Friday, April 29, 2011

Franco Friday #14: Dracula, Prisoner of Frankenstein

I had to struggle with this one and it was mostly a happy struggle with some deep, unforgettable strains of weepy depression. This is Franco being racist against bats. That's not a metaphor. Duder hates bats. I wrote this review too fast and had to take about eight hours off to think about things. This is the result. Did I mention that I have given up caffeine?

Franco Friday #14

Dracula, Prisoner of Frankenstein
Directed by Jess Franco
Starring Dennis Price, Howard Vernon, Alberto de Dables, Paca Gabaldon, Genevieve Robert
85 minutes

Victor Frankenstein (played by Dennis Price) kills Count Dracula (Howard Vernon) and then takes him in bat-form back to his lab so that he can create an “Army of Shadows” to take over the world or the underworld or whatever. He then resurrects Dracula and has him drinking the blood of chicks and by that I mean ladies. Pretty soon, Dr. Frankenstein has a few too many vampires and they start running rampant around his castle and the nearby village. After his wife (Paca Gabaldon) is kidnapped by the Frankenstein's monster and he is beaten and left for dead, Dr. Jonathan Seward (Alberto de Dalbes) is nursed back to health by a gypsy woman (Genevieve Robert). She enlists him to help stop Frankenstein from spreading evil all over the world.

Director Jess Franco attempts to combine a full on monster mash-up with a subtly beautiful gothic horror poem. Is he successful? I can say, without a doubt, that he…is? Dracula, Prisoner of Frankenstein was shot, as far as I can tell, back to back with The Rites of Frankenstein making use of some great locations but this time the camera is in focus more often. Yay! While not quite as in-your-face manic as Rites, this film is still the work of a kooky Spanish duder with an insane imagination and a mountain of determination. I'll stop rhyming now.

At times, it seemed to me like the quieter and prettier moments of this film felt like something that Jean Rollin might cook up. And then, once the monsters start duking it out rather pathetically (notice I did not say “unenergetically”), Dracula, Prisoner of Frankenstein feels like something Al Adamson would have been proud to have directed. Like I said, the locations are great with the spooky old castle and the dilapidated village and stuff. Heck, there’s buckets of atmosphere in this film, hampered only by the stuffy library music which gets way more time than contributions from composer Bruno Nicolai.

I hope that Dennis Price was instructed to act like a stupid and moronic dumbass idiot on camera because those are the results he gets. Every scene he’s in, he has these little fits and starts that make we want to give up the ghost. On the opposite side of the spectrum is Howard Vernon. This duder is as stiff as a board as the Count. Best mannequin impression ever. Even the stone-faced Luis Barboo gets lively by comparison as Morpho, Frankenstein’s assistant. Morpho? Hm... Where have I heard that name before? Gee, I wonder.

Alberto de Dalbes comes off very well in this film. His portrayal of Dr. Seward is sympathetic and pretty dang awesome. Dalbes is upstaged by Genevieve Robert as the gypsy woman. She is sexy as hell and very wise in the ways of magic. Other hot and sexy ladies in this flick include Britt Nichols, Paca Gabaldon, and Anne Libert. They keep their clothes on! Which makes me wonder if there is another cut of this film titled Dracula, Erotic Prisoner of Frankenstein out there somewhere.

I must warn you, animal lovers, there is some bat abuse in this one. Old cheapskate Franco splurged on this film and got a live bat. I know what you’re thinking: “How many times have I seen a real bat in a European horror film? Oh yeah, NEVER!” (Well, almost never.) Anyway, Mr. Jess Moneybags decides to drown this poor little buddy in a beaker full of fake blood. This is supposed to represent Dr. Frankenstein resurrecting the Count. Well, it’s fucking stupid and pointlessly cruel. I don’t care if bats are vermin, they don’t deserve a slow, agonizing death. Oh and there’s another bat (hey why not waste two?) dangled in front of the camera by its wings. I thought I’d mention that if you were gonna keep score or something. Why do I watch this garbage?

