DEATH STALKER OF SOHO (1972)--In german with English subs, rare Jesus Franco adaptation of a Bryan Edgar Wallace story that has nice horror overtones. A killer in London is knifing innocent men and women. The problems center around a nightclub and a highly addictive drug. Gialli styled murders, gothic castles, leather dominatrix, etc! One Of Franco’s better films as he definitely goes with the Wallace atmosphere instead of the headache inducing zoom lens. Elisa Montes, Barbara Rutting, Fred Williams and Horst Tappert star. This is a remake of SECRET OF THE BLACK TRUNK which is also available from this update!!
AMAZONS (1974)-In French with English subs. This awesome Jess Franco film about a race of superwomen who are introduced to heterosexual sex by Karzan now with English subs! Amazon girl Finda helps Karzan to return to his country after a dangerous adventure. Subsequently both leave early for another trip, with Karzan's friend Mark, in the country of the Amazons, governed by masculine Armida, to take possession of a treasure guarded by the wild girls. They are imprisoned before, becoming protagonists of loves and conflicts in the following phase: lesbianism and betrayals, sexual embraces and infectious illnesses, falling in love and poisonings, but a furious reaction of the all female tribe provokes a massacre, except for Karzan , who'll become the king of the Amazons. Alice Arno and lina Romay co-star.
VENGEANCE OF DR MABUSE (1972)-In german with English subs. One of the rarest jess Franco films! Fred Williams, jack taylor Ewa Stromberg, Doctor Mabuse strikes again in this highly-colored movie shot by Jess Franco in the mid-seventies, when he was still comitting marvels. This one has almost everything you can expect from a spanish late night masterpiece : the evil doctor and his mindless Frankenstein-like monster, Monica Swinn as her evil and sexy sidekick, a cameo by a screaming and cigar smoking Franco, some cops dressed like laughable cowboys, a few sexy girls in mini-skirts and the incredible camera angles and locations that has made old Jess famous. It's about doctor Mabuse's evil plans - plans I couldn't understand because the movie is in spanish - and the endeavours of humanity to stop him, Franco-style. Shot in the most unusual and strange locations of Spain, it is a visual treasure and the funny characters are, as always, very parodic. It may last only about an hour, but it will remain in your hearts and minds for a long long time...
SINISTER DR ORLOF (1982)-In Spanish with English subs. This sleazy Jess Franco film has large dollops of nudity and violence and now has English subs! The son of the infamous Dr. Orloff clashes with his father when he begins to stalk and dismember prostitutes in order to get parts to reanimate his dead mother. Very oppressive ambiance highlighted by the Jess Franco score which the director performs on a synthesizer. Long deep, Goth organ chords which are synthed into shrieks not unlike the hookers kidnapped and experimented on by the SON of Dr. Orloff, effectively played by Antonio Mayans. Franco's early 60's expressionism is indebted to Fritz Lang, Murnau's NOSFERATU and John Brahm's THE LODGER. But by the early 80s the director had developed an new style highlighted by garish colors, reflections within reflections, telezoom-plan sequences and a tendency to pattern actors within a highly artifical mise-en-scene. One scene in this features a shot of the elderly, wheelchair-bound Orloff (Howard Vernon) whose aging, vulture-like head is haled by a bright green tropical plant leaf. Then there's another Franco "red room" in which the victims are strapped nude to a floor level table and disintegrated by the youger Orloff's ray only to be reintegrated into the shell of his beloved mother, Melissa.
SUICIDE GAMES IN CASABLANCA (1984)-In german with English subs. Cast: William Berger, Analía Ivars, Carlos Mendy, Antonio Mayans. A down on luck gambler contemplates suicide after losing everything including his wife. After several failed attempts to take his own life he comes up with a game he can’t lose. The gambler hands four people each a one ace out of the deck and the person who ends up with the ace of hearts wins the honor of killing him. After the card sets in motion his planned execution fates intervenes when his wife comes back to him. Will he be able to discover the person who holds the ace of hearts before they complete the contract? Jess Franco’s Juego sucio en Casablanca is one of his more entertaining and crafted films to emerge from him in the last thirty three years. The plot revolves around an alcoholic writer who tries to kill himself after his wife leaves him. The pacing is handled well and the structure of the film is split between the present and a series of flashbacks. These flashback scenes are the most effective part of the film. The flashbacks are also the only part of the film where Franco really shines visually. The cinematography for Juego sucio en Casablanca was handle by Juan Soler worked on virtually every Jess Franco film from 1980’s Wicked Memoirs of Eugenie up until 1987’s Las Chicas del tanga.
GIRLS OF THE COPACABANA (1981)-In Spanish with english subs. Three students Juanita, Jean and Hans bored with their life in Paris go to Brazil in search of sexual adventures. Las Chicas de Copacabana is a sexual coming age film from maverick filmmaker Jess Franco. Visually the film is bland when compared to Franco’s most inspired films. To Franco’s credit he does know how to photograph women. The shots of women on the beach and close up of their assets are this films strongest asset. The film is also padded with footage from the carnival in Brazil. The weak plot which is essentially just a series of sexual encounters that offers no advancement in the plot. The films main location looks like the same hotel used in the Jess Franco film Cuanto Cobra Un Espia?.
