Movie Fan Man: Cinema Connoisseur

Traditional, Artsy, Genre-Within-Genre: A Little Something for Everyone

When Horror Met Trippy Art Cinema

by Tony Nash

(Halloween Potpourri 4)

(all opinions are of the author alone)

(Mild Spoilers)

Vampyros Lesbos (1971) - Posters — The Movie Database (TMDb)
US Poster (from the Movie Database)

Vampyros Lesbos (Las Vampiras) (1971) ****1/2 NC-17

Soledad Miranda: Countess Nadine Corday (as Susann Korda)

Ewa Stromberg: Linda Westinghouse (as Ewa Stroemberg)

Dennis Price: Dr. Alwin Seward

Paul Muller: Dr. Steiner

Heidrun Kussin: Agra, Nadine’s Mad Lover

Andrea Montchal: Omar, Linda’s Boyfriend (as Viktor Feldmann)

Jose Martinez Blanco: Morpho, Nadine’s Servant (as J. Martinez Blanco)

Jesus Franco: Memmet, the Mad Caretaker

Written by: Jaime Chavarri, Jesus Franco (as Franco Manera), and Anne Settimo, from a stroy by Chavarri and loosely adapted from Bram Stoker’s Dracula and J. Sheridan le Farnu’s Carmilla

Directed by: Jesus Franco (as Franco Manera)

Synopsis: Real Estate agent Linda Westinghouse is sent by her company to arrange the selling of a property owned by Countess Nadine Corday. The two quickly become romantically involved, only for Linda to discover Nadine is a vampire, turned by the late Count Dracula himself, and is now under her hypnotic influence. Complications arise when Nadine finds herself genuinely falling in love with Linda, while Linda’s boyfriend and a local doctor attempt to free her.

American Genre Film Archive VAMPYROS LESBOS
Hiding from Religion (from American Genre Film Archive)

Jess Franco’s first full on attempt at mixing avant-garde cinema with exploitation cinema is an amazing achievement which showed what Franco was capable of when given the right amount of time and freedom, and offered a pen-ultimate showcase of the talent that Soledad Miranda was fleshing out prior to her tragic death in a car accident. Taking elements from both Stoker’s Dracula and Le Farnu’s Carmilla, Franco and his co writers create a story that, while very basic in both subject and execution, offer up quite a bit of subtext, and deep emotion underneath the surface that while doesn’t seem to show itself as the film is being viewed, becomes clear to the viewer after thinking about the film for some time afterwards.

Vampyros Lesbos (1970) – Midnight Only
Countess Nadine Corday played by the ravishing Soledad Miranda (from Midnight Only)

Soledad Miranda, using the stage name Susann Korda, offers up one of her most subtle, compelling, thought provoking, and finest performance as Nadine Corday. A Countess by birth and once a human, Nadine was turned sometime in the 18th or 19th century by the infamous bloodsucker Count Dracula, and has since seduced and fed on mainly female lovers, having grown to hate men after Dracula betrayed her. Miranda’s soulful and hypnotic look serves the character of Nadine well, and while the actress shows very little emotion, half her choice and half Franco’s choice, there are still many moments where Nadine is clearly in conflict with herself over many of her choices since becoming a vampire, and hasn’t completely lost her humanity in how she feels about certain characters, particularly with Linda and the man servant Morpho. Possibly the only contradiction to her character concerns a woman named Agra, one of Nadine’s former lovers. Like Dracula had done to Nadine, so had Nadine done to Agra and abandoned her, leaving her to be caged in a mental institution. Whether she regrets this entirely is unknown.

Vampyros Lesbos
A Spiritual Ritual….with Blood (from Mondo Digital)

The first in a brief cycle of Franco themes in his experimental age is a female vampire existing in both daylight and night. Whether it began as budget constraints based upon the time frame he had to shoot on location with, or if it really was an artistic decision, Nadine Corday seems to be the first Franco vampire to have transcended the majority of limitations with the species and is able to function as a normal woman within society. That she still needs blood as her sustenance and both religious iconography and prayers repel her maintain the flaws of the vampiric people.

