link:

[Omaggio al cinema di Jess Franco"Prismas del imaginario" (a cura di Francesco Cesari - coordinatore Alessandro Scarsella)
Music/Arts - Performance
Start Time:
Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 4:30pm
End Time:
Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 12:00am
Casa del Cinema (Videoteca Pasinetti)
Proiezione di 3 film e tavola rotonda:16,30: Miss Muerte (Le diabolique docteur Z, 1965) - in francese, con sottotitoli inglesi18,00: tavola rotonda "Il caso Jesús Franco"21,00: Une vierge chez les morts vivants (1971) - in francese, con sottotitoli italiani22.45: El sexo está loco (1981) - in spagnolo, con sottotitoli italianiTavola rotonda:Partecipano:Francesco Cesari, Roberto Ellero, Ferran Herranz, Teo Mora, Elide Pittarello, Alessandro ScarsellaInterviene:Antonio MayansSchede sui film:MISS MUERTEL’ultimo degli horror in bianco e nero diretti da Jesús Franconella prima metà degli anni '60 – a detta del regista il piùriuscito – è una rivisitazione della Sposa in nero di William Irishcon alcune significative varianti: la vendicatrice omicida non èsposa ma figlia, il dramma è calato nell’universo fantastico dellascience-fiction e l’esecutrice materiale dei delitti è una showgirl,appunto Miss Death, la cui mente è controllata da quelladella «figlia in nero». La sceneggiatura fu scritta a quattro manida Franco e Jean-Claude Carrière, collaboratore d'elezione diLuis Buñuel. Girato a regola d’arte e caratterizzato da unafotografia cupa, dai toni marcatamente espressionisti, il film èesemplare della fase “classica” del regista madrileno. Franco viappare nei panni di un ispettore di polizia perennementeassonnato, assistito da un collega di Scotland Yard a sua voltainterpretato dal compositore, e amico del regista, Daniel J.White, autore della suggestiva e raffinata colonna sonora. Il filmviene presentato nel formato originale, in lingua francese consottotitoli inglesi (la versione spagnola non è ancora uscita indvd ma è identica a quella francese).UNE VIERGE CHEZ LES MORTS-VIVANTSLa nuit des étoiles filantes – nelle intenzioni di Franco, questodoveva essere il titolo – è un film a basso costo, girato in assolutalibertà e, nella versione d’autore, rispondente in tutto e per tuttoalla personale concezione cinematografica del regista. Ilmontaggio originale è stato ripristinato solo in anni recenti, dopoche negli anni ’70 i diversi distributori avevano imposto il taglio didue sequenze e l’aggiunta di scene erotiche in alcune versioni(Christina, princesse de l’érotisme) e horror in altre (le sequenzecon gli zombie furono girate da Jean Rollin), allo scopo diomologare il film agli standard di questi due genericinematografici onde adattarlo ai rispettivi mercati. Al contrario,la versione di Franco punta su una spiazzante, imprevedibilealternanza di toni lirici, onirici, umoristici, grotteschi. Il film non silimita a raccontarci i sogni della protagonista Christina: ciintroduce in un universo nel quale anche il risveglio e la morte sirivelano ulteriori dimensioni del sogno, agganciandosi in tal modoa una tradizione culturale che in Spagna risale fino a Calderón dela Barca. Alla definizione di questa atmosfera peculiarecontribuiscono in misura decisiva la vegetazione tropicale diCascais, sulla costa portoghese, dove il film fu girato, e lapartitura musicale di Bruno Nicolai, composta con lacollaborazione del regista e costellata di voci e suoni della natura.In alcune interviste il regista ha affermato che il soggetto diquesto «piccolo film» («C’est un petit film que j’aime beaucoup.Je n’aime pas mes films en général mais celui-ci est particulier. J’yai mis beaucoup de moi-même») sarebbe stato ricavato da unracconto di Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, ma si tratta soltanto di unideale punto di ispirazione per un soggetto originale, il cui germesi trova semmai in uno dei primi film dello stesso Franco, Elsecreto del Dr. Orloff (1964). In francese, per la prima volta consottotitoli italiani.EL SEXO ESTA LOCODopo la morte di Francisco Franco, il mercato cinematograficospagnolo si aprì con grande successo al genere erotico.All’apparenza, El sexo está loco è uno dei tanti soft-core a bassocosto girati in Spagna in quegli stessi anni; sennonché il veroatto di trasgressione – come lo stesso regista ha dichiarato –non è la prevedibile ostentazione di corpi nudi e situazionisessualmente esplicite, bensì lo smantellamento delleconvenzioni narrative: «Volevo per una volta sbarazzarmi dellaschiavitù di dover raccontare una storia per fare un film. Credodi esserci riuscito. Non avevo un vero copione, era una scaletta,uno schema di come una storia si convertiva in un’altra, e inun’altra…». Il modello filmico a cui Franco dichiaratamente siispirò è, proprio in quest’ottica, Il fantasma della libertà diBuñuel, ma rivisitato in chiave scanzonata e demenziale: dallafantascientifica scena iniziale, nell’astronave degli infoiatiabitanti del pianeta Argolios, fino alla messa satanica deifanatici di San Cucufate. Anche grazie ai consueti giochi dispecchi, regista, direttore della fotografia e camera da presairrompono più volte nell’inquadratura, a ribadire l’intentodemistificante da cui il film prese le mosse. Tra i protagonisti, lacoppia di attori che ha girato con Franco il maggior numero difilm: Lina Romay, moglie del regista, e Antonio Mayans, suo piùstretto collaboratore durante gli anni ‘80, anche nelle vesti didirettore di produzione. In spagnolo, per la prima volta consottotitoli italiani.Jesús Franco (Madrid, 12 maggio 1930) è una dellefigure più originali del panorama cinematograficocontemporaneo. Affermatosi all’inizio degli anni ’60come regista di film horror di impronta neogotica eneoespressionista, ha in seguito delineato la propriapersonalità artistica spostandosi ai margini del sistemaproduttivo. Le crescenti limitazioni pratiche – budget etempi di lavorazione ristrettissimi, cast semiprofessionali– l’hanno spinto sulla via della ricerca di un linguaggiopersonale e riconoscibile, de-stilizzato, basatosull’improvvisazione, la camera a mano e il ricorso adattori non professionisti. Non sorprende, pertanto,incontrare i nomi di Godard e Bresson in alcune suerecenti interviste. Le evidenti eccentricità della suaproduzione – la montagna di titoli (oltre 170, di qualitàovviamente diseguale ma idealmente strutturati comeun’opera unica), l’adesione al cinema di genere, specieerotico e fantastico, nonché gli sconfinamenti sistematiciverso gli universi paralleli del fumetto e della musica (trale altre cose, Franco ha studiato composizione ed è statopianista e trombettista jazz) – hanno tuttavia a lungoimpedito di riconoscere la tensione intellettuale e criticache ne ha segnato le scelte di fondo. Oggi ben 100 filmdiretti da Jess Franco – come preferisce farsi chiamare –sono accessibili sul mercato mondiale del dvd.Nell’estate 2008 la Cinémathèque française gli hadedicato una retrospettiva-fiume, proiettandone ben 69titoli, e nel febbraio 2009 il regista ha ricevuto il premioGoya de Honor, un premio alla carriera che costituisce ilprimo riconoscimento importante conferitogli nella suaSpagna («Nunca esperé ningún reconocimiento por micarrera. Estoy encantado y como, nunca me he creídomerecedor de nada, me parece un regalo precioso»). ]

Good Work and Good Luck, Francesco!

28 November, 2009


MONDO MACABRO has announced on their TWITTER and FACEBOOK accounts the upcoming release of titles from the Jess Franco-Robert De Nesle collection in 2010.