TOMB OF THE LIVING DEAD (1983)-In Spanish with english subs, letterboxed print. One of Jesus Franco's most elusive titles!! During World War II, a small German squadron was assigned the task of carrying a shipment of Nazi gold across the African desert. Along the way, the squadron was ambushed by the Allies, and only one American soldier, Robert, survived. Years later, Robert tells his story to a German treasure hunter named Kurt, who promptly murders him. Robert's son, upon learning of his father's death, vows to travel to Africa and find the lost gold himself. While the desert is hazardous enough by itself, the dangers lurking around this oasis are more than any of the treasure hunters ever imagined. In total, there's about 20 minutes of exclusive footage in this Spanish version of the film, which features a partially different cast from the French version (which has been released on DVD in America by Image Entertainment). For example, Lina Romay appears in this cut of the film; she doesn't appear in the French/English version. The gore scenes are also much more effective in this version of the film.
NECRONOMICON (1968)-In german with english subs, letterboxed print. Since its first arrival on home video, "Succubus" has replaced "Necronomicon" in circulation, because people generally don't realize it's not only dubbed but a wholly re-edited version of the picture that does not represent Franco's intentions. The movie was largely produced with German money and this German version, while not quite perfect, still far better approximates Franco's vision of the picture. "Succubus" was edited in the US at Film Rite, Inc. under the direction of Terry Vantell and produced by Titra, the New York-based dubbing company under contract to American International, who distributed the film through one of their sub-divisions, Trans-American Films. Titra also used another moniker, Titan Productions, Inc., presumably to avoid association with X-rated product. I can't point out all the differences between the two versions, but "Necronomicon" - despite including noticeably less nudity in its early scenes - flows much better, making its storyline easier to follow even if you don't speak German. I don't speak German, yet I was able to notice a number of differences in the dialogue and narration; for example, Howard Vernon mentions Robbe-Grillet at one point during his word association game with Reynaud, which he doesn't in "Succubus". Also, this version doesn't include any of that Faustine-related narration at the end, which is followed here by some exit music. You'll also notice that this cut is somewhat more violent, more acid gets consumed at the party, and there are some very brief glimpses of pubic hair, both male and female. It's also noticeably more musical, being scored pretty much wall-to-wall and in a more prominent mix.
SLAVES OF CRIME (1987)-In Spanish with english subs. Extremely obscure Jess Franco film! This 1986 obscurity is a deliriously filmed erotic adventure that supposedly updates Sax Rohmer's Fu Manchu tales (Rohmer receives onscreen story credit, although I doubt if it's based on an actual story/novel. ). Lina Romay appears as the daughter of Fu Manchu, made up with heavy eye mascara (to appear oriental) and an outlandish hair style. A title card places the tall tale "in an exotic corner of the distant east, [a] paradise of the drug and the corruption." Members of the famous Rocky Walters rock & roll group are abducted by the seductive slaves of the female spawn of Dr. Fu Manchu (who is not seen but is heard on the soundtrack conversing with his daughter from beyond the pale) and transported to a hotel in the jungle, which doubles as an armed camp. There they are drugged, tortured and forced to sign over bank accounts and other financial holdings before being murdered and left in situations which make the deaths look accidental. This criminal enterprise is investigated by a spaced out rocker (Mel Rodrigo) who is trying to find his band companions. A karate fighting investigator and an Interpol agent are also on the case. After the rocker is also abducted and drugged the karate and Interpol guys move in.
HOUSE OF SPIES (1966)-In Spanish with english subs. Wonderfully entertaining Jess Franco Eurospy film starring Eddie Constantine! Dan Leyton, an American secret agent, is sent to uncover a network of spies in Turkey. The head of the Espionage Service in Istanbul, Colonel Spokane, believes they key to the case lies in a young woman´s residence. Dan is placed under the orders of Commander Pendleton who turns out to be an authoritarian woman. The key to the mystery turns out to be Spokane´s frivolous wife Janet, who unwittingly plays an important part in the enemy´s plans. This 1967 color Franco film picks up considerably in its last twenty minutes or so, when it gets serious, with an accompanying tightening of direction and cinematographic inventiveness, but the earlier parts show a lazy Franco indulging a few of his worst habits. According to the OBSESSION book, Franco shot this back to back with CARTAS BOCA ARRIBA (ATTACK OF THE ROBOTS), so perhaps there was an understandable diminution in the amount of energy and curiosity he could give to the project; or, perhaps, the money wasn't there to give the entirety an edge and a polish.
FURY IN THE TROPICS (1986)-IN SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBS. "Fury in the Tropics" is Jess Franco's ninth women-in-prison film proper, although many of his other 150+ films have women-in-prison-type themes and situations. Lina Romay stars as the proverbial prostitute with a heart of gold who lives and works in a bamboo-built brothel, regularly servicing the freedom fighters who stroll through. She falls in love with one of her customers, and she and one of her sister call girls are sent to a women's prison, where they are promptly stripped and whipped in the prison yard in front of the other prisoners -- the two are whipped with a riding crop more than fifty times! Shortly thereafter the women are stripped and hung by their wrists and then have their breasts and private areas poked by a sword. The women plot their escape, but cannot be saved from an incredibly brutal gang rape, even vicious by Franco's standards and even more protracted than the similar scene in Franco's WIP film "Ilsa, the Wicked Warden." Yes, Jess certainly knows how to please his audience.
