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FRENCH

ACTION/THRILLERS

RED LIPS (1960)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS. One of Jess Franco's best! Director: Jesús Franco, Stars: Javier Armet, José Canalejas, Lina Canalejas. Madrid. Cristina and Lola, two pretty girls, run a detective agency called "Red Lips. They are hired by Kallman, a wealthy diamond collector, to retrieve a precious stone they are told has been stolen by a man called Radeck. Kallman's information indicates that Radeck is due to fly in to Madrid that day. The girls stake out the airport, but notice that as Radeck leaves he is being trailed by two men, Pablo and Fred. Cristina seduces Fred while Lola follows Radeck to a hotel retrieving what she believes to be the stolen diamond but which is in fact a fake. Before leaving, she calls Inspector Fernandez and tells him where to come to arrest the thief. However, Pablo, villainous manager of several shady nightclubs, arrives on the scene after Lola leaves, kills Radeck, and steals the real diamond. The police accuse the "Red Lips" girls of the crime..

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BUNKER PALACE HOTEL (1989)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Enki Bilal, Stars: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Carole Bouquet, Maria Schneider. This is a stunningly imaginative film with a strong vein or two of distinctly black comedy, offering a disturbingly credible vision of a future world.  The film was made at the time of the collapse of the east-European communist states, and that reality seems to pervade this film, giving it a frightening edge of believability.  From the relentless sound of machine gun fire in the abandoned, dreary streets, to the metal-walled, ice-coated, disintegrating chambers in the underground shelter, innovative director Enki Bilal invites us into a nightmare world which is all too close to our own for comfort. Carole Bouquet is the unwitting spy Clara who shares our bewilderment at what she experiences in the Bunker Palace Hotel.  On arriving, she is greeted by a defective android receptionist and befriended by a mysterious, bald-headed Monsieur Holm, whose main pre-occupation appears to be to kick-start the robot servants whenever they falter.  Louis Trintignant gives one of his best performances as the ice-cold Holm, the character which dominates the film from start to finish.   Also watch out for a washed-up Jean-Pierre Léaud in an appropriately cynical and comic cameo role.

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THE MAN WITHOUT A FACE (1974)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS. Director: Georges Franju, Stars: Gayle Hunnicutt, Gert Frobe,  Jacques Champreux, Josephine Chaplin. NEVER BEFORE HAS ALL 8 EPISODES OF THIS MAGNIFICENT SERIAL BEEN AVAILABLE WITH ENGLISH SUBS. CUT TO 90 MINUTES AND RELEASED HERE AS SHADOWMAN, THIS COMES ON A 4-DISC SET FOR $35!! The butler of the writer Maxime de Borrego (Roberto Bruni) goes to the store of an old lady and tells that his boss probably knows the location of the Templars treasure, expecting to receive a reward. The old lady is actually the ruthless criminal The Man without a Face (Jacques Champreux), the master of disguise that wears a red mask. He tortures and kills Maxime without getting any answer about the location of the treasure. Maxime's nephew, the sailor Paul de Borrego (Ugo Pagliai), returns from a trip and teams up with his girlfriend, her best friend, with Inspector Sorbier (Gert Froebe) and his team trying to arrest the evil criminal. But The Man without a Face uses a sort of human zombies created his insane doctor and his gorgeous assistant (Gayle Hunnicutt) that wears a mask and outfits similar to the Catwoman to lure the police and achieve his intent.

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DAMES DON'T CARE (1954)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS. Director: Bernard Borderie, Stars: Eddie Constantine, Nadia Gray, Dominique Wilms. Lemmy Caution is back! He hooks up with a fellow agent at a night club to exchange info about a beautiful babe the FBI has under observation. Later, Eddie finds his fellow agent murdered and stuffed into a refrigerator! Who is the mysterious woman? Is she or her friends responsible for the murder? One of the better Caution series entries.