Great News!

We should be looking forward to some of the director's most sought-after titles finally appearing on DVD.

More information will follow. Keep an eye on the MONDO MACABRO blog for futher news.


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27 November, 2009


The Men From Balcazar....

My Black Friday shopping included a pick-up of THE MAN FROM OKLAHOMA DVD from Dorado Films, who have released a number of very obscure, interesting Eurowestern/Eurospy titles. They deserve to be supported. I can't resist obscure Eurowesterns so I quickly snapped it up.

This little know Spanish-German-Italian hybrid was co-directed by Jaime Jesus Balcazar, who was one of the notorious Balcazar dynasty who built a studio near Barcelona, Spain where a number of Jess Franco films were shot. Below are some interesting comments and information on those Franco films and the studio by our Spanish friend, Nzoog. He is citing the Spanish language book BALCAZAR PRODUCCIONES CINEMATOGRAFICAS: Mas alla de Espulgas City, about the Balcazar empire started by the brothers Jaime Jesus and Alfonso. The text suggests that Jess Franco may have shot more films at the studio than any other single director.

More information is available on the JESS FRANCO AND BALCAZAR thread now featured on www.cinemadrome.yuku.com

{"The Castle of Fu Manchu is included in the list of Balcázar films proper, appearing as a coproduction between Spain, Liechtenstein, West Germany and Italy: "No credit is given to the contribution of Balcázar in the Spanish version of 1971. It appears that the Italian version was not premiered in its day". The Spanish company cited is Tilma Film.

The list of Franco films shot at Balcázar is the following (whenever known, the month in which the shooting at Balcázar took place is given):

Justine (June 1968)

Venus in Furs (September 1968)

Count Dracula (March 1969)

Devil's Island Lovers(1971)

The Curse of Frankenstein(June 1973)"}

I'm hoping for an English language edition of this information rich publication at some point in the future.

Thanks to Nzoog.

24 November, 2009

The Jess Franco Online Video Guide: SHINING SEX -Toei Video

Another entry into THE JESS FRANCO ONLINE HOME VIDEO GUIDE, an ongoing project for the last year based on my CINEMADROME site. Go to http://www.cinemadrome.yuku.com/ THE WORLD OF JESS FRANCO FORUM to read previous entries.

SHINING SEX {onscreen title}
[aka Shining Sex-La Fille au Sexe Brillant]

AR 1.33:1
Language options: English with Japanese subtitles

Directed by Dan L. Simon [Jess Franco]
PC: Eurocine [France]; Brux Interfilm [Belgium]
Cast: Cynthia (Lina Romay), Alpha (Evelyne Scott); Andros (Ramon Ardid), Ms Pecame (Monica Swinn), Dr. Kallman/Van Helsing (Olivier Mathot), Simon Berger (Boris), Jess Franco (Dr. Seward).

Synopsis: Cynthia, an exotic dancer in a upscale resort in Southern France, is seduced by a strange couple, Alpha, a being from another dimension and her human slave, Andros. Alpha places highly toxic matter (which also has hypnotic powers) into Cynthia's sex during love-making. From then on she will be a helpless pawn in a plot to destroy a psychic and a biologist who have become aware of the alien invasion and pose a threat to the plan.

Commentary: "A superior force obliges me to love you and then to kill you," Cynthia tells one of her victims. That could be a plot description of dozens of films and the love/death theme is central to his . No-budget SF-SEX [as a pre-feature onscreen title card added by Toei Video announces] esoterica with a very effective performance by Lina as the tragic Cynthia. This film has very little dialogue and an outre ambiance supported by a soundtrack which includes strange, industrial type sounds [SHINING SEX is also the name of an Industrial-Experimental music group], minimalist locations [the hotel in Southern France where this was lensed was also used for the equally no-budget Franco spy-comedy THE MIDNIGHT PARTY, another 1975 item which utilized virtually the same cast, crew and was shot back-to-back with this film], and, in this longer version, a weird extended boat ride down a river with white horses and exotic animals on its banks.

This could be termed as Fantastique cinema and almost seems like a Jean Rollin film at times. Very under appreciated and one of the director's rare excursions into science fiction (cf EL SEXO ESTA LOCO). This version is approximately 15 minutes [!] longer than the hardcore French version, which will be discussed in another entry in the JESS FRANCO ONLINE VIDEO GUIDE. This version is highly recommended over the hardcore, which subtracts even more footage for the scenes.

Franco's telezoom [he acted as his own DP] is, once again, relentless, but, in this context, an appropriate tool used to explore sexual/emotional/spatial/architectural/geometrical patterns while arranging them into cubist compositions.

Jess Franco is quite convincing as the paralyzed, occultist-psychiatrist, Dr. Seward, who attempts to save Cynthia from the alien plot. This before-the-fact, unintended AIDS allegory, is powerful stuff seen from a contemporary perspective. It's poetic sexploitation of a high order. Franco would remake this film in 1986, exploiting the then-recent suddenly blooming awareness of the disease, as SIDA, LA PESTE DEL SIGLO XX, for Golden Films Internacional, with Francoise Blanchard in the Lina Romay role. OBSESSION: THE FILMS OF JESS FRANCO reports Franco's claims that a dispute between Emilio Larraga and Eurocine halted the release of the film.

Film: *** [good]
Video: ** [acceptable video quality but the 1.33:1 cropping of a scope film is unfortunate]
Audio: *** [for once an intelligently written and voice-cast English dubbed version of a JF film]

*There have been no US-R1 presentations of this film on any video format so far.
Thanks to Eric Cotenas.

21 November, 2009


George Nader is a hoot in Lindsay Shonteff's 1967 Sumuru misadventure...

Jess Franco's 1968 Sumuru flick featured terrific costumes, a wasted George Sanders and numerous eye-catching posters.

"I have a million eyes, for I am Sumuru."

After finally getting a chance to see this 1967 Lindsay Shonteff (CURSE OF THE VOODOO) directed Sax Rohmer adaptation I can report that it's more entertaining and visually stylish (even in a cropped 1.33:1 poor quality print) than Jess Franco's 1968 Sumuru adaptation THE GIRL FROM RIO but has less interest in terms outre fashion design and codified genre commentary.* Both films were produced by Harry Alan Towers and bombed at the box office.

THE MILLION EYES opens with CIA Agent Nick West (George ROBOT MONSTER Nader) hijacked by British intelligence (in the person of the avuncular Wilfrid-Hyde White) and ordered to Hong Kong where he will infiltrate the world of female super-criminal Sumuru (Shirley Eaton), who owns an island undermined with high explosives and populated by a crack army of female assassins dressed in black tights. We see plenty of bare midriffs but no nudity. Boot and leather fetishists will have no complaints and watching Eaton whip a chained up Nader is camp fun of the highest order. Sumuru's dream is a world dominated by women where Love is a capital offense. That seems just fine with Nader as he takes every chance to get into a hot clutch with every Sumuru operative in reach.

Fun is the key word here. Nader, in full flight from Hollywood, was already involved in Euro espionage in his German-produced Jerry Cotton series [THE TRAP SNAPS SHUT AT MIDNIGHT] lets it all hang out here [everyone knew he was gay, but friend Rock Hudson was still deep in the Hollywood closet] as the fey, wise cracking secret agent who quips he had better in High School after getting kissed by Shirley Eaton! It's fun to watch George having a ball at Harry Alan Towers' expense. He's certainly more engaging than Richard Wyler in Franco's take. On the other hand there's the unavoidable presence of top-billed Frankie Avalon who can't act, isn't funny and looks like he needs to be back in a BEACH BLANKET BINGO movie or the Mickey Mouse club. He shouldn't be in the film at all, but I guess it wouldn't have gotten made without a "name" to sell it in the US. It didn't sell there or anywhere else, though.