BLOOD ON MY SHOES (1983)-IN SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBS. Obscure Jess Franco film starring Antonio Mayans, Lina Romay and Howard Vernon. Sangre en mis Zapatos (Blood on my shoes) is a crime/spy adventure along the lines of such earlier works as Kiss me Killer and Opalo de Fuego. While not the most widely available Franco titles, those are some of the more accomplished and accessible films of the director's post - 1971 period. The busy, pulpy plot of Sangre en mis Zapatos involves various agents spying on and double-crossing one another trying to locate a valuable formula encrypted in the music code (a hell of a McGuffin, Jess!). Lina Romay - the great Lina - gets to show off her comedy chops playing a totally silly but ultimately sympathetic character, very different from the tough survivor she'd played in Franco's excellent Furia en el Tropico. Antonio Mayans with his greying beard and shades plays an undercover CIA agent. He's rugged, charismatic and never bland.
WE ARE 18 (1959)-IN SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBS. Rare early comedy by Jesus Franco. The story, such as it is, concerns two 18-year-old students in Madrid, the idealistic, Shirleyish Maria-José and the down-to-earth, Laverne-like Pili, who are collaborating on a sort of "How I Spent My Winter Vacation" story. The girls have bought an ancient, broken-down car (painted bright yellow, no less) from their untrustworthy sad-sack of a cousin, Mariano (played by goggle-eyed comedian Antonio Ozores). They'd intended to go together for a trip down south, to see the sights and have some adventures. Unfortunately, the girls are too poor to have any real adventures, so they make up for the tedium of their daily lives by inventing bizarre episodes and writing them down.
GOLDEN JAIL (1976)-IN SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBS. Extremely RARE Jesus Franco film!! Mr Winter (Roger Darton) sees his Hong Kong prostitution ring threatened by the police and a rival gang. Consequently, he decides to move his organization to Paris, where he specializes himself in satisfying the requests of clients with very peculiar types of perversions, punishing the prostitutes who dare to rebel against him shutting them up in a cage with golden bars ...Also Stars Alice Arno and Evelyne Scott.
INTIMATE CONFESSIONS OF AN EXHIBITIONIST (1983) -IN SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Directors: Lina Romay (as Candy Coster) , Jesús Franco (uncredited), Stars: Lina Romay, Elisa Vela, Antonio Rebollo. Candy tells the story of her life, her dissatisfaction with her male lovers, her desire for her girlfriend Katy and the route that led her into stripping. This is 80 minutes of flesh, bordering on the hardcore, sometimes on the gynecological. Lina Romay plays a lonely woman who spies on a couple having sex in the room next to hers. Soon Romay builds up the courage to join them and soon finds herself with another couple who begin teaching her other sexual acts. Franco would remake this film three years later in El Miron y la exhibicionista.
ROLAND THE SEXIEST MAN IN THE WORLD (1975)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Directed by: Jesus Franco, Stars: Fred Williams, Richard Bigotini, Lina Romay, Pamela Stanford, and Monica Swinn. Lina was hot stuff in this one! A wealthy ex-playboy, Count Roland (Fred Williams) tires of married life to the sex guide magnate Barbara and decides to return to his old ways. He poses as a butler and becomes a servant to rich and beautiful women, but many complications ensue. What a strange piece of film. Part of Franco's short-lived collaboration with french producer Robert de Nesle, the Comptoir Français du Film's boss, this comedic gem is about a bored count who likes to hunt down pretty women, disguised as a servant.
THE GOBBLERS (1973)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS FOR THE FIRST TIME. Director: Jesús Franco (as Clifford Brown), Stars: Wal Davis, Alice Arno, Robert Woods, Lina Romay, and Monserat Prous. According to legend, a group of women escaped from Atlantis just before the destruction of the continent. They took refuge on a mysterious island, and founded a kingdom. Men who dared approach the island, were devoured by these sexually voracious Atlanteans, and thus they were called "gobblers". At the request of the magician Cagliostro, Maciste visits the island to free the gobblers from the evil spell of the knight Caronte and his lady, Parka... Les Gloutonnes is replete with mad pleasures. A talking gourd, a reappearance from Howard Vernon's medieval magicain Cagliostro, unpredicatably inserted female writhing scenes, the hero of a thousand Italian musclemen epics poncing around the forest in a frilly shirt like a vacationing Romantic poet, psychedelic music, a tickling scene, lots of echoed moaning... Les Gloutonnes will excite the committed Francophile.
THE HOTEL LIGUES (1981)-IN SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Directed by Jess Franco and starring Lina Romay, Robert Foster, and Lorna Green. Three couples meet in an elegant Costa del Sol hotel. They are from various social classes and are gathered here for totally different reasons. One couple has met through a matrimonial agency. Another is composed of a fashion designer and his wife who are on the verge of separation because of the husband's homosexuality and are here because the wife hopes to recover her husband's desire. The third couple is a German VIP, Ilsa, and her Gypsy gigolo who sells his charms for a few dollars. They are all going to be strongly attracted by Eva Bombon, a cabaret dancer, who came there to seek calm and solitude to prepare her next show. Her exuberant beauty is going to set their senses on fire and end their conflicts... very cordially! An almost exact remake of Elles Font Tout (1978) using extracts of scores from the 1974-75 period.
