[ REVIEW ]

INDY MOVIE REVIEW
 
Vampyros Lesbos (1971)
(บรรยายอังกฤษ)
 
   
 

Director:Jess Franco Producer:Artur Brauner, Karl Heinz Mannchen Screenplay by:Jaime Chávarri, Jesús Franco  

Running time:89 minutes Country: West Germany, Spain Language:German Genre: Horror, Exploitation Subtitle:English 

Starring: Ewa Strömberg as Linda Westinghouse, Soledad Miranda as Countess Nadine Carody, Andrés Monales as Omar,
Dennis Price as Dr. Alwin Seward
, Paul Müller as Dr. Steiner, Heidrun Kussin as Agra, Michael Berling as Dr. Seward''s assistant,
Beni Cardoso as Dead woman (uncredited)
, Jesús Franco as Memmet (uncredited), José Martínez Blanco as Morpho (uncredited)

 
 

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Special Features:
- Trailer
- Photogallery


 

Storyline:
Jess Franco''s 1970 erotic horror has become a cult landmark in Eurotrash entertainment. The vamp of the title, Countess Carody, exerts her diabolical charms on the sexually frustrated Linda Westinghouse (Ewa Stroemberg) with predictably bloody results. Cue lots of inept close-ups of heaving flesh, writhing scorpions and fluttering butterflies.


 

Digital Retribution Review:
Firstly I must ''fess up to not being the world''s biggest Franco fan. In all honesty, far from it. Sure, a film called Vampyros Lesbos and with a woman that good looking on the cover should have been added to my collection as soon as it hit the stands but, nope, the two feared words - ''Franco'' and ''Jess'' (though not in that order) put this one pretty low down on my ''to purchase'' list. Now, as Umbrella Entertainment brings this early slice of Franco weirdness to Australian video stores and a review copy to the TerrorOz mailbox, I''m required to check it out. Forced to. The gun''s at my head...

 


After watching a performance by stunning striptease artist Nadine (Miranda), Linda (Stroemberg) finds herself joining Nadine, (who turns out to be Countess Nadine - clue number one), at her island retreat to tie up some property deal or similar. She is warned not to go as ''madness and death rule(s) the island'' but finds herself drawn by the mysterious Countess. Her first few moments on the island with the Countess consist of a quick chat, followed by a brief bit of skinny-dipping and nude sunbathing. Linda soon discovers, over a glass or two of something passing as ''red wine'', that Nadine''s family tree contains one Count Dracula. (Unsubtle clues number two and number three.) The drink goes straight to Linda''s head and she passes out at the table. Since a) this is a Jess Franco flick and b) it''s entitled ''Lesbian Vampires'', I figure that you can guess what comes next
 


I never expected to use the words ''entertaining'' or ''visually impressive'' in the same sentence as ''Jess'' and ''Franco'' (see above) but, heck, Vampyros Lesbos is both. While it''s fair to say that the film is, well - slightly lacking, in the plot department it does boast some great shots and some memorable set-pieces - the viewer should simply forget the film''s shortcomings, plot-wise, and enjoy the eye-candy provided by Franco. The film''s dream-like atmosphere is also helped by the gentle pace and some nicely lit scenes with strong reds being the order of the day (very Argento), all helped along by the insane but extremely enjoyable and appropriate music score.
 


It has to be said that the visual appeal of the film is not only in the set design and lighting but in the cast also. Both leading ladies are nothing short of stunning but the undoubted star of the show is Miranda - she really is one of the most gorgeous actresses to grace the Euro-Horror genre. (Miranda would make one more film with Franco before her death in a road accident, leaving Lina Romay to take up her post as Franco''s leading lady.) Both actresses are happy to perform the film''s almost constant nude scenes which, happily, remain softcore, avoiding the lame hardcore that Franco introduced into a few of his latter movies. Again, Miranda steals the show with two stunning striptease scenes that are without a doubt the most memorable sequences in the movie.
 


Yep, I loved this movie - it''s mad, great too look at, carries an irresistible score and thoroughly entertains for the whole of its screen time. Blimey, a Franco flick I enjoyed! I''m almost sounding like a fan. Whatever next?
 


I approached this movie from a position of doubt, reluctant to subject myself to more Franco nonsense but I have to report that I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this film. Franco has served up a dreamlike slice of sleaze that is visually appealing (for a variety of reasons) and hugely entertaining - plus there is that music score to serve as the ''icing on the cake.'' Great stuff.
 


Slant magazine Review:
Jesus Franco''s Vampyros Lesbos is a pyscho-sexadelic celebration of softcore lesbianism and vampire lore. The sexy Linda Westinghouse (Ewa Strömberg) is lured into the film''s erotic world of vampirism by the even-sexier Countess Nadine Carody (Soledad Miranda, who was killed shortly after the film finished shooting). Nadine''s seaside abode is a minimalist''s wet dream; Eames-era furniture is the perfect compliment for the film''s erotic stripteases. Unlike some of Franco''s more rushed productions, Lesbos is effortlessly dreamlike if not entirely loopy. At its best, Lesbos is an old-fashioned celebration of lesbian angst; indeed, Nadine''s hypnotic calls to Linda could be the repressed wails of the female subconscious. Franco''s attention for color and overwrought metaphors (here, kites and scorpions figure prominently) adds to the film''s sinewy allure. If anything, check it out for the film''s legendary retro soundtrack.




 

 





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