No film featuring the legendary Klaus Kinski can't be without interest and here he matches Nader in tacky goofball antics by playing a double role, wearing a fright wig, smirking broadly and generally flailing wildly about as the sex-addicted Sindonesian President Boong.

Maria Rohm as cult- inductee Helga is no more necessary to the plot here as she in the Franco Sumuru film while her presence is certainly understandable given her relationship with the producer. She proved to be actress in her later Franco films, especially as Madame St. Ange in EUGENIE...THE STORY OF HER JOURNEY INTO PERVERSION (1970). She's just a pretty blonde here. More to the point are Sumuru's guard, who engage in all sorts of erotic tortures, including one who strangles a prisoner to death with her thighs. So, yes it's also more erotic than Franco's 1968 film. Of course Franco's 1987 Sumuru inspired ESCLAVAS DEL CRIMEN is another story.

John Von Kotze's compositions are quite well-arranged considering this is basically a silly spy spoof attempting to be sophisticated, a typical set-up features amazons on either side of the frame sporting Mauser machine pistols, which, conveniently enough for the prop department budget, the Hong Kong police also use during the final assault. The Shaw Brothers Hong Kong sets look interesting but their scale can't be appreciated in this presentation and it's impossible to fully evaluate a 2.35:1 Techniscope film cropped to fullscreen. I can't say that I've ever been a fan of the Canadian born Lindsay Shonteff but this does deserve an OAR DVD presentation for curiosity value if nothing else. At least it all ends with a bang as Sumuru self-destructs her island empire. No such apotheosis graced Franco's THE GIRL FROM RIO.

It should also be noted that Nader also played the hero in the 1967 Vincent Price vehicle THE HOUSE OF 1000 DOLLS, also produced by Towers.

My favorite Sumuru movie scenes are those oddly angled and lit inserts in Jess Franco's BLOOD OF FU MANCHU (1968), about which Ms. Eaton is understandably still miffed since she filmed them during THE GIRL FROM RIO shoot only to have them appear in BLOOD, for which she got no remuneration. I admit to not having read the Rohmer Sumuru novels, but I would very much like to at some point.

There is also a reportedly alternate German version of this film which I haven't seen.

*Thanks to Bill Connolly and Robert Guest for providing me with videos of this rarity.

16 November, 2009

DVDs in question

Are these DVDs worth 20 dollars a pop?

I've been unable to secure review copies of the R1 DVDs of Jess Franco's 1980 erotic-sci fi-comedy EL SEXO ESTA LOCO and the musical comedy LAS CHICAS DE COPACABANA (1979). I'm very much in the dark about the companies who have released these discs and am curious about the audio-visual quality. I also continue to wonder where these were sourced from.

I have the Spanish DVD of EL SEXO..., which is 1.33:1, in Spanish language only. The video quality is fair to good, but could be much better in terms of color, sharpness, definition and general luminosity. It's certainly an improvement over the old VSOM sixth generation dubs I've had for the last two decades! The film itself is one of Franco's most original, satiric, idiosyncratic journeys into genre hyperspace.

I would like to hear any reports from blog readers on these. Please post any comments below. Also, if anyone already has these/is interested in contributing a guest review, please contact me asap.*

The covers have an amusingly tacky quality but I wonder if they properly represent the films. They look like typical bargain bin material in your local Adult Shop.

renegovar@yahoo.com *

11 November, 2009

More Robert Siodmak!

One of three visually spectacular German produced westerns Robert Siodmak directed based on the popular [in Germany] adventure novels of Karl May.*

I just watched the vintage trailer [in 2.35:1] for DER SCHATZ DER AZTEKEN on the excellent UFA R2 DVD of Jess Franco's DER TODESRACHER VON SOHO (1972). DER TODESRACHER... was produced by Artur Brauner's CCC company as were the Siodmak Karl May adaptations. There were a series of CCC Karl May films in the 1960s which did quite well in Germany, including Harald Reinl's APACHE GOLD aka TREASURE OF SILVER LAKE (1962).

I'll have a review up soon of DER SCHATZ..., along with its companion film, Siodmak's PYRAMID OF THE SUN GOD. Both were released in 1965 and starred former Tarzan Lex Barker. Lensed in Spain and Germany these films have a quite different look and feel compared to the Italian Spaghetti westerns of the same era. They're an acquired taste.

*Karl May was one of Adolf Hitler's favorite writers!

Thanks to Bruno.

03 November, 2009


I had the chance to do an extensive (still unpublished) interview with Jess Franco in which we discussed many topics. I quickly learned to expect the unexpected when interviewing the man. When he suddenly told me that he had been involved with a film I had seen at the drive-in decades earlier I was at a loss for words. Franco has been indirectly and directly involved with several European westerns in his career, from co-writing and assistant-directing Joaquin Romero Marchent's EL COYOTE and LA JUSTICIA DEL COYOTE in 1954 to his own EL LLANERO (1963), a sort of South American western set in 1863 Venezuela. Such later films as LES CHATOUILLEUSES (1974) and the "bandido" semi-western SCARLET (1983) [anyone want to see a print of that?] and VAMPIRE JUNCTION (2000) also have "western" elements.

He had offers to direct "spaghetti westerns" when they were popular but they didn't pan out. One of the episodes in his long career which he remains most proud is his self-described stint as "personal" assistant to one of his favorite directors, Robert Siodmak. Franco recounted to me at some length how he put his own career on hold in to work for the veteran director of PHANTOM LADY (one of Franco's favorite films) on the CINERAMA western CUSTER OF THE WEST (1967). This is not one of Siodmak's best or most personal films but it is a very interesting semi-revisionist take on the legendary character and, of course, ends with Custer's one-way journey into the Little Big Horn. It's a visually impressive, dramatically and historically muddled film, but I got the sense that Jess enjoyed working with one of his inspirations and he seemed more interested in talking about it than his own films.

I saw CUSTER OF THE WEST at the drive-in during the summer of 1968, hardly the best venue for a CINERAMA production. I also have it on DVD, but the film probably needs to be seen in its OAR for full impact.

Here are the somewhat complicated technical specs on the filming ratios and release history taken from the IMDB. I also didn't realize until after I had interviewed Jess that Jack Taylor was in CUSTER... . At least he's listed in the cast. But I can't find him in the film!

Film negative format (mm/video inches)
35 mm (horizontal)

Cinematographic process
Super Technirama 70

Printed film format
35 mm
70 mm (Super-Cinerama)

Film negative format (mm/video inches)
35 mm (horizontal)

Cinematographic process
Super Technirama 70

Printed film format
35 mm
70 mm (Super-Cinerama)

In any case, it was a pleasure to hear the excitement in his voice while describing the experiences of working with one of his masters.

29 October, 2009

Favorite Jess Franco Halloween Movies

Dollar Store Monster Mash!

The Spanish Frankenstein monster (Fernando Bilbao). Look closely at those scars!

Where did you get those fangs, Howard?

What are your favorite Jess Franco movies to watch during the Halloween season?

One of my favorites is DRACULA CONTRA FRANKENSTEIN aka DRACULA, PRISONER OF FRANKENSTEIN aka THE SCREAMING DEAD aka DIE NACHT DER OFFENEN SARGE aka SANTANA CONTA DR EXORTIO [!. This 1971 no-budget monster rally offers an uncanny representation of the spirit of Halloween with its prowling famous monsters of filmland, mad scientists and weird atmosphere crackling with inhuman shrieks.

The costuming and make-up of the Frankenstein monster, Dracula and the werewolf actually look like Halloween costumes quickly executed by some kids with garage-sale clothing, crackerjack box fangs and some handy magic markers used to draw the surgical scars onto the face of Frankenstein monster actor Fernando Bilbao. All this makes it all the more fun to watch for me. It's bargain basement Gothic.