ALONE AGAINST TERROR (1986)-IN SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBS. Director: Jesús Franco (as Clifford Brown), Stars: Lina Romay, Mabel Escaño, Carmen Carrión. "Alone Against the Terror" is a remake by Jess Franco of his own film "The Sinister Eyes of Dr. Orloff". Lina Romay, billed here as Candace Coaster, plays a paralytic woman named Melissa who is confined to bed, cared for by her two sisters, played by Carmen Carrion and Mabel Escano, both frequent faces in Franco's 80's films. The sisters' father was strangely murdered when Melissa was a child. Eventually, Melissa grows to believe that her dead father is communicating with her and wants her to avenge his death by going after those responsible.
TRAPPED WOMEN (1986)-IN SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBS. The various Jess Franco reference books out there refer to this film (if they mention it at all) as an alternative title for "Furia en el Tropico" ("Fury In The Tropics"), a 1983 Women In Prison film starring Lina Romay and Veronica Seeton as two hapless hookers who are arrested for socializing with prison guard Robert Foster (Antonio Mayans), Ana Stern as the sadistic wardress and Ricardo Palacios as the governor who takes sexual advantage of her prisoners. They are not the same film at all, but "Mujeres Acorraladas" ("Trapped Women") - released three years after "Furia" - uses extensive footage from the earlier picture for its first 51 minutes, albeit with completely different music. At the point when Lina's character stumbles naked through the woods after the death of her fellow escapee, which is basically leading into the end of "Furia," "Mujeres" continues on for another 20 minutes or so, an entire additional third act in which Romay (now wearing a big wig) and Mayans meet (he's not shot here), talk, swim, and brave their way through the jungle to meet with a sequestered rebel leader. Franco chose to sign "Furia" as Clifford Brown and "Mujeres" with his own name, but this is not necessarily an indication that he was more proud of one cut than the other. (The video box for this film credits it to Clifford Brown, but the screen says otherwise.) Neither film is going to be mistaken for his best work, but both cuts contain material that makes them worth seeing by the ardent Franco fanatic. In "Mujeres", that material tends to fall in the last 20 minutes because it omits about that much material from the prison scenes, including much of their nudity - though this version isn't without nudity of its own.
TRIP TO BANGKOK, COFFIN INCLUDED (1985)-IN SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Jesus Franco, Cast: Howard Vernon, Carlos Aguilar, Christian Borck, Rafael Corés, Ana Espejo, Jesus Franco. During a political event in Bangkok an assassin murders a British Ambassador. The British government sends in a secret service agent to Bangkok to find his assassin. After a series of investigations the secret service agent tracks down the assassin who killed the British Ambassador. Things become more complicated when it is discovered that the assassin is blind and suffers from a rare skin disease making it difficult to get any useful information out of him.
LUCKY THE INSCRUTABLE (1967)-FINALLY AVAILABLE IN ITS PROPER RATIO OF 2.147:1! An early film from the indefatigable Jess Franco...this is one of the countless spy-spoofs made in the 1960's. It was obviously made on a fraction of a fraction of the budget of a James Bond spy flick or even a Matt Helm spy-spoof. Still, Franco always gets the most out of his very low budgets. This is movie also has elements of the then-popular "Batman" TV series with its kind of campy, pop-art sensibility (although it was probably much more inspired by European serials and "fumetti" comic strips than the American TV show). The hero "Lucky" (Ray Danton, then an actor but later the director of the 70's cult film "Psychic Killer") often wears a Batman-type costume as he becomes involved in some ridiculous spy caper to blow up a counterfeiting factory for some reason. (The plot actually makes little sense, but it doesn't really matter). This is a very energetic film apparently filmed all over the world (Rio, Europe, America). The music is good and it is occasionally funny. It is sexy, but in a whole different way then his graphic post-1975 work (which too often seemed to involve VERY long scenes of Franco basically giving his actress-wife Lina Romay a gynecological exam/colonoscopy with his beloved zoom lens). Here though he has collected a whole bevy of voluptuous Euro-beauties like Teresa Gimpera, Barbara Bold, Beba Loncar, and my perennial favorite, Rosalba Neri. He puts them in sexy, scanty costumes and gives them all fast-paced flirtation and/or seduction scenes with the hero. I'm not sure about the title though. Somehow they went from a Spanish title that translates to "Lucky, the Fearless" to an English-language title "Lucky,the Inscrutable" (an adjective usually applied to the Chinese). By any title though, this movie is surprisingly entertaining.
SOLITARY ROAD (1984)-IN SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Jesús Franco (as Jess Franco), Stars: Antonio Mayans, Lina Romay, Ricardo Palacios. The life of a private eye in Spain is very different from the one surrounded by blondes and booze that we see in movies. Especially if the detective in the case is our hero Alfredo Pereira, who divides his time between his more or less scandalous cases in the most luxurious and international corner of the Costa del Sol, and his unsual private life. His private life is called Flavia, and it must be admitted she is a blonde, with huge blue eyes. The thing is, she is seven years old and the daughter of our detective, who was given custody of her when he divorced his wife. A new case puts Pereira in contact with a beautiful woman, Eva Radeck, the wife of a foreign financier. Their story is going to perhaps take up too much of Alfredo Pereira's time as the investigation takes on increasingly sombre tints of hatred, vengeance and death. Pereira, who is only tough on the outside, gets caught in the web spun by the seductive Eva and becomes an innocent party in the case, while continuing to be Flavia's soft-hearted daddy. Events come to a head with the vicious murder of Eva.