How cheap is Dracula, Prisoner of Frankenstein? How’s this: a group of villagers are seen storming the castle with recently extinguished torches! Hickory-smoked motherfuckers can't even afford matches. This movie is cheap beyond adjectives that describe cheapness but when has that ever stopped Franco? The gloomy atmosphere, minimal dialog, and (maybe intentional) comedy make up for lack of funding on this one. If only Franco's Count Dracula had been this deliriously fun.

So, damn it all to hell, I kind of like this movie and I feel very conflicted about it. This one is very daffy but combine that with how somber this one feels and you get a nice dichotomy of tones. Or just a rich, creamy lather of “What the fuck am I watching?” I only recommend this film to people who hate bats and those who have found out that they are desperate Franco addicts. Despite the glaring faults like bat abuse and a pubic hair werewolf, Dracula, Prisoner of Frankenstein lingers in the mind long after it is over.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

If You Are Following This Blog...


CinSom is two years old today and like any toddler, it's spitting up and sharting on everything. So if you have been willing to get soiled this whole time or are just now getting splattered, I just want you to know that I really, really appreciate your time spent here at the blog. And a special shoutout goes to my blogger duder-homeys who have inspired me to at least attempt not to suck too hard. I will continue to try and make this an interesting, or at least mildly amusing, place to visit.

And I put this question to all of you? What is CinSom missing? Is there anything you'd like to see around this old place? Any films, directors, or genres you'd like me to get around to or whatever? Speak up here or email me sometime if you think of anything.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Franco Friday #13: Eugenie de Sade

And so here we are, lucky 13. I feel like I've been grasping for a light switch in the dark so far and now I've got my hand caught in a generator. If this film isn't Franco at the top of his game then damn yo, I am not ready for the next one. I feel haunted and a little fucked up. Meh, forget the intro, let's do this.

Franco Friday #13

Eugenie de Sade
Directed by Jess Franco
Starring Soledad Miranda, Paul Muller, Andres Monales, Greta Schmidt, Alice Arno, Jess Franco
86 minutes

The film opens with Eugenie (played by Soledad Miranda) undressing a woman. They are laughing. The woman lies down on the bed. This is a home movie. Eugenie’s stepfather, Albert (Paul Muller), steps into frame and strangles the girl to death. This is a snuff film. Next time we see her, Eugenie has been beaten severely and is seemingly recuperating in a hospital bed. A writer named Attila Tanner (played by Jess Franco) comes to her bedside and asks that she tell her story. Eugenie agrees but only if Tanner agrees to put her out of her misery when her tale is finished. Tanner agrees.

Next, Eugenie tells of being raised by Albert after her mother died right after she was born. As she grew up, her stepfather, a writer of great talent but little recognition, became increasingly obsessed with erotic writing and literature. After she gets caught reading a particularly disturbing book from Albert’s library, Eugenie discovers the true nature of her father. The man is a sadist who wants to take his psychosexual experiments to the next level and take a person’s life. Eugenie agrees.

The two go out on the prowl for strippers, hookers, and hitchhikers. They pretend to be newlyweds, nice people, or maybe just a couple of perverts looking for kicks. Then they strike, murdering these people for their own sick desires, photographing or filming the event. With each of their evil little games, the stakes get higher and they become crueler. Albert suggests a game in which Eugenie take a lover and drive him to the brink of madness. He chooses Paul (played by Andres Monales), a sensitive jazz musician, for Eugenie to seduce and manipulate. But things do not go as planned and for the first time, Eugenie breaks the rules.

For me, Eugenie de Sade is the cinematic equivalent of getting hit by a bus. This erotic thriller is ice cold and, in terms of cold-blooded and ruthless villains, it makes many giallo villains I’ve seen look like Captain Kangaroo. It is also a breathy, dizzy, and mesmerizing experience. Jess Franco directs this extremely well written piece of sex and violence like a man possessed. The colors are vibrant, the pacing is very good, and the story is intriguing. The score by the always brilliant Bruno Nicolai is achingly beautiful and menacing.