In a way it's the director's critique of the then-popular Hammer horrors and his cut-rate homage to the Universal horror movies of the 1930s and 40s (cf HOUSE OF DRACULA). I can understand how horror genre purists could dismiss it and take offense but it all brings a smile to my face every time I watch it.

24 October, 2009

The Return of "Brandy"

"Brandy" as the werewolf in DRACULA CONTRA FRANKENSTEIN


Thanks to Nzoog, our Spanish friend and correspondent, for reporting on his recent encounter in Spain with director Miguel Iglesias Bonns (along with "Grace Mill") several months ago and revealing that the stuntman known as "Brandy", who appears as the werewolf in Jess Franco's DRACULA CONTRA FRANKENSTEIN (1971), went on to appear as Paul Naschy's uncredited stunt double in the Bonns-directed LA MALDICION DE LA BESTIA aka NIGHT OF THE HOWLING BEAST (1975). I always wondered what became of him, he certainly makes an impression in the Franco film with his bizarre, energetic presence. He can be seen performing some impressive jumps and other stunts in LA MALDICION..., both in werewolf make-up and doubling for Naschy in some fight scenes.


I have a dub of the vintage 80s prerecord of this, the English language version of LA MALDICION DE LA BESTIA.

This is my favorite Naschy "hombre lobo" movie. It's a real movie-movie, and isn't afflicted with the sometimes oppressively downbeat undercurrent some of his other efforts display. In fact, this entry in Naschy's epic Waldemar Daninsky saga has a happy ending. Waldemar Daninsky is cured by a plant, mixed with the blood of his beloved [Grace Mills], and they walk away together across the snowy plains of Spain, representing Tibet!

It opens with a party of explorers in Tibet being attacked by a "Yeti" which looks like a tall skinny guy in a ratty fur coat! This has to the most fulsome Yeti costume ever. Favorite scenes include the late Victor Israel's cameo in which he babbles about the curse of the red moon or something and then runs off a cliff (or is he picked up by a UFO?!); the hot, sub-human cannibal women who seduce Naschy and then proceed to have a meal of arms and body parts; the cannibal woman turning into a steaming skeleton in death; the skinning of the female hostage [a la Sade]; and Silva Solar, as a perverse Wandesa, getting stabbed in the crotch. I find her much better suited for the role than Patty Shepard in WEREWOLF SHADOW (1970).

Does anyone know who composed that rather ethereal CAM Espana cue we hear when Naschy enters the [gated] cave of the cannibal women? I've heard it in numerous Spanish horrors of that era.

Luis Induni almost steals the show as the skin-diseased Khan. In the fight scenes with Induni Nzoog confirms that Naschy (in his non-werewolf form) was stunt doubled by Brandy.

Naschy must have wanted to make a sexy-gory version of WEREWOLF OF LONDON, it has that feel. As a director Bonns appears to be a sort of cinematic Primitive and has a forceful, brisk, raw edged action-adventure style which works despite the mediocre cinematography and abysmal makeups. It should also be noted that the scalp of the Yeti which Waldemar and the Professor examine in the first scene, a scrap of fabric with hair glued to it, has to be one of the most unconvincing props in horror movie history.

To read more about Nzoog's report on the appearance of Bonns go to www.cinemadrome.yuku.com by hitting the link on the sidebar at left after scrolling down a bit. It's in this thread at the top of the board: Violación inconfesable (1981) Co-written and directed by Miguel Iglesias Bonns....

22 October, 2009

Jean-Bernard Raiteux LP Images


Thanks to Curt for the image and information on the Jean-Bernard Raiteux LP. I'm still trying to find out more about the composer-musican whose music can be heard in at least three Franco films of the early 1970s: LES DEMONS (1972), SINNER (1972) and THE PERVERSE COUNTESS (1973). I also think some of his cues may be heard on the soundtrack of LA MALDICION DE FRANKENSTEIN (1972), but I'll have to confirm that at a later date.*

The feverish electric guitar stylings, backed by furious drumming and untamed flute variations are a unique sonic environment for the story of witchcraft and corruption in LES DEMONS.

33 1/3 <MONO-STEREO)
MPI/LP - 539
" musique pour l'image n° 39 "
Musique de Jean-Bernard RAITEUX
Face A
Musique fougueuse. Roge de vivre
Bourrée orientale pour hommes ca/mes
Sprint pour 2 iambes ou 4 fers
Un romantisme serein
Un tennis américain
Batteries, bongos et guitare - percussion

Face B
En soliste, le sax-soprano dramatise
Un ;azzo.flûte burlesque qui fait /e poids et s'altère...
Des bongos présents soulignent les bonds de la balle
Entre deux eaux
MEDIUM.- RAPIDE Un crowl médjterranéen
Pour de brillantes chevauchées

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16 October, 2009

THE DEMONS: German Theatrical Version & Music

The 2004 X-RATED KULT DVD: LES DEMONS/DIE NONNEN VON CLICHY: The X-RATED NUNSPLOITATION SERIES 5, DOPPEL DVD SET, will be one of the crown jewels of the serious Jess Franco collector. PAL, Code 2, 16:9 anamorphic.

I just re watched the vintage German theatrical version of Jess Franco's 1972 Nunsploitation/Witchfinder General epic. It struck me how this second version of the story of Judge Jeffries violates history and the director's own first version [THE BLOODY JUDGE-1970] by having the character undone by a supernatural curse ["the kiss of death"]. Of course, Britt Nichols and Anne Libert are the erotic objects in this film, and the director can't seem to wait to get them out of their habits and either into bed with assorted partners or into the torture chamber. One really can't compare John Foster [Cihangir Gaffari] as Jeffries to Christopher Lee's intensive portray of the character. Gaffari tries to look intense, and he does have striking features. Gaffari and DP Raul Artigot went on to make the contemporary witchcraft thriller, THE WITCHES MOUNTAIN, the same year.

This version is one of three on the X RATED KULT set, still my favorite Jess Franco DVD. The "Original Deutsche Kinofassung mit Bonusszenen" is a Grindhouse delight, complete with lime green scratches, missing frames, visible flags at reel changes and all sorts of blemishes. It's letterboxed wider than 2.35:2, its OAR. An educated guess would be 2.50:1, cutting into the top of the images. It's also the only version of the three to contain the vintage 1972 credits, in German DIE NONNEN VON CLICHY. Run time approximately 85m. It's definitely preferable to a cropped 1.33:1 presentation and has some historical value. Luis Barboo takes over the role of the Inquisitor, played by Howard Vernon in THE BLOODY JUDGE. It's always good to see the mangled visage of Barboo and one has to admire how Vernon, the memorably vicious Inquisitor in the first version, can be just as effective as the only totally sympathetic, enlightened person in the court.

What holds the film together even in its many compromised states, at least for me, is the startling, sometimes anachronistic score by Jean-Bernard Raiteux. Parts of the score, which could be described as a mixture of early 70's acid rock and period Baroque, were reused in Franco's 1973 LA COMTESSE PERVERSE. Franco's compositions also range from the symmetrical to the classical to the frenzied zooming and panning of the opening. Note the lens ravishing of Britt Nichols and Doris Thomas during their extended masturbation sequences.

I'm still interested in hearing from anyone who has the score on CD or vinyl, if it was ever issued. I would like to somehow get a copy. Thanks to Tony of Xploited and Squonkmatic.