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SPERMULA (1976)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, UNCUT 102 MINUTE VERSION. Director: Charles Matton, Stars: Dayle Haddon, Udo Kier, François Dunoyer. In the 1930's, a notorious secret society known as Spermula - centered around the "rapture of being" achieved through a total liberation of the senses - disappeared from "civilized society." They were rumored to have developed supernatural powers. Over time they have honed their powers, and put in motion a plan to return from the future and conquer the world that once exiled them. An elite force of commandos - in the guise of several beautiful females - are charged with the task of neutering the male population. This is to be achieved by extracting the male reproductive fluids (orally) - allowing the decadent human race to eventually die off from natural attrition. Ingrid (Dayle Haddon), leading the Spermulan assault.

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FIRE AND ICE (1962)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Alain Cavalier, Stars: Romy Schneider, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Henri Serre. The son of a French industrialist, Clément is a right wing extremist who belongs to a secret militant right wing organization that uses whatever means necessary, including violence, to achieve its goals. His wife Anne, a former German actress who gave up her career to be the doting wife, knows somewhat of his extremist views, and suspects he would indeed kill if need be as witnessed by what she finds hidden in their house. He often treats her poorly, specially out in public as she maintains the façade of her former celebrity, which he believes is her acting like a whore. Regardless, she is compelled to stay in the marriage. After he and a right wing colleague assassinate a Communist figure, that assassination which goes slightly awry, Clément and Anne hide out in the country home of Clément's childhood friend, Paul, who knows nothing about Clément's extremist views. Paul is a democrat and pacifist. Clément is forced to leave to pursue a mission, leaving Anne behind. Without Clément, ...

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THE LIONS ARE LOOSE (1961)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Henri Verneuil, Stars: Jean-Claude Brialy, Claudia Cardinale, Lino Ventura, Danielle Darrieux. A young girl from the Province ,who just broke with her husband, comes to Paris to find her soul mate ;we follow her as she meets a trendy writer ,who wins the Femina literary prize by writing his new novel based on her character, then a grumpy surgeon who wants to take care of her health. All takes place in very chic places ,luxury flats, homes in the country ,and the whole shebang.

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ROAD TO SHAME (1959)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Édouard Molinaro, Stars: Robert Hossein, Magali Noël, Estella Blain. Pierre Rossi and Béatrice live in the same block of flats in Marseille and love each other. One night, Béatrice leaves her apartment. Pierre knows that his fiancée goes to a rendezvous, but she would not tell him more than just that. Worried, Pierre follows her but he is attacked and stolen his identity papers by two men, Tom and Nasol, on the payroll of Quaglio, one of the city's bosses. Later on, Quaglio kills Nasol and deposits the body in a garage, leaving Pierre's papers nearby. As for Pierre, he manages to follow Tom to a villa where several young women have been invited. Pierre, horrified, realizes that this place is the headquarters for the white slave trade.

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YOU ONLY DIE TWICE (1985)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS. Director: Jacques Deray, Stars: Michel Serrault, Charlotte Rampling, Xavier Deluc. The inspector Staniland as always tries to put himself in the place of the victim, this time an unsuccessful pianist. That's when the victim's mistress Barbara enters the apartment, looking like a real bitch. Surprised by his presence, she accuses herself of the crime. But the inspector is not convinced because the evidence doesn't fit with her confession and especially the tone she uses to do so. In his investigation, Staniland has trouble with a man who's protecting Barbara. Supposedly her brother, he isn't!  And how can you refuse a beautiful girl like her,even if you're a policeman.

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THE SHE WOLVES (1957)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Luis Saslavsky, Stars: François Périer, Micheline Presle, Jeanne Moreau. Gervais and his friend Bernard, two prisoners of war, manage to escape from the camp where they are held. Bernard is determined to take refuge with Hélène, his war grandmother, a woman with whom he has been carrying on a romance by correspondence and Gervais agrees to accompany him. Unfortunately, Bernard is killed by a train before they get to destination. Gervais then decides to present himself to Hélène who, never having seen Bernard, mistakes the newcomer for her war godson. Too weak to restore the truth, Gervais becomes Bernard and moves in with Hélène. The situation gets even more complicated as two more women get into Gervais'life and entangle him in their web, Agnès, Hélène's jealous sister, and Julia, Bernard's sister, who pretends to recognize him... Aside from Hitchcock's "Vertigo" and Clouzot's "Diaboliques" which are still unsurpassed,the best adaptation of a Boileau-Narcejac novel for the screen.Whereas the two masters completely rewrote the stories,the screenplay of " les Louves" was reworked by the novelists themselves . This is an absorbing suspense from the railroad tracks at dawn where you've got to watch out for trains going nowhere to that house in the country where the hero feels that he is fading little by little .

