Archive for sexploitation

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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Schoolgirl Hitchhikers (1973) Review

Posted in Schoolgirl Hitchhikers with tags , , , , , on February 18, 2013 by Last Road Reviews

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SCHOOLGIRL HITCHHIKERS

*** ½ Out of 5

Tagline- Sex Kittens Who Stop at Nothing

Release Date- August 16th, 1973

Running Time- 79-Minutes

Rating- NR

Screenplay- Natalie Perrey

Director- Jean Rollin

Starring- Joelle Coeur, Gilda Stark, Marie Helene Regne, Francois Brincourt, Reine Thyrion

Released in 1973 Schoolgirl Hitchhikers is a semi forgotten film by Jean Rollin as there really isn’t a lot of info out there about it. While this film by no means great I personally found to be a lot of fun. I’m no expert on the films of Jean Rollin, but what I have seen thus far I have actually enjoyed for the most part and Schoolgirl Hitchhikers is no different. Films like this are truly from another era and would never work in today’s world. The first 30-minutes features 3 sex scenes including girl on girl, which isn’t as exploitive as one might think and there is also a 3some, which is the tamest of all the sex scenes. The women often get naked even when there is no sex involved and we simply do not see this anymore due to everyone seemingly being PC. I don’t need sex and nudity to hold my interest, but its refreshing to see films like this since most filmmakers these days don’t have the nerve to do anything like this. After we get 3 sex scenes, Schoolgirl Hitchhikers get into what there is of a plot.

2 girls Monica (Coeur) and Jackie (Stark) head off to a house they think is abandoned and spend some quality time together. Later that night Monica comes across Fred also hiding out in the house. The 2 of them have sex and later Jackie joins in on the fun. The next morning they leave and when and Beatrice (Regne) shows up we learn she and Fred are jewel thieves and the jewels are now missing. The thieves find Monica and Jackie and take them back to the house believing they stole the jewels and torture the girls to find out where they are hidden.

The screenplay by Natalie Perrey is really fun and campy, but I don’t think anyone goes into these movies for a well written script. However I did like Monica and Jackie and all the characters are the very least fun even if they have zero depth not that it really matters in a film like this. The actual plot doesn’t get underway until roughly 30-minutes in and seeing as the film is only about 79-minutes plot isn’t very important. In a sense it’s the same scene over and over again, but yet the script retains a fun factor throughout. Besides the thieves trying to get back the jewels we also have a subplot of a bumbling private investigator (Brincourt) and his secretary (Thyrion). While I can’t say the script is very good, but again its a lot of fun.

Director Jean Rollin (under the name Michel Gentil) crafts a really fun and campy movie and despite the amount of nudity and sex I never found the film sleazy for the most part. In general it’s the same scenes over and over again, but yet Rollin keeps it fun and the pace never lags. From the start, Rollin establishes a fun tone and is able to retain that throughout the entire running time. The sex scenes aren’t very believable since put it this way when Monica and Jackie are having sex their heads are a little too high to be doing what they are supposed to be doing, but rather than be sleazy there is something sensual about it and believe it or not does come across as more 2 girls really into each other rather than exploitive. The other sex scenes are more exploitive however, but this film is meant to be sexual and again Rollin crafts a really fun flick. Though the film does slightly take a mean approach when one of the thieves begins to torture Jackie, but its also quite erotic at times as it borders S&M. Overall Jean Rollin may not make a film that’s great, but its a lot of fun, sexy and silly.

Overall Schoolgirl Hitchhikers isn’t a film for everybody and while there is a plot its quite light, but overall I actually really enjoyed this film and not just for the sex and nudity. Joelle Coeur and Gilda Stark are quite easy on the eyes so their scenes are a highlight, but the film always for me at least remains fun and at only 79-minutes the film moves pretty quickly.

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