10 October, 2009


"El Ojete de Lulú"

Thanks to Francesco Cesari for sending the rare "Spanish kiosk DVD" of Jess Franco's 1985 ENTRE PITOS ANDA EL JUEGO, a delightfully airy, witty and self reflexive hardcore feature con "Candy Coster", directed by "Lulu Laverne", produced by Fernando Vidal Campos' Fervi Films. 
It's obvious that Franco took these micro-budgeted hardcores as seriously as his non-erotic, more mainstream, linear mid 80s Fervi Film projects. The erotic film, even hardcore, is another legitimate genre for him.

A brief (approx. 70 m) venture, this is a minimalist (by necessity), almost Godardian take on the demands of Spanish hc consumers in that era. The telezoom images of high rises over Alicante [?] under the credits remind me of similar images in Godard's TWO OR THREE THINGS I KNOW ABOUT HER (1966), also about sex, architecture and is the kind of film snobs hate. The same kind of snobs who jeer at Demofilo Fidani "westerns" and Jess Franco hardcore assignations. And remember, Orson Welles also worked on at least one hardcore film late in his career.* And it's always good to see "Mona Lisa"*... . Obviously, I take a certain attitude as a default mode when dealing with Franco's hc portfolio, and this is one that bears the scrutiny.

Franco is quoted in OBSESSION: THE FILMS OF JESS FRANCO (who also list this item as a Lina Romay film "with Franco's collaboration"; I think, "ghosted" by JF) as saying at Cannes '92 that, "This film has one of the best comic sequences in the history of pornographic cinema...." I won't go on. Solo Jess Franco....! I'll go on... more about the Spanish Kiosk DVDs of Jess Franco mid 1980s hardcores soon.

NOTE: the above image is from Franco's 1985 hardcore EL OJETE DE LULU, unfortunately it doesn't lead to the YouTube video, which appears to have been removed.

The Agfacolor DVD print is really nice. Good luck in finding one!
*3 AM [Gary Graver]
*Concha Montes.
UPDATED 10/2009

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08 October, 2009


Jess Franco and Amy Brown at the 2009 Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas...

Amy Brown, the world-class authority on all things related to the late, legendary Soledad Miranda, now has a terrific new interview with Jess Franco up on her soledadmiranda.com website.
There is some fascinating new information in this interview about Miranda's overall career, her films with Franco, along with Franco's comments on her too-short life and some surprising revelations about what may have been some of their future projects together if she hadn't died.
I highly recommend this interview to anyone interested in Jess Franco/Soledad Miranda. Great job, Amy!


Amy Brown
Thanks to Amy for the link and images.

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01 October, 2009

DANIEL MARTIN (1935-2009)

Another Spanish actor noted for his many appearances in Spanish-lensed European genre films of the 1960s and 70s has passed away. Daniel Martin (real name: Jose Martinez Martinez), perhaps most familiar to US movie fans as the Mexican peasant father of Jesus in FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, died on Monday, September 28 in Spain. He appeared, mostly as a supporting player, in numerous Euro westerns and genre films such as THE DEVIL'S KISS (1975). One of his more prominent roles was as Charlie in Lucio Fulci's WHITE FANG. His career included over 70 roles from his first film in 1962 to his work in Spanish TV in late 1990s.

He also appeared in such films as Amando de Ossorio's DEMON-WITCH-CHILD (1974) and THEY CAME TO ROB LAS VEGAS (1969). As an actor he always seemed to bring humor, intensity and a certain energy to his roles. He was born 12 May 1935, in Cartagena, Spain. Thanks to Nzoog.

24 September, 2009

VICTOR ISRAEL (1929-2009)

Frightening the tourists in Raul Artigot's THE WITCHES MOUNTAIN (1972)

Even though he only appeared in one Jess Franco film [DOWNTOWN HEAT-1990] I can't think of a more appropriate place to post this. Thanks to Nzoog for reporting the passing of this favorite Spanish character actor last week. Victor Israel was as prolific an actor as Franco is a director. He had a distinctive appearance with his slight frame, craggy face and ever-so-strange head which was balding on top but had electrified hair shooting out of the sides! His look alone was enough to produce a sense of unease. He could also be very funny. He should have been cast as some kind of creature in the LORD OF THE RINGS films and seemed to be a character who could have sprung out of the pages of Poe, Lovecraft or Stephen King.

Readers of this blog will remember him for his horror [the zombie priest in HELL OF THE LIVING DEAD] and Eurowestern [THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY] roles. He was an actor's actor who immediately commanded attention as soon as he appeared onscreen. A great, invaluable supporting player. Appearing in over 150 films [according to the IMDB-see filmography below] from TIERRA BRUTAL in 1961 to his final film appearance in 2007, he played all types of roles in film and television. A busy career.

Two of my favorite Victor Israel roles: the cemetery man in Miguel Madrid's GRAVEYARD OF HORROR (1971) and the bewildered innkeeper in the 1972 Raul Artigot occult thriller THE WITCHES MOUNTAIN.

What is your favorite Victor Israel role?

[From the IMDB]:
El Monte de las brujas (1972) -- A young couple traveling through the Pyrenees stays overnight at an ancient Spanish castle, only to discover that it is the headquarters for a coven of witches.
"I Spy" (1965): Season 2: Episode 24 -- Robinson and Scott scour Madrid to retrace events that led to the murder of Kelly's date (Zohra Lampert), a Soviet ballerina. Guest starring: Zohra Lampert, Lawrence Dane, Alan Oppenheimer, Lou Krugman, Shep Sanders
Horror Express (1972) -- An English anthropologist has discovered a frozen monster in the frozen wastes of Manchuria which he believes may be the Missing Link...
Date of Birth:
13 June 1929, Barcelona, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain more
Mini Biography:
Victor Israel is one of the most prolific and ubiquitous, yet anonymous... more
STARmeter: ?
Up 8% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Alternate Names:
Víctor D'Israel | Victor Israel
IMDb Resume:
Do you represent Víctor Israel? Add a resume and photos to this page with IMDb Resume.
Jump to filmography as: Actor, Self, Archive Footage

* 2000s
* 1990s
* 1980s
* 1970s
* 1960s

1. Sitges-Nagasaki (2007) .... Doctor
2. Goya's Ghosts (2006) .... Money Monk
... aka Los fantasmas de Goya (Spain: dubbed version)
3. Mola ser malo (2005)
4. "Paco y Veva" (2 episodes, 2004)
... aka "Paco y Veva (Somos jóvenes)" (Spain)
- ¿Nos conocemos? (2004) TV episode
- Duelo de cucharas en Cupido Palace (2004) TV episode
5. "Hospital Central" .... Agustín (1 episode, 2003)
- Cambio de planes (2003) TV episode .... Agustín
6. Cásate conmigo, Maribel (2002) .... Don Manuel
7. Vivancos 3 (2002) .... Borracho
... aka Dirty Vivancos III (International: English title)
... aka Vivancos III (Si gusta haremos las dos primeras) (Spain)
8. Mi casa es tu casa (2002) .... Jordi
9. El cielo abierto (2001) .... Abuelo Jazmina
... aka Ten Days Without Love (International: English title)

10. "La memòria dels Cargols" (1 episode, 1999)
- Lo Lleó de Santa Gueraula (1999) TV episode
11. Quince (1998) .... Quitamal
12. Tiempos mejores (1994) .... Taxista
13. Ciudad Baja (Downtown Heat) (1994) .... Vagabond
... aka La punta de las víboras (Spain: TV title)
14. Un plaer indescriptible (1992)
... aka Un placer indescriptible (Spain: Castilian title)
15. L'home de neó (1991) .... El profesor
... aka El hombre de neón (Spain: Castilian title)
... aka The Neon Man (International: English title)
16. Un submarí a les estovalles (1991) .... Travesti
... aka Un submarino bajo el mantel (Spain)
17. "Le gorille" .... Le majordome (1 episode, 1990)
... aka "Il gorilla" (Italy)
- Le Gorille dans le pot-au-noir (1990) TV episode .... Le majordome