First and foremost, the performances of Soledad Miranda and Paul Muller are phenomenal. In the middle of this movie, I was like “Damn, these two have such a weird marriage. Oh shit, I forgot, that’s her stepdad! AAAAAHHH!!!!” In the beginning, one gets a sense that Albert is just a normal guy raising his stepdaughter and you think that some trigger is going to be pulled and he’s going to go off the deep end. Then as the story unfolds, it’s pretty obvious that there is something terribly wrong with the man who would raise Eugenie in total isolation and fill her head with crazy ideas.

I didn’t really get Soledad Miranda until I saw her as Eugenie. Until then, I only knew her as the striptease vamp from Vampyros Lesbos and Lucy the juicebox from Franco’s Count Dracula. She is a girl in love with her stepdad, a man who has always been her entire world. This is a person whose fate has been set since day 1 and the moment she strays and sees outside the little cozy cage she’s been kept prison in, she comes to life and is willing to risk disappointing the one man who she has looked up to her entire life. She is the tragic heroine and also a demon capable of squeezing the life out of someone and having one wicked orgasm afterwards. Shit man, I can't even look at her now without wanting to cry.

Wait a second. There has to be a catch, right? This movie can’t be a perfect masterpiece, can it? Okay, fine, I admit that the film is a little cheap. Some of the sets are a little more than slightly less than extravagant. I actually wrote in my notes: “How much of this film is going to take place in the library?” When someone is stabbed, a little bit of red paint is all the paltry effects budget would allow. And yes, that same red paint is used for bruising. Then there’s the body hair. If you took Paul Muller’s back and shoulder hair and Andres Monales’ leg and butt hair and combined them, you’d have three Wookiees and half a Robin Williams. But seriously, folks…

This film is pure evil and yet it is a joy to behold. Innocence is shaped and molded into cruelty and horror by a madman. And then, during the awakening, when just for an instant, things are right and good; the darkness swoops in to crush the dream. Eugenie de Sade feels dangerous. Its subject matter is very dark and yet, once again, I connected with the characters emotionally. How does Franco keep doing that to me? Even when those characters are sick bastards toying with their prey to heighten their own satisfaction when they take a human life, I’m still utterly fascinated. If you are curious about Jess Franco and want to know what the fuss is all about, check this one out.

“I’ll never forget the first time snow fell that winter. As if by some enchantment, everything became, white, neat, unreal, strange.”

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Candle for the Devil

A Candle for the Devil
AKA It Happened at Nightmare Inn
Directed by Eugenio Martin
Starring Judy Geeson, Aurora Bautista, Esperanza Roy, Victor Alcazar, Lone Fleming, Blanca Estrada
83 minutes
DVD Studio: Odeon Entertainment
Region 0 PAL

At the Two Sisters Inn, Marta (played by Aurora Bautista) and her sister Veronica (Esperanza Roy) like to keep things nice and quiet. AND MORAL! When one of their guests decides to sunbathe topless on the roof, Marta chastises the young lady and then accidentally pushes her down the stairs to her death. Then Laura (Judy Geeson) shows up. She was supposed to meet her sister (the dead sunbather) at the inn but the sisters tell her that she has already left. A new guest named Helen (Lone Fleming) shows up and she is a wanton slut, at least in the eyes of the sisters.

Helen and Marta have a rather unpleasant discussion and Marta takes its bloody outcome as a sign from God. So, with the meek Veronica in tow, Marta starts eliminating their female guests who partake in the sins of the flesh because they think that is what God wants them to do. People keep disappearing and Laura becomes more and more suspicious about what is going on at the inn. With the help of her dead sister’s friend Eduardo (Victor Alcazar), Laura tries to get to the bottom of what’s going on. But let me tell you, she ain’t gonna like what she finds!