Vampyros Lesbos Blu-ray Review | High Def Digest
Linda Becoming Nadine’s Lover (from High Def Digest)

Ewa Stromberg, a Swedish actress who briefly acted in the 60’s and 70’s get one of her rare major roles in the part of Linda Westinghouse. Little is known of Linda’s life prior to the events of the film, but from all accounts she appears to have led a normal, uneventful, and maybe even boring life with her boyfriend Omar, and it all changes in an instant when she meets Nadine. What makes Linda different to most objects of a vampire’s desires is that she appears to be a fairly willing participant after a brief period of time. Like Nadine, Linda too begins developing real and genuine romantic feelings, but because she isn’t completely under Nadine’s thrall, is able to overcome the influence while recovering from blood loss and exhaustion. Unfortunately, Nadine won her heart fairly and now Linda must decide if she can muster the courage to free herself from damnation, and maybe give Nadine the freedom she felt lost to.

Vampyros Lesbos
The Dubious Dr. Seward (from Mondo Digital)
Vampyros Lesbos
The Mistress and Her Servant (from Mondo Digital)

The two lovely female leads are joined by an eclectic cast of characters including British expat actor Dennis Price, Swiss-German actor Paul Muller, Spanish actors Andres Montchal and Jose Martinez Blanco, two trying desperately to save Linda, one trying to aid Nadine in her plans, and another out for himself. Price is particularly effective as a play to the Dracula character Dr. Seward, this go around called Alwin Seward. Unlike the literary counterpart, this Seward isn’t entirely what he seems, and his methods are equally strange in getting to the bottom of things. The remaining cast seem to have little to do, but are still good at their respective parts.

Vampyros Lesbos / She Killed in Ecstasy - Psycho Drive-In
Vampyros Lesbos – [FILMGRAB]

The color red plays a very pivotal role in the film. Often used as the lighting in a room, the color of clothing, or in the form of liquid, red is ever present in the world Nadine Corday. Red showcases the always lurking aspects of life, death, love, blood, sex, death, immortality, and the erotic, acting as a symbol of what human life can never truly break away from, and that in spite of humanity’s evolvement in morality and behavior, is always there, waiting and watching in silence.

Vampyros Lesbos BD Review (originally published 2015)
A Tragic Love Story (from Genre Grinder)

While aspects of Homoerotic and Lesbian romances have always had a thin veiled presence in the cinema, usually subtly hinted at, Jess Franco broke a major boundary by having the Nadine and Linda characters openly, and very explicitly, engage in a sexual relationship. A sometimes forgotten aspect of Horror films is that occasionally at the heart of them is a tragic, dark, and twisted love story, and the one between Nadine and Linda is no different. What begins as a simple seduction to quench an everlasting need for blood to survive turns into a love that likely can never be for Nadine, as for her to do so would mean killing the woman she loves, thus losing the innocence and purity that made said love possible. For Linda, her unintentional falling in love presents a major complication: does she want to be free to be with her boyfriend, or will she want to succumb to most forbidden temptation to be one of the damned to live forever.

Vampyros Lesbos Blu-ray Review | High Def Digest
A Symbolic Representation of Light and Darkness (from High Def Digest)

One of Jess Franco’s more hypnotic films, and one that keeps a coherent narrative floating in the midst of varying symbolism and surrealistic imagery, VL proves to be a somewhat lesser feat of artistic achievement and showcases what Franco could’ve achieved had events not taken a tragic turn.

(This is another occasion where I feel I can’t recommend a film to everyone in spite of its fine quality and quantity, only because Franco’s latter period is clearly not to everyone tastes, even with higher production values and the feeling that though there’s an exploitive feel to the film, the film doesn’t showcase it for its own sake. Again, it’s one of those films that what you’re supposed to be looking for isn’t present as you’re watching it, but will start to become clearer as you go through everything you’ve witnessed afterwards. This is another example of sometimes having to really make your own choice, even if the majority says it is a film to start with regarding Franco.)

all images courtesy of Google.com/Google Images and their respective owners

for more information

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066380/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vampyros_Lesbos

buying options

Filed under: Film & TV: Potpourri, Film: Analysis/Overview, Film: Special Topics

HorrorBabble Theater Presents: The Temple of Memory

by Tony Nash

(Halloween Potpurri 3)

(all opinions are of the author alone)

(Mild Spoilers)

Original Artwork by MG Keller Meyer (from HorrorBabble)

The Temple of Memory (2018) R *****

Ian Gordon: John Braxton, Beta Team Leader

Roslyn Hicks: Anna Channing, Beta Team Technician

Jennifer Gill: Lucy Davies, Beta Team Navigator

KINGSPOOK: David Hunter, Alpha Team Leader

Morgan Scorpion: Olivia Davies, Alpha Team Navigator

G.M. Danielson: Thomas Moore, Alpha Team Technician

Written & Produced by: Ian Gordon

Synopsis: A team from a government special agency encounters more than they bargained for as they search the Brazilian jungles for missing colleagues and look to apprehend a dangerous cult worshipping an evil sea goddess.