GIRL WITH THE SEE THROUGH PANTIES (1981)-LETTERBOXED PRINT. ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITE JESS FRANCO FILMS! Stars Robert Foster, Lina Romay and Rosa Valenty. Private Eye Al Crosby (Robert Foster) is hired to do some tracking down and he gets the help of two hookers (one played by Lina Romay). At first Crosby thinks this is your typical murder hunt but it turns out a woman has hired him to find her missing penis. You see, she was once a man and after her operation, she returned home with her penis in a jar and someone stole it. Yep, this is a Franco movie. That big revelation doesn't come to the end, which is a shame because it would have been a lot more fun if the PI was going after that instead of the murder plot we have to sit through. The story makes no sense whatsoever so the film becomes very boring. There's a great music score by Pablo Villa and Franco and of course there are countless sex scenes with all sorts of beautiful women getting naked. There's an erotic threesome at the start of the film as well. Franco is known for leaving mistakes in his films if they come off as something that might happen and one of these is the highlight in this film. During the threesome, Romay is trying to get Foster's pants off but both of them are struggling to do so and they finally break out of character and just start laughing.
BLUES ON POP STREET (1983)-IN SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBS. EXTREMELY RARE JESS FRANCO FILM! Stars: Antonio Mayans, Lina Romay, Trino Trives. Felipe Marlboro, capably incarnated by Antonio Mayans ("Robert Foster"), is a seedy private investigator who takes up a missing person case at the behest of the girl friend of "Macho Jim" (Jose Llamas) in the punk infested coastal resort. It's a sinister, retro place reminding us at times of the mise en scene of BLADE RUNNER, only without sets, just the bright, tropical, tacky reality of Benidorm, a tourist trap on the Spain's east coast which seems to situated in a time warp where all the men seem to hang out in a smoky bar decorated with posters of Bogart and Mae West, waiting for trouble to erupt. The residents of this corrupt town all look like they base their fashion sense on 1980's MTV punk rock videos. The men look like either Sid Vicious or a member of A Flock of Seagulls, and the women sport the slutty attire and pouty sexuality of the late Robert Palmer's back-up vocalists in the music video of "Addicted to Love." Likewise, (as the visual style of the film is comic strip array of primary colors and weird camera angles. The plot has Marlboro enlisting the aid of piano player Sam Chesterfield (played by Jess Franco himself) in an all out effort to bust the town's drug and dirty money kingpin Saul Winston (Trino Trives).
AS A SPY CHARGES aka CUANTO COBRA UNA ESPIA. (1984)-IN ENGLISH WITH SPANISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Jesús Franco (as Jess Franco), Stars: Juan Soler, Lina Romay, Eva León. Lina and her dorky new husband are on their honeymoon at a Spanish resort and unfortunately pick up two hitchhikers, who are really spies that hide secret microfilm in their car. And then of course lots of different parties are trying to get their hands on the microfilm, with lots of silly slapstick situations as result.
FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER (1983)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS. Reconstructed version that Franco originally wanted to release. Instead Eurocine butchered it and then added scenes from THE AWFUL DR ORLOF. This is as close to the original version as can be currently be viewed. The original version of this film, entitled "The Fall of the House of Usher", was shown only once in a fantastic film festival in Madrid. The bad reception from the public decreed the commercial death of the movie, forcing the director to shoot additional scenes that created two new completely different versions. Only the third version is available on DVD. Enjoy this rarity!
THE BIG PAIN IN THE ASSES (1974)aka les emmerdeuses-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, AT LAST!! This is a Jess Franco ‘red lips’ espionage film shot back-to-back alongside a series of sex comedies produced by Robert de Nesle. This one is WEIRD, like a cheese-induced fever dream. We get two spies, Pina and Tina, who take turns disguising as the Golden Panther, a notorious detective/jewel thief. They work alongside the agents of Interpol to acquire diamonds from the villainous Mr. Radeck. They meet various weird characters (including Monica Swinn wearing a strap-on) and get into plenty of bizarre situations. There are exotic locations, ‘cat & canary’ stripteases, diamonds hidden in dildos (and more, um, intimate places), backstabbing and I shit you not, the Monster of fucking Duranstein! This film has no pretenses of having intellect and it relishes in that fact. The actors are clearly having a ball with the material and even the dubbers as well can barely contain their laughter. The cast is primarily made up of actors from Franco’s sex comedies Le jouisseur and Les chatouilleuses (minus Fred Williams). Pamela Stanford wears her unforgettable wig from Lorna the Exorcist. The music is recycled from André Bénichou’s psychedelic score for Le miroir obscène, the erotic re-edit of Al otro lado del espejo. Has to be seen to be believed! Les Grandes Emmerdeuses is an almost indescribable oddity that has to be seen to be believed. It's one of those loose, playful films in which you're invited to watch Franco and his cast simply daydream a movie into existence, on the most threadbare of budgets, with the minimum of preparation. We see Jess and Lina Romay and a few regular compadres (Pamela Stanford, Monica Swinn, Bigotini, Ramon Ardid) wandering between hotel rooms and seaside locations in the middle of the swinging seventies, fucking and chatting and fooling around, set to a wonderful jazz-rock soundtrack by 1974's top of the Franco pops, Andre Benichou. Narrative tropes derived from crime and espionage potboilers jostle with softcore pornography and horror, conveyed with freewheeling surrealism. Abstract and blissful, far-out and funny, this is Franco Seventies-style.
THEY CALL ME JESS (2014)-IN SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBS. 100 minute documentary where Jess Franco and Lina Romay discuss all things Franco related.