18. Bueno y tierno como un ángel (1989)
19. El anticristo 2 (Magic London) (1989) .... Comisario
20. "Crònica negra" (1 episode, 1988)
- Mala llet (1988) TV episode
21. "13 x 13" (1 episode, 1987)
- La dama blanca (1987) TV episode
22. Adela (1987)
23. La veritat oculta (1987)
... aka La verdad oculta (Spain: Castilian title)
24. Una nit a Casa Blanca (1987)
... aka Una noche en Casablanca (Spain: Castilian title)
25. Los nuevos curanderos (1986)
... aka Els nous curanderos (Spain: Catalan title)
26. Más allá de la muerte (1986)
27. Escapada final (1985)
... aka Scapegoat (International: English title)
28. Acosada (1985)
... aka Acosada (Spain)
... aka Harassed (International: English title)
29. Al este del oeste (1984) .... Tumbas
30. Serpiente de mar (1984)
... aka Hydra
... aka Hydra-Monster of the Deep (International: English title)
... aka The Sea Serpent (USA)
31. Moment crític (1984)
32. Un genio en apuros (1983)
... aka Un geni amb l'aigua al coll (Spain: Catalan title)
33. Juana la loca... de vez en cuando (1983)
34. Morbus (o bon profit) (1983)
... aka Morbus (Spain: Castilian title: short title)
35. Asalto al Banco Central (1983)
36. El invernadero (1983)
37. El ser (1982) .... Gravedigger
38. Cristóbal Colón, de oficio... descubridor (1982)
39. La rebelión de los pájaros (1982)
... aka La revolta dels ocells (Spain: Catalan title)
40. Queen Lear (1982) .... Hobo
41. Rocky Carambola (1981) (as Victor Israel) .... Gangster jefe
... aka La criada se enamora (Mexico: subtitle)
... aka Le agarró la mano el chango (Mexico)
42. ¡Viva la Pepa! (1981)
... aka Mel i mató (Spain: Catalan title)
43. La cripta (1981)
... aka El misterio de la cripta embrujada (Mexico)
... aka The Crypt
44. Neumonía erótica y pasota (1981) .... Pepe
45. Virus (1980/I) .... Zombie priest
... aka Apocalipsis caníbal (Spain)
... aka Hell of the Living Dead (International: English title)
... aka Inferno dei morti viventi (Italy)
... aka Night of the Zombies (USA)
... aka Zombi 5: Ultimate Nightmare (Italy)
... aka Zombie Creeping Flesh (UK)
... aka Zombie Inferno
46. Denver (1980)
47. Viciosas al desnudo (1980)

48. Jaguar Lives! (1979) .... Sicilian party guest
... aka El felino (Spain)
49. "Doctor Caparrós, medicina general" (5 episodes)
- El mal de queixal s'encomana (????) TV episode
- Ja som aquí (????) TV episode
- Matemàtiques i futbol (????) TV episode
- Qui serà el nou alcalde (????) TV episode
- Visites d'urgència (????) TV episode
50. Cinco tenedores (1979)
... aka Five Forks
51. La profezia (1978) .... Giovanni
... aka L'osceno desiderio (Italy: alternative title)
... aka Le pene nel ventre (Italy)
... aka Obscene Desire (USA)
... aka Poseída (Spain)
52. Trampa sexual (1978)
53. Espectro (Más allá del fin del mundo) (1978) (as Víctor D'Israel) .... Tabernero
... aka Espectro (Spain)
54. Un hombre llamado Flor de Otoño (1978)
... aka A Man Called Autumn Flower (USA)
55. Dinero maldito (1978) .... Morgan
... aka I miei peggiori amici (Italy)
... aka Il braccio violento della mala (Italy)
... aka Killer's Gold (USA)
56. Me siento extraña (1977)
57. El jovencito Drácula (1977)
58. El pobrecito Draculín (1977) .... Vladimir
59. "Es muß nicht immer Kaviar sein" (1 episode)
- Ich heiße Mabel (????) TV episode
60. Las locuras de Jane (1977)
61. Cuentos de las sábanas blancas (1977) .... Calixto - mesonero
... aka Tales of the White Sheets (International: English title: literal title)
62. "La saga de los Rius" (5 episodes, 1976-1977)
... aka "La saga dels Rius" (Spain: Catalan title)
- Episode #1.9 (1977) TV episode
- Episode #1.6 (1976) TV episode
- Episode #1.5 (1976) TV episode
- Episode #1.2 (1976) TV episode
- Episode #1.1 (1976) TV episode
63. El secreto inconfesable de un chico bien (1976)
64. Las ratas no duermen de noche (1976) .... Karl
... aka Crimson (USA: video title)
... aka Crimson, the Color of Blood (International: English title)
... aka L'homme à la tête coupée (France)
... aka Le viol et l'enfer des X (France)
65. Manuela (1976)
66. Bons baisers de Hong Kong (1975) .... Victor
... aka From Hong Kong with Love (International: English title)
67. "El quinto jinete" .... Topo (1 episode, 1975)
- El ladrón de cadáveres (1975) TV episode .... Topo
68. Pim, pam, pum... ¡fuego! (1975) .... Sr. Dimas
... aka Pim, Pam, Pum... Fire! (International: English title)
... aka Ready, Aim, Fire! (International: English title)
69. Clara es el precio (1975)
70. Il bianco, il giallo, il nero (1975) .... Man In Prison
... aka El blanco, el amarillo y el negro (Spain)
... aka Le blanc, le jaune et le noir (France)
... aka Samurai (Canada: English title: video title)
... aka Shoot First... Ask Questions Later (USA)
... aka The White, the Yellow, and the Black (USA)
71. "Kara Ben Nemsi Effendi" .... Basch Kiatib (2 episodes, 1975)
- Die Brüder Aladschy (1975) TV episode .... Basch Kiatib
- Die Entlarvung des Mübarek (1975) TV episode .... Basch Kiatib
72. La maldición de la bestia (1975)
... aka Hall of the Mountain King (USA: cut version)
... aka Horror of the Werewolf
... aka Night of the Howling Beast (USA)
... aka The Werewolf and the Yeti (Europe: English title: video title)
73. La perversa caricia de Satán (1975) .... Baron de Clanchart
... aka Le baiser du diable (France)
... aka The Devil's Kiss (UK)
... aka The Wicked Caresses of Satan (USA)
74. Zorrita Martínez (1975)
75. What Changed Charley Farthing? (1974) .... Christmas
... aka El tramposo (Spain)
... aka The Bananas Boat (USA)
... aka The Swindler (Philippines: English title)
76. El último proceso en París (1974)
77. La chica del Molino Rojo (1973)
... aka The Chorus Girls (USA: video title)
... aka The Girl from the Red Cabaret (USA)
78. Ricco (1973) .... Checana, the nightclub owner
... aka Ajuste de cuentas (Spain)
... aka Cauldron of Death
... aka Gangland (USA: video title)
... aka Mean Machine
... aka Ricco (USA)
... aka Ricco the Mean Machine (USA: DVD title)
... aka The Dirty Mob
... aka Un tipo con una faccia strana ti cerca per ucciderti (Italy)
79. Anche gli angeli mangiano fagioli (1973) .... Giudà
... aka Even Angels Eat Beans (Canada: English title)
... aka Les anges mangent aussi des fayots (France)
... aka También los ángeles comen judías (Spain)
80. La isla misteriosa (1973) .... Pirate
... aka Captain Nemo (Spain: DVD box title)
... aka Jules Verne's Mysterious Island of Captain Nemo
... aka Jules Verne's Mysterious Island of Dr. Nemo
... aka L'île mystérieuse (France)
... aka L'isola misteriosa e il capitano Nemo (Italy)
... aka The Mysterious Island (USA)
... aka The Mysterious Island of Captain Nemo
81. La polizia incrimina la legge assolve (1973) .... Scorfano
... aka High Crime
... aka La policía detiene, la ley juzga (Spain)
... aka The Marseilles Connection (UK: video title)
82. Che c'entriamo noi con la rivoluzione? (1972)
... aka ¡Qué nos importa la revolución! (Spain)
... aka What Am I Doing in the Middle of the Revolution (USA)
83. Trop jolies pour être honnêtes (1972) .... Le psychiatre
... aka Demasiado bonitas para ser honestas (Spain)
... aka Perché mammà ti manda solo? (Italy)
... aka Quatre souris pour un hold-up (France)
... aka Seduction Squad (USA: video title)
... aka The Powder Puff Gang (USA: alternative title)
... aka Too Pretty to Be Honest
84. Horror Express (1972) .... Luggage Worker
... aka Pánico en el Transiberiano (Spain)
... aka Panic in the Trans-Siberian Train (International: English title)
85. Treasure Island (1972) .... Morgan
... aka Die Schatzinsel (West Germany)
... aka L'île au trésor (France)
... aka L'isola del tesoro (Italy)
... aka La isla del tesoro (Spain)
86. Un verano para matar (1972)
... aka Meurtres au soleil (France)
... aka Ricatto alla mala (Italy)
... aka Summertime Killer (USA)
87. El Monte de las brujas (1972) .... Inn-Keeper
... aka The Witches' Mountain
88. Kill! (1971) .... Baron
... aka Kill! (West Germany)
... aka Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill! (USA)
... aka Kill: matar (Spain)
... aka Police Magnum (France)
89. ¡Viva la muerte... tua! (1971) .... Manuel Mendoza
... aka ¡Viva la muerte... tuya! (Spain)
... aka Don't Turn the Other Cheek (USA)
... aka Long Live Your Death
... aka Viva la muerte... tua! (Italy)
... aka Zwei Galgenvögel geben Zunder (West Germany)
... aka Zwei tolle Companeros (West Germany)
... aka Zwei wilde Companeros (West Germany)
90. Necrophagus (1971) .... Mr. Fowles
... aka El descuartizador de Binbrook
... aka Graveyard of Horror
... aka Necromaniac (video title)
... aka The Butcher of Binbrook (USA)
91. Catlow (1971) (as Victor Israel) .... Pesquiera
92. Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971) (uncredited) .... Cowardly coachman
... aka Edgar Allan Poe's Murders in the Rue Morgue (USA: complete title)
93. Aunque la hormona se vista de seda... (1971) .... Sebastián
94. Una chica casi decente (1971)
95. The Light at the Edge of the World (1971) .... Das Mortes
... aka La luz del fin del mundo (Spain)
96. El bosque del lobo (1971) .... Lameiro
... aka The Ancines Woods (International: English title)
97. Las melancolicas (1971)
... aka Exorcism's Daughter (USA)
... aka House of Insane Women
... aka Women of Doom
98. The Arizona Kid (1971)
... aka I fratelli di Arizona (Italy)
99. Uomo avvisato mezzo ammazzato... Parola di Spirito Santo (1971) .... Priest
... aka Blazing Guns
... aka El halcón de Sierra Madre (Spain)
... aka Forewarned, Half-Killed... the Word of the Holy Ghost
... aka His Name Was Holy Ghost (USA)
... aka They Call Him Holy Ghost
... aka Y le llamaban El Halcón (Spain)
100. Vamos a matar, compañeros (1970) (uncredited) .... Rosenbloom henchman with brown suit
... aka Companeros (USA)
... aka Laßt uns töten, Companeros (West Germany)
... aka Los compañeros (Spain)
... aka Zwei Compañeros (West Germany)
101. Persecución hasta Valencia (1970)
... aka Il sapore della vendetta (Italy)
... aka The Narco Men
102. Cabezas cortadas (1970) .... Doctor
... aka Cabeças Cortadas (Brazil)
... aka Cutting Heads (International: English title)
103. ¡Vivan los novios! (1970)
... aka Long Live the Bride and Groom (International: English title)