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GIRL'S APARTMENT (1963)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Michel Deville, Stars: Mylène Demongeot, Sylva Koscina, Sami Frey. A charming gold smuggler tries to recruit equally charming air hostesses to transport gold bars to Bombay. Tibere (Sami Frey) is a small-time hood who tries to get one of three airline hostesses to help him in his gold-smuggling operation in this light comedy. One woman is a snob, the second is adventurous, and Melanie (Mylene Demongeot) is sentimental about love. When Melanie and Tibere fall for each other, he is inspired to give up his life of crime for the woman he loves. Sami Frey is engaging as a happy -go-Lucky "villain" ;Sylva Koscina was the queen of the sword and sandal and one of the hotties of the sixties (remember "deadlier than the male" );Mylène Demongeot was one of the most promising newcomers of the late fifties ("Les Sorcières De Salem")but the producers wanted her to become another Bardot and her career suffered accordingly afterward.

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GOOD LITTLE GIRLS (1971)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Jean-Claude Roy, Stars: Jessica Dorn, Marie-Georges Pascal, Cathy Reghin. Two daughters of a sexually liberated countess, a mother and daughter who've befriended them after a car accident and live with them, and a S&M-prone daughter of their butch neighbor all fall for the same men - a doctor and a local boy. Mrs Fichini punished Sophie with her whip,but here the victim seems to enjoy the flagellation.Hence,Mrs de Fleurville's smart idea: to punish Sophie ,she deprives her of flogging.Numerous episodes are free(I mean free) adaptations of the novel:when Marguerite and Sophie get lost in the forest,they are saved by M.Hurel,but he's not a butcher:he's some kind of guru.The final fete becomes a very special evening,thanks to the maid Eliza's-the good Eliza who used to take care of the four young ones- magic potion.

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SAWED OFF SHOTGUN (1977)-IN ITALIAN WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. The film takes place in a godforsaken small village where issues of honor still exist, and people wear artificial moustaches and speak with a Sicilian accent. The sun-baked landscape seems appropriate for a spaghetti western duel. Blind corners hide terrible and bloody ambushes. Director Mario Imperoli does not worry excessively about morals here, as demonstrated by his obvious sympathy for the bandit (Antonio Sabato), despite murdering an innocent police officer. The female lead is none other than the attractive Ritza Brown, with an intense gaze and a sinuous body. The concluding slaughter has appeared unavoidable since the first strike. John Richardson co-stars.

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THE MENACE (1961)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. WHAT AN EXCELLENT THRILLER! Director: Gérard Oury, Stars: Robert Hossein, Marie-José Nat, Elsa Martinelli. Josepha is only eighteen and longs for the companionship of a group of her peers who dabble in activities on the shady side of a legal dividing line. In order to get the semi-delinquent group to accept her, Josepha runs to the police with a tall tale about the local druggist, Savary. The police are looking for a sex murderer, and Josepha insists Savary is their man. What she does not know, however, can do her considerable damage. Robert Hossein's and Marie-José Nat's performances are first-class,ambiguous,intense.Josepha(Marie-José Nat) is some kind of female James Dean ,an eighteen-year old girl who has been an outcast most of her life.She lives with an old uncle who does not give her any affection.She tries to join the local pack,but even with these youngsters ,she's ill-at-ease.So she tries to catch their attention by accusing the chemist (Robert Hossein)of a horrible murder.