PAROXIMUS (1969)-IN ITALIAN WITH ENGLISH SUBS. The notorious Italian version of Jess Franco's "Venus in Furs". It's considerably shorter than the American version. - It starts with James Darren playing the trumpet in the beach, not with the credits. - The credits are different than in the American version, here they play over a mix of a freeze frame of James Darren and some shots of Maria Rohm. The credits music is different too, here it's an instrumental version of the "Venus in Furs" song. - The whole film seems to lack most of the crappy post-production optical effects which were present in the American version, including filters, slow motion and the like, and which Franco criticizes in the "Jesus in Furs" interview. - However, the Italians put some optical colorful shit over some scenes which looked normal in the American version. So God knows what the hell Jess wanted to do. BTW, the credits regarding editors (Mattei is credited here!), screenwriters and director, among others, have been changed. Franco is credited as "Hans Billian", a German sex film maker..
JESUS FRANCO: A WAY TO LIVE (2007)-IN SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBS. ALL ENCOMPASSING INTERVIEW WITH THE LATE GREAT FRANCO. At times, we believe we know someone because we read or researched about him, or saw his work, and spent hours together gathering data and information. And then, one day, we come across this same person in a cafe: we come up to him and have a personal chat with him for a while. And at this, all we thought we knew about him is left behind”. Based on this theory, director Kike Mesa tries for a sincere unprejudiced approach to film maker Jesús Franco. There is an eastern proverb that reads: “Do you really know a person when you travel with him?” This is a voyage into the very heart of Jesús Franco, by himself.
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..
THE JAGUAR (1963)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. RARE JESS FRANCO WESTERN! Director: Jesús Franco, Stars: José Suárez, Sylvia Sorrente, Todd Martin. Uncut and widescreen. Saltierra storms the hacienda of ruling Colonel Mendoza and kills everyone inside except for Mendoza's son Jose, who escapes. Several years later, Saltierra controls of the area, but he's constantly sabotaged by a band of revolutionaries led by a man known as "The Jaguar."
IN SEARCH OF THE GOLDEN DRAGON (1983)-IN SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, AT LAST! RARE JESS FRANCO FILM MIXING KUNG FU AND EDGAR ALLEN POE! Once more, Jess Franco makes an incredible film out of nothing. With some Chinese-looking people, two elephants, a tiger, a snake, a monkey and a turtle he succeeds in adapting Poe's classic "The golden beetle". The story is about a little girl (Flavia Hervas, in a pretty good performance) who becomes involved in the search of an ancient treasure, hidden by oriental natives in order not to allow strangers to take it. So the immortal original tale is crazily moved into a kids-oriented martial arts movie, which mixes the Tarzan classic spirit with the gruesome humor from its Spanish director.
DRACULA BARCELONA (2017)-IN SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Barcelona 1970. Despite the dictatorship, Barcelona aims to be an open and modern city. At that time, the brilliant, ultraproductive and transgressor Jess Franco, decides to shoot his Dracula in Barcelona. And the experimental filmmaker Pere Portabella will record that singular shoot through a making of avant-garde. The cinema inside the cinema in a documentary that forms the meeting between two filmmakers who have imposed their personality in the margins of the industry. Jess Franco from the fantastic, the terror or the eroticism. Portabella from experimentation and political commitment.
THE GIRL WITH RED LIPS (1986)-IN SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBS. Director: Jesús Franco, Stars: Karin Dior, Mabel Escaño, Antonio Mayans, and Lina Romay. Female detective Labios Rojos is hired by an emir to recover a precious stolen diamond.
THE LAST OF THE FILAPINAS (1986)-IN SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBS. ANOTHER JESS FRANCO FILM APPEARING IN AN ENGLISH FRIENDLY FORM FOR THE FIRST TIME!! Director: Jesús Franco, Stars: Lina Romay, Flavia Mayans, Helena Garret. Fleeing a U.S. attack during the war, 2 sisters and their governess are shipwrecked on a (not so ) deserted island which in Franco's world means sleaze and nudity abounds!!
THE GOLDEN BUG(1980)-IN SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBS. ONE OF THE RAREST JESS FRANCO FILMS EVER!! Director: Jesús Franco (as Jess Franco), Writers: Edgar Allan Poe (novel) (as Edgar Alan Pöe), Jesús Franco (screenplay) (as Jess Franco). Stars: Lina Romay, Emilio Álvarez, Max H. Boulois, Jess Franco. A unique adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's The Gold-Bug, this rare avis in Jesús Franco's filmography was lost for a long time until the Spanish Film Library recovered it for its archive. In it, Franco tells the story of the maladjustments of a newlywed couple during their honeymoon, when it coincides with a treasure hunt. Alex Mendibil describes the film as a romantic comedy-adventure, "It's about newlyweds who find paper with magic ink from Poe's story. It quickly becomes a jungle adventure romp, with the couple being chased by fake Chinese villains and Max Boulois as a corrupt consul. There is also a fair with a spooky train, a scene on a ferris wheel, toy robots that self-destruct, and an ending in the style of GOLDEN TEMPLE AMAZONS (1984), with skeletons and the golden scarab. We have the typical music themes by Daniel White, a cameo by Jess, and the locations from BLOODY MOON (1980)." "The movie has a very fast pace" Alex adds "and a very cool tone. It's a very small project, without ambitions, but also very effective."