104. El abogado, el alcalde y el notario (1969)
... aka L'advocat, l'alcalde i el notari (Spain: Catalan title)
105. El ángel (1969)
106. ¡Viva América! (1969)
... aka Cry Chicago (USA: TV title)
... aka La vera storia di Frank Mannata (Italy)
... aka Mafia Mob
107. Vivi o, preferibilmente, morti (1969) (uncredited) .... Mayoralty candidate henchman with glasses, standing right beside him
... aka Alive or Preferably Dead
... aka Sundance Cassidy and Butch the Kid (USA)
... aka Sundance and the Kid
... aka Vivos o preferiblemente muertos (Spain)
108. Las crueles (1969) .... El portero
... aka The Exquisite Cadaver (USA: new title)
109. ¿Por qué te engaña tu marido? (1969)
... aka Why Does Your Husband Deceive You?
110. La residencia (1969) .... Brechard
... aka The Boarding School (International: English title)
... aka The Finishing School (USA)
... aka The House That Screamed (USA)
111. Comanche blanco (1968) (as Victor Israel) .... Carter
... aka Hour of Vengeance
... aka Rio Hondo (USA)
... aka White Comanche
112. Long-Play (1968) .... Hombre que ignora su existencia
113. ...e per tetto un cielo di stelle (1968) .... Innkeeper
... aka A Sky Full of Stars for a Roof (USA)
... aka And for a Roof a Sky Full of Stars
114. Una pistola per cento bare (1968) .... Barrett, Madman
... aka A Gun for One Hundred Graves
... aka El sabor del odio (Spain)
... aka Pistol for a Hundred Coffins (USA)
115. No somos de piedra (1968)
... aka We're Not Made of Stone
116. Un diablo bajo la almohada (1968)
... aka A Devil Under the Pillow
... aka Calda e... infedele (Italy)
... aka Le diable sous l'oreiller (France)
117. Killer, adios (1968) .... Dickson
... aka Killer Goodbye (USA)
... aka Winchester Justice (USA)
... aka Winchester One of One Thousand
... aka Winchester, uno entre mil (Spain)
118. O.K. Yevtushenko (1968) .... Trilby
... aka Somebody's Stolen Our Russian Spy
119. Operación Mata Hari (1968) .... Militar alemán bizco
... aka Operation Mata Hari (International: English title)
120. I tre che sconvolsero il West - vado, vedo e sparo (1968) .... Chef
... aka I Came, I Saw, I Shot
... aka Llego, veo, disparo (Spain)
... aka One Dollar Too Many (International: English title: TV title)
121. Bandidos (1967) .... Conductor#2 (the littler one)
... aka Crepa tu... che vivo io (Italy)
... aka You Die... But I Live
122. Después del gran robo (1967)
123. "I Spy" .... Taxi Driver #3 (1 episode, 1967)
- Blackout (1967) TV episode .... Taxi Driver #3
124. Sette donne per i MacGregor (1967) .... Trevor
... aka 7 Women for the MacGregors (USA)
... aka Siete mujeres para los Mac Gregor (Spain)
... aka Up the MacGregors (UK)
125. Mónica Stop (1967)
126. Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo. (1966) (uncredited) .... Sergeant at Confederate Fort
... aka The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (UK) (USA)
... aka El bo, el lleig i el dolent (Spain: Catalan title)
... aka El bueno, el feo y el malo (Spain)
... aka The Good, the Ugly, the Bad (USA: literal English title)
... aka The Magnificent Rogues (UK)
... aka Zwei glorreiche Halunken (West Germany)
127. El aventurero de Guaynas (1966)
... aka Gringo, getta il fucile! (Italy)
... aka The Adventurer of Iguana (International: English title)
... aka The Tough One (USA)
128. Il grande colpo di Surcouf (1966)
... aka La vengeance du Surcouf (France: alternative title)
... aka Le retour de Surcouf (France: alternative title)
... aka Tonnerre sur l'océan (France: alternative title)
... aka Tonnerre sur l'océan indien (France)
... aka Tormenta sobre el Pacífico (Spain)
129. Hallucination Generation (1966)
... aka Hallucination
130. The Texican (1966) .... Wilkins the Station Master
... aka Texas Kid (Spain)
131. Yankee (1966) .... Sceriffo
... aka El yankee (Spain)
... aka L'americano (Italy)
... aka Yankee l'americano (Italy)
132. Surcouf, l'eroe dei sette mari (1966)
... aka El tigre de los siete mares (Spain)
... aka Los hermanos Surcouf (Spain)
... aka Surcouf, le tigre des sept mers (France)
... aka The Fighting Corsair (UK)
... aka The Sea Pirate (USA)
133. El Greco (1966) (uncredited) .... Mental patient
... aka El Greco (USA)
134. Espi... ando (1966)
135. Dinamite Jim (1966)
... aka Dinamita Jim (Spain)
... aka Dinamite Jim (Italy)
... aka Dynamite Jim (USA)
136. Sugar Colt (1966) .... Gravedigger
137. Huida en la frontera (1966) .... Andreas
138. Doctor Zhivago (1965) (uncredited)
139. Train d'enfer (1965)
... aka Danger dimensione morte (Italy)
... aka Operation Double Cross (USA: TV title)
... aka Trampa bajo el sol (Spain)
140. Muere una mujer (1965) .... Un policia
141. Die Hölle von Manitoba (1965) (uncredited) .... Clerk
... aka A Place Called Glory (USA)
... aka Glory City
... aka Place Called Glory City (USA)
... aka Un lugar llamado 'Glory'
142. Los cuatreros (1965)
... aka Shoot to Kill (USA)
... aka Texas Jim (USA)
143. La otra orilla (1965)
144. La llamada (1965)
... aka The Sweet Sound of Death (USA: dubbed version)
145. Circus World (1964) (uncredited)
... aka El fabulós món del circ (Spain: Catalan title)
... aka El fabuloso mundo del circo (Spain)
... aka Henry Hathaway's The Magnificent Showman (UK: complete title)
... aka Samuel Bronston's Circus World
... aka The Magnificent Showman (UK)
146. El salario del crimen (1964) .... Delincuente interrogado
147. Totò d'Arabia (1964)
... aka Totò of Arabia
... aka Toto de Arabia (Spain)
148. Playa de Formentor (1964)
... aka Beach of Formentor (International: English title)
149. La bella Lola (1962)
... aka Quel nostro impossibile amore (Italy)
... aka Une dame aux camélias (France)
150. Tierra de todos (1962)
151. Tierra brutal (1961)
... aka The Savage Guns (USA)

