Archive for Lina Romay

Women Behind Bars (1975) Review

Posted in Women Behind Bars with tags , , on January 29, 2014 by Last Road Reviews

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WOMEN BEHIND BARS

** ½ Out of 5

Release Date- 1975

Running Time- 80-Minutes

Rating- NR

Screenplay- R. Marceignac

Director- Jesùs Franco (as Rick Deconnink)

Starring- Lina Romay, Roger Darton, Martine Steed, Nathalie Chape, Denis Torre

Released in 1975 Women Behind Bars is a women in prison film by Jess Franco and its the typical subpar film that he made throughout his career. Jess Franco is quite a frustrating filmmaker as he’s made some good films such as A Virgin Among the Living Dead and Nightmares Come at Night and made quite a good film with the Awful Dr. Orlof, but a good bulk of his work was quite atrocious and Women Behind Bars isn’t really an exception. I was hoping for some trashy fun like Sadomania, but this film isn’t nearly as sleazy despite being on the infamous video nasty list. Women Behind Bars is a little more plot driven than one might be used to in a Jess Franco film, but that really isn’t a good thing since the film isn’t so much bad as it is quite boring.

In 1969 Jess Franco directed 99 Women, which is the film many cite as the one that changed the direction of the women in prison movie however I’d say it was the Roger Corman productions of the early 70s that really shaped the WIP film and served as the main influence for these films while at the peak of their popularity, which isn’t meant to discredit Jess Franco, but while 99 Women came first I think most filmmakers and fans of the WIP genre would cite the Corman films as the most influential.

The screenplay was written by R. Marceignac though the IMDb credits Marius Lesoeur under the name Marius Lefrere. Marceignac’s script is very much driven by plot, but it just isn’t strong enough to carry the film. After 3 men pull off a heist, two of the men are shot by 1 of the thieves. He than is later shot by his girlfriend Shirley Fields (Romay) who than turns herself in and claims she shot him because he was cheating on her, but others suspect it was for the jewels and once in prison she’s subjected to torture to make her talk and give up the location of the jewels. The script is quite bland with boring characters and a straight forward plot with very little else added in and while decently plotted the script is quite boring.

Jess Franco under the name Rick Deconnink (IMDb credits it to him under the name A.M. Frank) makes one of his more plot driven films, but that isn’t such a good thing at all. Women Behind Bars was a little better made than most of Jess Franco’s films as more often than not his films were a bit shoddy and even his better films were rough around the edges. Of all the films I’ve seen by Franco from a pure filmmaking side of things I’d say Bloody Moon was his best, but he was pretty much a director for hire and best way to describe it is when an indie filmmaker makes a studio film with no control. Women Behind Bars isn’t exactly good filmmaking, but it is a bit better put together than a lot of Franco’s work, but where it might be better made in some regard it lacks the fun factor. The pace of the film is quite sluggish and even at only 80-minutes the film feels overly long. It isn’t until roughly the midway mark any action really happens and even than the pace never picks up. There is some girl on girl action and while you see every part of their bodies if you catch my meaning, but in typical Franco fashion its poorly shot, which makes it difficult to see much outside of a couple of shots and add in the dark lighting what should be a great scene isn’t very erotic and quite boring. Any scenes of torture, which are only a couple is too shoddy to take serious. Jess Franco delivers a very subpar and sluggishly paced film that lacks the fun and sleaze often found in these films. Really the only good news is the film is only 80-minutes, but even with that brief running time it can be a chore to sit through.

Overall I didn’t exactly hate Women Behind Bars, but I often found myself checking to see how much time left as its more boring than just bad. From a technical side Women Behind Bars isn’t exactly well made, but its not as shoddy as some of Franco’s other films. The only reason to really see this is if you’re a fan of Franco and Lina Romay or you like the WIP film, but in that case you can find better films by Franco and Romay and can find far better WIP films as this lacks the fun in others of its type. I’m not a huge Jess Franco fan, but I am more into his films than I used to be, but I think most will feel as I did in regards to Women Behind Bars.

Jess Franco appears in the film as Bill who is after the jewels. IMDb credits him using the alias Clifford Brown, but I didn’t notice the name in the credits so Jess was either uncredited or he used a different name as all the info on IMDb is pretty much incorrect.