When I first saw this film under its It Happened at Nightmare Inn title, I was intrigued but frustrated. All of the nudity (of which there is a lot) and bloodshed were trimmed out. It was cut so bad that you had no idea what the hell was going on. But I was intrigued by this film’s malevolent atmosphere and the clues that someone behind the camera knew what they were doing. In the back of my head I knew that one day I would track this film down. Man, I must be psychic or something because here it is.

A Candle for the Devil is an excellent film from director Eugenio Martin, best known to horror fans for his wildly entertaining Horror Express. This film paints a portrait of a hypocritical zealot whose shame towards her own repressed sexual desires manifests itself in violent fury upon those she finds morally objectionable. There’s my thesis. I’m outta here. Anyway, the film sports a sweet jazzy and funky score from Antonio Perez Olea and solid camerawork from Jose F. Aguayo. And the locations are perfect with their old world charm and foreboding undertones.

My only complaint is for the casting department. Judy Geeson of Fear in the Night is good as the heroine but for me, she takes some getting used to. At first, I hated her but now I’ve grown accustomed to her face. It doesn’t help that her voice (probably dubbed) sounds like she’s mainlining helium. The rest of the cast however is just awesome. Two aging sexpots like Aurora Bautista and Esperanza Roy totally nailing their respective roles just makes everyone else look bad. I really liked Lone Fleming of Tombs of the Blind Dead as Helen, the short-skirted, trampy, and slightly insane tourist.

Seeing this version of A Candle for the Devil is a dream come true for me. What was left out of the It Happened at Nightmare Inn was pretty much everything and it pisses me off that this cut of the film isn’t easily available here in the States yet. And while it’s not the greatest Spanish horror film ever made or anything, I believe that this film needs to find some new fans immediately. Once the first victim dies, even though it happens accidentally, you just know that some crazy shit is about to go down. A Candle for the Devil is gruesome, sexy, and demented. Highly recommended. Oh and there’s some cannibalism going on too.

DVD Stuff

If you’re like me AND I KNOW YOU ARE, DUDER, then you are itching to replace the 67 minute version of this film entitled It Happened at Nightmare Inn. I knew this movie was special and the totally neutered cut couldn’t hide that fact from me. So I grabbed this copy from Amazon UK and it turns out to be totally awesome and totally uncut. The print is scratched to hell and a little fuzzy but it is in widescreen and the sound is decent. The extras on the disc include some promotional stills for A Candle for the Devil and trailers for some other horror titles. Get it. You’ll be glad you did.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Your Mexican Lobby Card Is A Locked Room

I almost never buy horror or cult movie memorabilia for myself. I figure, "Hey, this is money that could buy me more movies! Forget it!" But this time I could not look away. Ladies and gentlemen, I got myself a Mexican lobby card for Sergio Martino's Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key. Here it is called Gently Before Dying and damn, this thing is beautiful.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Franco Friday #12: Dr. Orloff's Monster

After last week’s shameful debacle, I was ready to give up on this venture. How can anyone who watches Macumba Sexual still want to watch 41 more films by Jess Franco? I must be a fool. After Bloody Moon, I was thinking of calling him St. Jess but after Macumba Sexual I wanted to eat a box of light bulbs. A famous woman once said, “You know what? So What? You marry a Marine, you deal with what you gotta deal with to keep your family together. Frankly, I love Japan.” Forget all that wussy talk! I am back in the game, y’all. Watch out!

Franco Friday #12

Dr. Orloff’s Monster
AKA The Mistresses of Dr. Jekyll
Directed by Jess Franco
Starring Hugo Blanco, Agnes Spaak, Perla Cristal, Marcelo Arroita-Jauregui, Pepe Rubio, Pastor Serrador
90 minutes

As he lays dying, Dr. Orloff reveals to his colleague Dr. Fisherman (played by Marcelo Arroita-Jauregui) his secret theory for resurrecting the dead. Fisherman puts the theory into action and reanimates the corpse of his brother Andros (Hugo Blanco), whom he murdered. With Andros’s body, the evil doctor is able to satisfy his sick desires by commanding him to murder strippers. Just as he is getting started with his dastardly plans, Andros’s daughter Melissa (Agnes Spaak) shows up to stay with her uncle and her drunk Aunt Ingrid (Luisa Sala). Melissa knows something hinky is going on in the castle and she enlists the help of her boyfriend Manuel (Pepe Rubio) to get to the bottom of things.

