Friday, June 3, 2011

Franco Friday: Two Undercover Angels

Franco Friday #19

I’m riding a wave of vanilla Franco. Things may be a little naughty but I’m in a safe place once again. Why challenge myself when I can just slip into something less comfortable and more restrictive and safely observe Miss Reynaud and Miss Yanni in skimpy clothes? Thank you, Mr. Franco. I’m a freak now.

Two Undercover Angels
AKA Sadist Erotica
Directed by Jess Franco
Starring Janine Reynaud, Rosanna Yanni, Chris Howland, Alexander Engel, Marcelo Arroita-Jauregui, Manolo Atero
76 minutes

For the past 2 years, 8 beautiful women have disappeared and each case has too many coincidences not to be related. This looks like a job for Diana and Regina (Janine Reynaud and Rosanna Yanni), the Red Lips detective agency. In pursuit of the killer, the two run into all kinds of seedy and strange characters. Their chief suspect is an artist named Thiller whose paintings and sculptures resemble the victims. The closer the girls get to solving the case, the more people are trying to kill them with machine guns, hairy-handed henchmen, and exploding vases of flowers. Some people call it danger, Diana and Regina call it Tuesday.

The last thing in the world I expected from the horrifying and oversexed brain of Jess Franco is a flair for comedic films. Two Undercover Angels is very amusing on purpose and when the intentional laughs fail, the goofy and accidentally brilliant passages holding everything together just make the film even more delightful. The only complaint I have is that this film is so thinly plotted that when it ended, I realized that almost nothing had happened at all. But who cares? Personally, I got lost in the gags and the jiggling bobbins.

One thing that makes these European delights so entertaining is the way they are dubbed. There are scenes where the jokes and naughty double entendres are delivered with lots of attitude and perfect timing. Other times, the same actors have a huge paragraph to read and they robotically and speedily spout off completely trite and unnecessary bullshit further adding to the hilarity of the film. Throw in some swingin’ jazz music and I couldn’t be happier aurally.

There are times when I wish there had been 100 Red Lips detective movies but I also have a feeling that the two films might be more than enough. Janine Reynaud and Rosanna Yanni are just as vivacious, charming, and funny as they were in Kiss Me Monster (the better of the two films). As for how far out Franco gets, Rosanna Yanni even gets a scene when her character talks directly to the cameraman. Frickin’ brilliant and totally bizarre! Though it is as far from the typical Jess Franco fare (does such a thing exist?), Two Undercover Angels is perfect for when you need some brainless and groovy Euro-fun and just a little kink.

“Oh such a dirty deal! And I was just at the hairdresser!”

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