Kiss Me Killer (1977) Review

Posted in Kiss Me Killer with tags , , , on March 17, 2013 by Last Road Reviews

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KISS ME KILLER

** Out of 5

Release Date- March 31st, 1977

Running Time- 99-Minutes

Rating- R

Screenplay- David Khunne & Roland Marceignac

Director- Roland Marceignac (Jesus Franco)

Starring- Alberto Dalbés, Acosta, Alice Arno, Lina Romay

Released in 1977, Kiss Me Killer directed Jesus Franco under the name Roland Marceignac is a remake of one of his movies from the 60s and while Kiss Me Killer had potential to be a fun revenge themed crime/drama, Franco though just makes a mess of a film that’s boring visually and a bit confusing in execution. Drug kingpin Freddy Carter (Dalbés) is betrayed by members of his gang and left for dead. 2-years later, Freddy is back and out for revenge.

The screenplay by David Khunne & Roland Marceignac is poorly plotted despite an interesting idea. The characters are dull and boring and the script is just simply put a mess. Again the idea is interesting and with better writers this could have been something decent rather than the hack job it turned out to be.

As director, Jesus Franco or should I say Roland Marceignac delivers a sloppy and poorly paced film as well as a poorly shot film. The few action scenes are boring and lifeless the crime/drama part of the film is quite boring and there is no excitement to be found here at all with the story. Nothing here really works and its basically hack filmmaking. At 99-minutes the film is also way too long and it can be a chore to sit through. Kiss Me Killer like many of Franco’s other films is also a soft core porn and Franco leaves nothing to the imagination as he zooms in on and gets very close shots of a certain part of the female body. The sex scenes aren’t very erotic for the most part and are quite boring, but Lina Romay is so beautiful that the scenes are also very hot simply due to her. While some felt the soft core aspect of the film took away from the story I felt it added to the film as Franco fails at every turn with a boring and lifeless film and the sex scenes are about the only real thing of interest and again despite the sex scenes also being a hack job they work simply due to Lina Romay being total hotness.

Overall Kiss Me Killer is quite a boring and sloppy film and while I liked the idea behind the film, Jesus Franco simply doesn’t have the skill level to pull it off. I very much get the appeal of Franco’s films and there are some by him I do enjoy, but for the most part his films are quite poor (and not always in a good way) and Kiss Me Killer is just a bore of a film only really saved by the stunning Lina Romay. You’d be better off fast forwarding through the film and only watching her scenes. Franco fans might get something out of this, but for those who feel he’s hit or miss like I do will mostly be zoning out of this boring mess.

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Women in Horror: Lina Romay (photos are explicit) Rated X

Posted in Women of Horror with tags on March 16, 2013 by Last Road Reviews

Warning to all those viewing the photos in this blog are X-rated for the most part so if you have a problem with nudity its best you move along.

Lina Romay best known for her work with Jesus Franco who also happened to be her husband (how lucky is he?) No doubt Lina Romay is one of the most stunning women to ever appear in European cult cinema.

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Female Vampire (1973) Review

Posted in Female Vampire with tags , , , , on March 11, 2013 by Last Road Reviews

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FEMALE VAMPIRE

*** Out of 5

Tagline- Maailman Kuulu Shokki

Release Date- April 14th, 1973

Running Time- 100-Minutes

Rating- NR

Screenplay- Gerard Brisseau & J.P. Johnson

Director- J.P. Johnson (Jesus Franco)

Starring- Lina Romay, Jack Taylor, Jesus Franck, Luis Barboo

At one time in the horror genre there was a saying horror films were one step above porn, but with Female Vampire you can make a case for this being one step below porn. The production values are cheap and at times the camera out of focus (not sure if that was a creative choice or Franco being a hack). The whole production does seem like something out of a porn film. As for the plot there is one sort of, but honestly porn flicks have had better plots. Female Vampire is a sexploitation film and while I have zero problems with sex in film I’ve never been overly fond of sexploitation films. I quite honestly don’t really see the point of them with that said it doesn’t mean I dislike them its more of I simply don’t seek them out. But with films like Female Vampire why not just make it a porn flick since the film is very sexual and feels like a porn film to begin with since more effort was put on sex than anything else. The film was co-written and directed by Jesus Franco under the name J.P. Johnson and those who know Franco’s work should more or less know what to expect.