THE CRAZY NUNS (1975)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, UNCUT 96 MINUTE PRINT. FIRST TIME THIS JESUS FRANCO FILM HAS APPEARED IN ENGLISH! Director: Jesús Franco (as Clifford Brown), Stars: Lina Romay, Fred Williams, Olivier Mathot In an unspecified region of Middle America at an unspecified time in history, revolutionary hunk Carlos Ribas (Fred Williams) holes up in a brothel, where he is protected from the authorities by the cigar-wielding Madame Simone (Monica Swinn.) In the opening scenes the brothel is busted by the pompous General Pancho López (Richard Bigotini), who arrests Ribas then takes all the girls prisoner with the intention of presenting them as a gift to his troops. However, these girls are resourceful and as they are being carted off to the camp, they hijack their captors then flee into the woods. The first place they come to is a deserted Benedictine Monastery, where they quickly make a deal with the caretaker (Alfred Baillou), and will don the habits of nuns until the civil-war passes. López and his men soon pick up the trail, but when they enter the holy ground they are easily fooled by the disguised prostitutes. Nonetheless, López leaves a small detachment to keep watch over the nuns. These men are all as dim-witted as their leader and are soon distracted and seduced, one by one. Meanwhile, it is publicly announced that Ribas will be executed, so the girls have to get involved and rescue ''this great patriot, especially one so well hung.'' After kidnapping the wayward son of the Regional Governor (Olivier Mathot), the girls are now ready to make a deal at sword-point....
THE CAPITAIN WAS 15 YEARS OLD (1973)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS FOR THE FIRST TIME, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Jesús Franco, Stars: José Manuel Marcos, Edmund Purdom, Marc Cassot. It deals with a young European Dick Sand (José Luis Marcos) who wishes to travel around the world , as his godfather (Edmund Purdom) assigns to care his newly wife . His wealthy father Admiral Marlowe agrees to send him on a global expedition aboard a vessel . As he travels aboard the Whale-ship called "Pilgrim" captained by Hull (Marc Cassot) . Following dramatic happenings , as the captain is attacked by a whale and the second-in-command (Luis Barboo) also diez , as the boat becomes without a captain . They undergo a hazardous voyage , and to keep all sailors , cook (William Berger) , the motlew crew , and passengers (Sergio Mendizábal , Marisol Delgado, Doris Thomas) in peace, he shall command the ship and all of them accept this arrangement . Along the way they face numerous betrayals , dangers , risks , treason and slavery.
SEX IS CRAZY (191)-IN SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Jesús Franco (as Jesse Franco), Stars: Lina Romay, Lynn Endersson, Antonio Mayans. Bizarre comedy from Jess, the story revolves around a stage show that has aliens kidnapping Earth women and making them pregnant so that they can give birth to 600 babies an hour! However some real aliens see the show and decide that it's all a very good idea. Extremely bizarre Jess Franco flick about an actress (Lina Romay) who puts on sex shows with a story involving aliens who kidnap girls and knock them up. The first gag is that the women, due to the super sperm, can deliver 600 babies an hour. The second gag is that real aliens see this and decide to get in on the action. This is probably the best sex comedy I've seen from Franco but I had to view it in Spanish without any subs so with subs I might like it even more. Romay, when she's not showing off her sex talent, can be very funny with a light comic touch and she gets to deliver that several times throughout the film. The sex scenes are all very soft and it's rather funny seeing Franco, a sex director, show why "sex is crazy" to look at. The alien make up at the start of the film is cheap but very effective looking.
QUEEN OF THE TABARIN (1961)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS FOR THE FIRST TIME FOR THIS VERY RARE JESUS FRANCO FILM! LETTERBOXED HD PRINT. Director: Jesús Franco, Stars: Mikaela, Yves Massard, Juan Antonio Riquelme. This musical romance concerns the tragic entanglements of a beautiful Gypsy girl named Lolita in 1892 Spain. Lolita is singing at a party which she has crashed and she meets the wealthy Fernando, who is posing as a waiter to flirt with her. They begin to fall in love. Yet after Lolita finds out Fernando is engaged, she is devastated and moves to Paris; there she makes her glamorous debut at the Tabarín club. Fernando reads of her great success and goes to Paris to see her. Cult starlet Soledad Miranda has a cameo in this movie. This was an important film for Jess Franco as it was his entry into the professional film world. Several years later, Soledad became Franco's star in numerous movie.
GIRLS IN THONGS (1981)-IN SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBS. HERE'S ANOTHER RARE JESS FRANCO FILM IN ENGLISH FOR THE FIRST TIME!! Directors: Lina Romay (as Rosa Almirall), Jesús Franco (as Rosa Almirall), Stars: Lina Romay, Antonio Mayans, Eva León. Most of the time we get the guys chasing the woman around and making a fool of themselves. At other times we have them playing with each other, fighting or various other things. The film moved at a nice pace and it appeared everything was paying off quite well. The cast includes Lina Romay in a small role, Flavia Hervas, Antonio Mayans, Jose Llamas, Evan Leon and Analia Ivars. The cinematography was better than your typical 80s Franco flick and the music score wasn't too bad either.