If you aren’t convinced by the magic of Jess Franco just yet, then you need to check out Dr. Orloff’s Monster. This film is easy on the eyes, full of ennui, fun to watch, comically dubbed (probably not on purpose), and it will even tug on the old heartstrings if you’ll let it. Don’t get me wrong, this flick is a thinly plotted sequel but its pop art sensibility combined with its gothic overtones make this a lovely if kitschy thing to behold. The music is equal parts dirge and upbeat jazz and the black and white camerawork by Alfonso Nieva is damn near perfect.

This film is tragic magic. One might even say it is tragical. The melodrama is very strong, somewhere between 110-135%, so please, use only as directed. Do you like pseudoscience? Are you a pseudoscientist? Then step right up and rejoice. Stop being a square and watch Dr. Orloff’s Monster. I can’t promise you will be happy but I guarantee that this movie will tickle your melancholic fancy spot. For some reason, I like this even more than the original The Awful Dr. Orloff. What does that say about me? It says that I don’t know when to say when.

“If you’ll permit a lack of taste, sergeant, I think I must express myself with a vulgar display of swearing… Gadzooks!”

Googly eyes.

Boobly eyes.

My dad would NEVER kill strippers if he weren't a brainless automaton, duder!


Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Insidious tells the story of the Lambert family. Josh (played by Patrick Wilson) and his wife Renai (Rose Byrne) recently moved into a new house and of course, strange unexplainable things begin to occur. One morning, their son Dalton won’t wake up. The doctors cannot explain the youngster’s coma-like state. Three months later, more crazy shit happens and it is clear that something supernatural is going on. The family even moves to a new house but the haunting just seems to be getting worse. Josh’s mother (played by Barbara Hershey) recommends that they contact a psychic named Elise (Lin Shaye) to help them through their ordeal. But this ain’t gonna be no cakewalk, my friends, because an evil spirit has evil plans for Dalton.

I really don’t want to say too much about this flick’s plot so as not to ruin it but at the same time I wonder if anyone would care. Insidious is not a life changer but I had a good time. The marketing may be one of the best things about this film. There were many minor flaws but only one that I consider to be a major one (more on that in a moment). James Wan (Saw, Dead Silence) directs this modest budget ($1.5 million) affair with energy and manages to pull of a decent PG-13 spookfest. The threads were showing in a couple of moments especially where one of the sets looked incredibly cheap and the inevitable CGI touches to the film were pretty annoying. The cast is decent. Rose Byrne got on my nerves a bit there as the distraught mother but I still liked her character. Not surprisingly, Lin Shaye (Dead End) steals the show as the psychic.

Once the action gets going, Insidious has a carnival funhouse vibe to it. The whole climax of the film so thoroughly recreates a haunted house at your local high school gymnasium that it’s pretty genius. There is a very odd séance sequence that is totally great and really got my blood pumping. Instead of the usual hand-holding, the medium puts on a bizarre gasmask-like contraption that elicited giggles and WTFs from the audience but made me just nod in surprised appreciation.

And here’s where it gets complicated. As much fun as I had with this film, I was kind of pissed off because there are moments in the beginning where the foreboding is so intense that it’s nearly unbearable. The more of the spirits that we see, the farther and farther away that this great bit of foreshadowing just fades away until it is almost forgotten. It seems like elements of the movie were there because Wan and writer Leigh Whannell think that they have to be there. The evil spirit’s ability to climb on a wall and leave cracks as it goes along is just kind of there. Why?