The film is about Countess Irina Karlstein (Romay) who suffers from the curse of her ancestors, vampirism. But you see she isn’t the typical blood sucking vampire her thing is while going down on someone she drains the life from them.

The film opens with Irina nude, all she has on is a cape, belt and boots. The camera moves in on her breasts than a little lower if you catch my meaning. And as Irina is walking she bumps into the camera (I told you this was a Jesus Franco film). So right from the very start we know exactly what we are in for. For most of the film Lina Romay is nude and when clothed its see through. The film is quite graphic in its sexuality, which isn’t such a bad thing considering Lina Romay is stunningly beautiful. I’m not even sure this film should be called a horror movie. There are 2 cuts of the film; we have a 72-minute cut, which plays up to the horror (which is very little to begin with) and 102-minute version that is more sexually explicit. And yes there is that much sex that 30-minutes could easily be cut, and seeing as all the deaths occur during a sex act there would still be plenty of sexual situations. I saw the longer sexually themed cut and I’m not sure if there really is a point of seeing the shorter cut.

The screenplay by Gerard Brisseau & J.P. Johnson is more or less just filling in time until we get to the sex scenes. Outside of the sex scenes there really isn’t much going on and the script is what you would expect from this type of film and while not the worst written movie again it’s just filling in time until the sex scenes. There are some good ideas however, but neither Brisseau or Franco are competent enough to develop these ideas. We also have a pointless subplot with Jack Taylor (known to horror fans from the cult classic Pieces) and if anything like the non-sexual themes this is just there to fill in some required time before we get back to the sex and nudity.

Director Jesus Franco crafts an uneven flick and at 102-minutes it can be overly long at times and even a tad but boring until we get to the sex scenes. Having Romay naked throughout does help make up for the sluggish pacing. The film is also quite sleazy as one scene has Irina going down on another woman and when her head pops back up she has some fluids dripping from her lips and by that point the other woman is dead and Irina begins to rub herself (I’m sure you know what I am referring to) and yes we see all of the lovely Lina Romay. When the focus isn’t on sex, Franco delivers a very sluggish paced film that can be a tad bit boring at times. Like how the script had a few good ideas so does the direction, but Franco simply isn’t a good enough director to work these ideas.

The sex scenes are quite erotic and are meant to turn on the viewer and it is quite sexy even if sleazy. We have some long scenes of sex and again Lina Romay is stunning and it is exciting to watch as we have Lina Romay with men and women (2 scenes of girl on girl with the 2nd going for an S&M vibe). However the problem we have at times is things are sometimes shot too close up and here and there the camera is out of focus, but overall the film is very sexy and Romay so beautiful the film will no doubt turn the viewer on as its quite erotic. Jesus Franco does seem to have little interest in anything not revolving sex and perhaps that’s why the non-sex scenes are poorly paced and any decent idea Franco had is downplayed. When Irina isn’t having sex with someone she’s also pleasing herself as there is a crazy scene featuring Lina and a bedpost and while I get the appeal of these films and again it was quite erotic I think Franco would have been better off making a porn flick.

Fans of sexploitation films might wanna seek this one out and while I did like the film since its hard to dislike it since Lina Romay is so beautiful and the sex acts quite erotic I still really don’t see the point of these films since you’re basically watching a porn just without real sex scenes. Overall I did like the film, but wouldn’t rate it as a favorite or anything, but what I do find interesting is so many people complain about sex in cinema and while sure some films can be a little graphic, but not go too far so they can keep the R rating I often wonder what those prudes would think seeing something like this, which makes R-rated sex scenes PG material. So I guess moral of the story is I liked the film, but by no means a favorite, but if you can get past some of the sluggishly paced scenes its worth it for Lina Romay.

Besides co-writing and directing, Franco also appears as Dr. Roberts under the name Jesus Franck and was also the DP under the name Joan Franco and lastly was the editor using the name P. Querut.

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