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NIGHT OF THE SPIES (1959)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Robert Hossein, Stars: Robert Hossein, Marina Vlady, Michel Etcheverry. In England during the Second World War, a German spy is pursued by the British secret service in a bid to prevent him from returning to France with a valuable microfilm. In a mountain chalet, two spies, one male, the other female, meet, neither knowing the identity of the other. Not knowing which side the other is on, they are powerfully drawn to one another..

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CONSTANCE IN HELL (1964)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: François Villiers, Stars: Michèle Morgan, Dany Saval, Simón Andreu. Constance Brunel ,a forty-something widow ,involuntary witnesses a murder: following a quarrel, Hugo ,a handsome young man ,strangles his lover,Pascale. The criminal takes refuge in Constance's apartment. She falls in love with him. Shortly after, she receives anonymous letters to squeeze money out of her. Soon, she discovers she has been framed :Hugo 's mistress is not dead .Constance's revenge will be ruthless.

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THE IMMORAL MOMENT (1962)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Jacques Doniol-Valcroze, Stars: Maurice Ronet, Françoise Brion, Nicole Berger. October 1961.  Michel Jussieu, a successful film producer, returns to a Parisian nightclub he visited the previous night to collect a sweater. He almost trips over the body of a dead man and then he catches a glimpse of a man and a woman before he is overpowered and knocked unconscious.  The next day, he is questioned by Inspector Malferrer, who has no doubt of his innocence.  Haunted by the memory that he cracked under interrogation by the Gestapo during WWII, Michel refuses to offer any information to the police as he pursues his own investigation into the killing.  It turns out that the dead man was an extreme right-wing journalist and his assassins are members of a secret political organisation who served in the French Resistance during the war. Fearing that Michel may betray them to the police, the latter begin sending him threatening letters.  This merely goads Michel further into uncovering the truth, but in doing so he puts himself and his wife Elsa in great danger...

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THE VORACIOUS (1973)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Sergio Gobbi, Stars: Helmut Berger, Françoise Fabian, Paul Meurisse. Dark, decadent, morbid, passionate - and 34 years later still the strangest memory regarding my very own personal history of watching movies since I was five years old. Despite the fact that this French/Italian production from the early seventies delivers incredibly strong performances by Helmut Berger at the peak of his career, the always excellent Francoise Fabian and the fabulous Paul Meurisse, that it shows you wonderfully filmed locations, and comes up with a solid script including a couple of interesting though perverted characters, the movie itself disappeared totally out of sight.

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THE SENSUOUS ASSASSIN (1977)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Coline Serreau, Stars: Sami Frey, Christine Murillo, Mario Gonzales. A threesome becomes a foursome in this sensitive drama. The tale begins with the relationship between a recently divorced man and woman ( from different marriages ) and the bisexual they get involved with. At first all three are happy in their new arrangement, but then the divorced fellow suddenly leaves and those remaining in the relationship become quite tense. Fortunately the fellow returns with another, more conventional fellow. Eventually the three persuade him to join them.

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KILLER IN THE PHONE BOOK (1962)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Léo Joannon, Stars: Fernandel, Georges Chamarat, Henri Crémieux. Fernandel plays Albert, the unhappy brunt of jokes by his fellow office-workers who goes from the frying pan into the fire. Albert gets caught up in a robbery that also goes from bad to worse when it leads to several murders. Although he is not a killer and essentially innocent, there does not seem to be very much that Albert can do to convince others of the truth.

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ALYSE AND CHLOE (1970)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. AWESOME EROTICA FROM FRANCE! Director: René Gainville, Stars: Catherine Jacobsen, Michèle Girardon, Karyn Balm. Alyse, a successful cover girl, has had an affair with Luc Bordier, an advertising photographer, for one year now. But although Luc loves her truly, he tends to neglect her as he is too busy with his work. Chloé, who runs an advertising agency, takes advantage of these off-days to seduce Alyse. Alyse tries to hide the situation from Luc but the latter realizes what is happening. He urges Alyse to go with him on a trip to the West Indies but she refuses and joins Chloé, not without suffering from being separated from Luc...