The biggest problem I had with Insidious, and the film’s major flaw, is that one of the ghosts looks like The Undertaker or an aging Misfits fan dressed as The Undertaker for Halloween. This ghost shows up in the first third or so of the movie and is harassing Renai, and instead of just showing him for a split second (or better yet, making him totally invisible), we see this guy in complete detail for what seems like forever. He’s not scary, he looks totally lame in his calf-length leather jacket, slicked back hair, and skull makeup. He comes stomping right into the room and gets right in Renai’s face. The audience I saw this film with just sat there, silently waiting for this ghost to go away. That scared me. Why did no one burst out laughing and then demand their money back? What was I doing? Oh, I was sitting there like a mindless coward, settling for a mediocre film when I should be at home watching something, anything with Paul Naschy.

I guess in the end, I wish Insidious had left more to the imagination. The potential for a great movie was definitely there but someone was second guessing themselves; whether it was the director, the writer, or the producers, who can tell? Look, people know it’s a horror movie. You don’t need to throw a bunch of horror movie stuff in it just so people don’t start marching out confused about what genre they’re watching. You had some original bits in there so just chill out next time or you’ll fuck it up. Who am I talking to?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Franco Friday: Macumba Sexual

I looked in the mirror this morning to see if I have turned into a pervert yet. Hm... No, not yet. Other than a goatee, I don't have enough of the telltale signs of perversion yet. You'd think that all this exposure to filthy Franco and his freaky films would be enough to turn me. I think being a pervert means that you're lactose intolerant, your hands itch constantly, and you're subject to fits of nervous giggling when you show up for work each morning at the morgue (but you don't work there, not anymore, not since "the incident"). I can still meet my wife's gaze each day. Ladies and gentleman, I have hit the Franco wall.

Franco Friday #11

Macumba Sexual
AKA Attack of the Chicken Head Zombie Vagina-Penis Sculpture
Directed by Jess Franco
Starring Ajita Wilson, Lina Romay, Antonio Mayans, Lorna Green, Jose Ferro, Jess Franco
80 minutes

While taking a vacation in a resort on “Happy Bay”, Alice Brooks (played by Lina Romay) is tormented by nightmares of Princess Obongo (Ajita Wilson) wherein she is beset upon by the princess’s sexual slaves. At the end of the dream, Princess Obongo dies. Alice’s boyfriend (Antonio Mayans) tries to comfort her as best he can (awwww yeah) but it is of no use. Alice gets a call from her boss with instructions to sell a house to a very real Princess Obongo. She travels to meet the princess, meets a creepy hotel clerk named Meme (Jess Franco), and gets friggin’ seduced and stuff. It turns out that Princess Obongo wants Alice to take her place as the Goddess of Unspeakable Lust*.

If I had to review Macumba Sexual using only one word, I think that word would be… Demoralizing. This film takes the themes of sexual obsession, madness, sorcery, and more sexual obsession and makes them hard to look at and boring. Not to be completely dismissive, the film does sport some beautiful locations and plenty of foreboding. I was definitely into the characters and what was going to happen to them but after an hour of gratuitous gooch shots, I just wanted the film to fucking end. At this point, I feel like I’ve seen more of Lina Romay than any woman I’ve ever known in my life. I appreciate the scenes where Romay is roaming around the beach town in Daisy Dukes and a flimsy top more than her completely naked.

Sadly, the interview with Franco and Romay on Severin’s DVD is more interesting than this damn film. I am just not that interested in porno as entertainment and I don't really care how close to Franco's vision this boring crap is. The only reason this friggin’ film ended up in my mailbox (thanks, Netflix) is because Franco directed it. I had absolute zero interest in seeing this but I knew I had better get it out of the way quickly. You gotta hand it to the guy, this movie is an enthusiastic little production and his cameo is priceless. Macumba Sexual feels like it’s 10 feet tall, horny, and full of mescaline. Stay out of its way or get fucked.

Alice: What do you think?
Meme: What do I think? I think you’re a fucking fake.