22 September, 2009



Frank Jess, fragments of an impossible filmografía


with a commentary

INT: Frank Jesus, Yelena Samarina, Kali Hansa, Alberto Dalbés, Luis Barboo…
PHOTO: Javier Perez Zofio SCRIPT and DIREC: Frank Jess 1973. Spain. Manacoa Films. Color. _

Frank Jess like Radeck, according to the script

Frank Jess like Radeck, according to the script "making the position of yogui and the signal of Power R", next to its machine of mental control in a scene of the film.


Hotmail® has ever-growing storage! Don't worry about storage limits. Check it out.

17 September, 2009


Coming soon!

[I wish I could be there! RM]

Fantastic Fest and Ain't It Cool News Present Jess Franco and Lina Romay Live In Person.

Join one of our favorite directors for a rare screening series and Lifetime Achievement Award presentation.

September 28-30, Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar Austin TX

For almost 50 years Spanish filmmaker Jess Franco has been making his own kind of cinematic poetry, steeped with themes of sex, violence, jazz, and subversive black humor. He has made around 200 feature films, though no one can say exactly how many. Once an obscure but busy man, he has become a well-known and respected figure over the past ten or so years as DVD audiences have joined earlier admirers like Fritz Lang and Orson Welles in acclaiming Franco's talent and vitality. Last year he was awarded Spain's highest film honor, the Goya Award and the Cinematheque Francaise devoted a season to his work.

Fantastic Fest is deeply honored to present its first Lifetime Achievement Award to Jess Franco. We will screen a selection of three of Franco's finest works. We will also be graced with the presence of his muse and inseparable collaborator Lina Romay. This will be Jess Franco's first ever North American film festival appearance.

This series is made possible by Ain't It Cool News.

Schedule of screenings

Monday, 9/28 7:15 pm VENUS IN FURS with Award Presentation
Dir. Jess Franco, 1969, 35MM, 86 min.

A young jazz musician finds the body of a beautiful woman he saw at a party the previous night washed up on the beach near Istanbul. He thinks back to the mysterious circumstances of the party and the strange people there. Later, in Rio he sees the woman again, and falls in love with her. A kaleidoscope of psychedelic and sexual imagery follows. Based on a plot idea by jazz great Chet Baker. Starring Maria Rohm, Klaus Kinski, James Darren, Barbara McNair, Dennis Price and Margaret Lee.

This screening is free for Fantastic Fest badgeholders. A limited number of tickets will be sold to the general public. Click here for tickets.

Tuesday, 9/29 7pm SUCCUBUS
Dir. Jess Franco, 1968, 35MM, 91 min.

SUCCUBUS is like the shiny side of the REPULSION coin, as we see into the half-dream/half-real life of a vivacious sexpot (Janine Reynaud) whose nightclub act depicts sexualized torture on stage. As we follow her through Lisbon and Berlin, through encounters with lesbians, sadists and little people, we begin to see signs that she is carrying her work home with her. Surreal, at times pretentious, but always compelling and new, even Fritz Lang liked this movie - he called it "a beautiful piece of cinema." We are indebted to another well-known admirer of this film for the loan of the print: Quentin Tarantino. Featuring Jack Taylor and Howard Vernon.

This screening is free for Fantastic Fest badgeholders. A limited number of tickets will be sold to the general public. Click here for tickets.

Wednesday, 9/30 6:45pm THE BARE BREASTED COUNTESS
Dir. Jess Franco, 1973, 35MM, 82 min.

Jess Franco directs his muse Lina Romay in this surreal story of a beautiful female vampire who consumes the sexual effluvia of her victims. This is one of the best Franco films of his most hyper-prolific period. Romay burns up the screen and Franco is at his most austere and poetic. Unforgettable music by frequent collaborator Daniel White helps to create a timeless atmosphere for the bloody, sexy pas de deux between Romay and her metaphysical paramour Jack Taylor. Also features Franco himself in a major role.

This screening is free for Fantastic Fest badgeholders. A limited number of tickets will be sold to the general public. Click here for tickets.

Additionally, there will be a special pre-festival screening of Franco's classic EUGENIE, THE STORY OF HER JOURNEY INTO PERVERSION on Wednesday September 23 at Midnight at the Ritz (320 E. 6th St.). This warm-up screening is part of the long-running Weird Wednesday series, Admission is free for Fantastic Fest badgeholders and $1 for the general public. Mr. Franco will not attend this screening. For full details about this screening click here.

All screenings except EUGENIE, which takes place at the Alamo Ritz, 320 E. 6th Street, will take place at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, 1120 South Lamar Blvd. in Austin TX. Fantastic Fest badgeholders will receive first priority of admission. Any additional seats will be made available to the public.