BANGKOK CITY OF THE DEAD (1985)-IN SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBS. Director : Jesus Franco, Cast : Lina Romay, Antonio Mayans, José Llamas, Helena Garret, Bork Gordon, Eduardo Fajaro. During a cruise, a gang of oriental pirates abducts Marta, the daughter of billionaire Flanagan, who asks the adventurer Panama Joe for help. BANGKOK, CITA CON LA MUERTE is a fun, frenetically staged, crime/adventure/martial arts conglomerate shot in very bright Fujicolor by the resourceful Juan Soler Cozar. A frenzied lark with a downbeat ending and another Franco obscurity. Bork Gordon (Christian Bork) plays the role of Panama Joe, a Private Eye very much in the rumpled mold of Peter Falk's COLUMBO.
JUDOKA'S SHADOW VS DR WONG (1985)-IN SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Jesús Franco, Cast: José Llamas ('Bruce Lyn'), Lina Romay, Jesus Franco, Albino Graziani, Lia Kaplan, Daniel Katz, Tasai Pan. Dr. Wong (Jess Franco) sends his thugs to eliminate Mr. Jung. The “judoka shadow” of Bruce Lyn (José Llamas) is cast against a wall, swearing to take revenge. Meanwhile, Lina Romay and Albino Graziani, both of whom work for the British secret service, investigate Jung’s murder. Wong is also out to eliminate Macedo, a Filipino gangster involved in dubious dealings, with the purpose of having the whole market to himself. But Bruce and his judoka shadow (which does the fighting for him) interfere with his plans, leading him to send the beautiful Honey Eyes to do him in. Honey Eyes sets a trap for Bruce, but the latter is saved in the nick of time by the British agents. What follows are numerous fights and chases until Bruce and Dr, Wong finally meet, face to face. The issue is raised of a boat bearing a heroin cargo. The two secret agents find the boat, though this turns out to be manned by two corrupt millionaires. Bruce Lyn arrests them but then, on recalling that his masters had taught him to be compassionate, sets them free.
VAMPIRESAS 1930 (1962)-IN SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. HERE'S ANOTHER JESS FRANCO APPEARING WITH ENGLISH SUBS FOR THE FIRST TIME! In the dying days of silent cinema Daniel works as stunt double and Tony plays the violin to create the right atmosphere for the star, Dora. They also perform in an Italian restaurant in exchange for food. One day Carolina enters the restaurant, an unempolyed circus performer. The two friends take pity on her and lead her to their residence, full of out of work musicians. But trouble is brewing. Sound movies are just round the corner, causing upheavels in the business. Their lives interact with a gang of murderous counterfeiters and the four are forced to go on the run disguised as an all black music band.
QUARTIER DES FEMMES (1974)-IN FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, UNCUT JESS FRANCO WIP FILM IS THE PREVIOUSLY UNSEEN 99 MINUTE VERSION, 22 MINUTES LONGER THAN THE US DVD RELEASE!! n a small South American dictatorship, Raimondo and his fiancée Beatriz are framed for a crime they didn’t commit, then sentenced and deported to Devil's Island, a notorious penitentiary where all are kept brutally in line by Lieutenant Hecklerm. Beatriz, meanwhile, is quartered in the equally repressive ''Women's Ward''. Under a sadistic lesbian, the captives suffer and are driven to revolt. Beatriz wins the friendship of Rosa, who is also a snitch for the cruel chieftain, and then manages to escape, along with her lover. However the guards swarm the island and quickly catch up with the fugitives. Their lawyer tries to get them acquitted but in vain. He cannot even obtain a pardon as the military leadership remains absolute. Finally, subjected to ever worse tortures, Raimondo and Beatriz will be shot. The original theatrical running times for this film are stated by Stephen Thrower as 93 minutes for France, and 97 minutes for Spain (although I think he meant 77 minutes), This new version runs to 1:39:44.
WHITE SLAVE (1985)-FIRST TIME FOR THIS JESUS FRANCO FILM TO APPEAR WITH ENGLISH SUBS! Cast: Lina Romay, Mabel Escano, Yvonne Manuel. Mary and Oliver decide to go on safari for their honeymoon. The expedition's guide and his lover lay a trap for the newlyweds because there is a tribe who will exchange diamonds for young girls to sacrifice. The police are on the trail of the guide because of the strange dissapearances of young women in the area. Mary and Oliver have a number of adventures, and there's another group interested in the diamonds...
CRYPT OF THE CONDEMNED PART 1 AND 2 (2012)-IN SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBS. Jess Franco's last film! “Bless you, tremulous, throbbing flesh” a female narrator intones over a sensual interlude between several women in a room flushed with orange light. Yes, we are in the realm of Jess Franco and this is just one interlude in a two part 150 minute epic poem of joyous, mysterious, interactive, nonstop sensuality and erotic sensation. One doesn’t want to call it Sex, at least not of the traditional sort. It’s more a display of erotic signs and motifs in the cinema. A nude actress points a video camera at the camera shooting the scene, breaking through the “fourth wall” of cinema. The group of Sapphic lovers often look at the camera. the viewer, who becomes part of the “action” or matrix of figures pleasuring each other in a no-budget labyrinth of mirrors, wicker chairs and television monitors on which the encounters are caught from other angles. There is no comfortable plane of focus. The women seem to be moving in slow motion, or staggered motion. The image sometimes momentarily freezes. Sometimes we see the photographer of the film/film within the film and what she is shooting in the same set up. The interior is obviously someone’s apartment in Malaga, but it represents a crypt of our Lesbos lovers obsessively and with obvious joy loving each other in lieu of the Exterminating Angel (Bunuel’s?) who will arrive for the judgement which makes up LA CRIPTA DE LAS CONDENADAS II.