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THE CRAZY KILLERS (1972)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS. Director: Boris Szulzinger, Stars: Georges Aminel, Georges Aubert, Marc AudierBoris Szulzinger would have stayed an unknown Belgian filmmaker if he had not co-directed the horny animated movie Tarzoon, Shame of the jungle, especially since his career lists only four feature films. In 1972, The crazy Killers opens in the general indifference, a shock movie retelling the sordid news item of a pair of thugs committing horrible murders in the region of Brussels. The crazy killers is a small deviant movie little known to the public, it must be discovered urgently as it recounts with a chilling realism the bloody road-trip of a marginal tandem stuck in their mediocrity. In the continuity of the steep portraits of sadly notorious serial killers, shot in the style of a documentary, The Crazy Killers tells with vigor the murdering trip of two deeply lonely marginals unable to fulfill their homosexuality. The film begins with a bang with a free murder, our hilarious fellows persecute a chap on a motorbike before rushing to shoot him with a rifleshot. This disturbing scene immediately announces the dark tone of their futur offenses throughout rainy night cities in a particularly creepy Brussels region. Without morality and total neglect, they decide overnight to commit a series of crimes by murdering randomly, coldly and without qualms innocent bystanders. Following their vicissitudes they also attend shows hosted by transvestites in gay bars, skim honest people to meet their financial needs, begin impromptu meetings with solitary misfits or attempt to awaken their friendship with a gay introvert. These idle onlookers without family therefore have no emotional attachment or true friend, except their affection for a crippled cat found in a stolen car. It is also the only empathy they show during their journey toward a living being, especially when they have to bury him because of a stray bullet during a violent brawl. A glummy scene causing a real discomfort by its elegiac atmosphere and the display of overwhelmed resentments by the two inflexible killers. Their awareness is suddenly revealed to us  by this fatal incident and the concept of candor assigned to a mute animal. A glimmer of innocence expressed by the glances of two uneducated children left to themselves without any parental education. Dominique and Roland flee their sad mediocrity, their repressed sexuality and evacuate their boredom by killing simple citizens because they never had the opportunity to grow up with dignity. Disturbing, unhealthy, immersive by its clinical atmosphere of a depressing fall season and endorsed by two actors extravagant by their deliberately childish acting, Mad Killers is a terrifying statement on the kind of the most irrational behavior marginalization can lead to. Without complacency or voyeurism, the movie draws its emotional force from its sordid realism rooted in a pregnant gloom and from this terrible suspicion that any people may one day switch into the most cowardly killing spree. Don't miss this Belgian nugget rooted in disillusion.

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DEVIL WITH WHITE GLOVES (1973)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS. Director: László Szabó, ast: Bernadette Lafont (Bernadette), Jean-Pierre Kalfon (Deputy Caron). An enigmatic man, blind in one eye is the hit man in this French thriller. The films opens with this man, in dark glasses, walking into a bar and shooting a barkeeper. With the help of an unscrupulous doctor, the gunman has donated one of his eyes to a government official. As the film proceeds, he is shown receiving training in shooting at targets using sound alone. As the gunman continues his devastating activities, it appears clear that his actions are part of an elaborate conspiracy. Francois Truffaut said: "The White Gloves of the Devil manages to give us back the violent charm of the most commercial films in the world, the noir b-features of U.S. studios from 1940 to 1955, which is his true ambition.You have to go and watch the White Gloves of the Devil, which establishes the bridge between Cocteau  and Goodis or between Godard and Hawks, this film directed by Laszlo Szabo succeeds to take us to the fantasy land of the "Noir", in this closed world that should remain closed at all costs, for example by not letting in neither the sky nor the sun which ruin most of the current films in colors. Laszlo Szabo recruited the ideal distribution, Bernadette Laffont, Georgette Anys and thereby gave their best role to Jean-Pierre Kalfon, Yves Alfonso, Serge Marquand and Jean-Pierre Moulin. The music of Karl-Heinz Schaefer is the best I've heard."

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