*Note: “Unspeakable Lust” translates to sticking little statues in places that little statues do not belong.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Franco Friday #10: Bloody Moon

Oh crap, look at this! I can't believe I've made it to the tenth Franco Friday. Hey look, it feels like an accomplishment to me, okay?!? So I am 1/5 of the way on my journey towards (possibly) understanding this often confounding and always weird director. All right. Here we gooooo! *burp*

Franco Friday #10

Bloody Moon
Directed by Jess Franco
Starring Olivia Pascal, Christoph Moosbrugger, Nadja Gerganoff, Alexander Waechter, Jasmin Losensky
90 minutes

After donning a mask at a disco party and murdering a girl in her bed, the hideously scarred Miguel (played by Alexander Waechter), is put away in a mental institution. Years later, he gets out and is put in the care of his ever so slightly incestuous sister, Manuela (Nadja Gerganoff). Manuela runs a boarding school for language study students. She is constantly at odds with her mother, the Countess (Maria Rubio), who still has control of the finances and who constantly makes sure that Manuela knows her place (which is somewhere between shit and dirt).

But it’s a new semester at the boarding school and new student, Angela (played by Olivia Pascal), is ready to learn! Of course, she ends up in villa #13, where Miguel claimed the life of that girl, but who cares, right? She’s got her eyes on Antonio (Peter Exacoustos), the super stud and master of tennis. Before you can say “Hola, me gusto la sexy Antonio!”, a crazed killer is running around the school and murdering all the lovely ladies. Be careful, Angela, because everyone is a freakin’ suspect, especially Paco, the very special groundskeeper.

Bloody Moon completely caught me off guard. I had heard from a few people that it was good and I had heard from many, many people that it was terrible. What I found is a beautifully shot, bloody, and wildly eccentric Euro-slasher. It instantly won me over with the great locations and wide-eyed craziness (especially of Olivia Pascal). I guess people don’t like this flick because it doesn’t feel like Jess Franco. His erotic wistfulness and jazzy spaced out vibes are not here but there’s still lots of style, sleaze, and atmosphere. The fact that he could make a film that doesn’t feel like one of his films amazes me.

The cinematography of Bloody Moon is sharp, colorful, and just plain gorgeous. The man on the camera this time around is Juan Soler, who worked with Franco on roughly 45 films during this period (1980-1987) of the director's career. If you like fuzz guitar and synthesizers that can peel the skin off your ears, then you’ll dig the soundtrack from German composer Gerhard Heinz. He even incorporates freakin' flutes into the horror synth and strings and goes so far as to pair them with some disco fabulousness. It doesn't get much better than that.

As for the comedy, this flick has it all: redonkulous dubbing, irrational character stupidity, a pointless incestuous subplot, and terrible fashions. Did I mention the subnormal groundskeeper, Paco? The guy’s very presence in the film is just plain wrong. During one of the youthful gatherings in the movie, the teens are dancing to a bizarre 50s style rock song with a stern voice commanding you to “Shake your baby!” There is also a scene where Angela is nearly killed by a big fiberglass boulder.

This may be the first and last time that I approach a film by Jess Franco and instantly find my comfort zone. At risk of sounding close-minded and totally square, I really love just digging on this guy’s more direct (and less pornographic) films. I am constantly seeking out Euro-horror films to perpetuate “The Vibe” (as discussed here) and Bloody Moon provided me with that feeling big time. The death scenes are great, the final girl is a friggin’ trip (or seemingly on one in some scenes), there’s plenty of nudity, and Bloody Moon also features the best use of a granite saw I’ve ever seen in a horror flick. Oh and as an added bonus for you giallo fans out there, the killer does don a pair of black gloves in this one. How could anyone not love this film?

“Dream about me, Angela. You’ll sleep better.”

Please note: There is some snake abuse in this one. An underpaid snake actor gives his life for a shock sequence. It’s pointless, lame, but is over quickly. However, if any of you out there are sensitive to animal violence, you should steel yourselves to a certain scene. However, if you hate snakes then you’ll love the garden sheers on snake action!