horrorbabble hashtag on Twitter
The Classic HorrorBabble Logo (from HorrorBabble)

HorrorBabble’s first foray into the world of Audio Drama is both a nod to the Lovecraft Cthulhu Mythos and co-founder Ian Gordon’s first entry in his recurring series on the modern entity Nokuth. That the story and new Mythos is set in the current era offers quite a bit of interest, intrigue, and horror as even with all the current technology available, it seems unable to detect the presence of something most certainly alive, but beyond worldly comprehension.

Ian Gordon: Actor, Extra and Band Member - Bolton, UK - StarNow
A Voice for the Ages: the Fabulous Ian Gordon (from StarNow UK)

Ian once again shows off his amazing skills as a writer by the pacing of the piece. While the majority of the story plays out like a typical Mystery Adventure, subtle sounds and atmospheric ambience slowly lead to a crescendo of utter terror and cosmic oblivion. What begins as a simple rescue, recovery, and detain mission soon turns into a fight for survival as two separate teams of government agents uncover an evil as old as the stars, and the hideous mutations that willingly serve it. That it all seems so simple is what adds to the horror of the situation.

This is Ian Gordon, the voice behind HorrorBabble. AMA about producing  weird fiction audiobooks. : Lovecraft
The retired original HB Mascot (from Reddit)

In addition to Ian and Jennifer’s voice talents, joining in the collaboration are Australian Roslyn Hicks, fellow Britons Morgan Scorpion and G.M. Danielson, and Canadian KINGSPOOK. All the case does great jobs in lulling the listener into a sense of security, and then slowly building the fear as more and more unusual and clearly out of the ordinary things begin to happen that turn an adventure that was to be so return into something of the thing of nightmares.

Harking back to the days of British radio plays and serials, The Temple of Memory offers up a very well done mix of Horror, Adventure, Anthropology, Archeology, and even a little peudo History, all equaling to a very intriguing ride.

(Lovers of Horror, weird fiction, and anyone openly curious to varied subjects will be completely enthralled by this totally original and different piece by Ian Gordon and company. Quite a bit has already been said of the piece on the HorrorBabble YouTube page and elsewhere, so I don’t really need to rehash all the positivity its received, only to check it out, even if Horror isn’t your main thing as its very well crafted.)

All images courtesy of Google.com/Google Images and their respective owners

For more information

https://www.horrorbabble.com/

to listen to the drama

https://horrorbabble.bandcamp.com/album/the-temple-of-memory-horror-experience

Filed under: Film & TV: Potpourri

HorrorBabble Theater Presents: Tentacles

by Tony Nash

(Halloween Potpourri Special 2)

(all opinions are of the author alone)

(Mild Spoilers)

Original Artwork (from HorrorBabble/Bandcamp)

Tentacles (2020) R *****

Miles Gordon/Amphibian Beasts: Ian Gordon

Lana Thompson: Jennifer Gill

Music and Produced by: Ian Gordon & Jennifer Gill

Written by: Ian Gordon, inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft

Synopsis: A Podcaster specializing in proving or disproving the paranormal presents her audience with what can only be described as the strangest case of the show’s history: what might very well be the recorded final hours of a noted paranormal investigator.

No photo description available.
Thomas, the HorrorBabble Mascot (from HorrorBabble/Facebook/ YouTube/Twitter)

Ian Gordon and Jennifer Gill once again deliver in the audio play/Drama realm with this completely original presentation. Deciding to take the approach that Cthulhu, and most likely the entirety of The Old Ones, weren’t the creations of writer H.P. Lovecraft, but are in fact real, and unknown to the general public, Ian takes listeners on a frightful journey of one man’s attempt at proving or debunking something he witnessed as a boy, and possibly risking his sanity and his life by doing so. A little of the soap opera Dark Shadows comes into play as listeners must go into suspension of belief and put themselves into the realm of a world where Lovecraftian monsters aren’t the thing of literature and pop culture, but are indeed living and breathing, and lurking and waiting at the threshold of the Earth. Body Horror also comes into play as the investigator, through not knowing anything about the forces behind the house he’s in, slowly finds himself an unwitting guinea pig for the sport of beings from beyond who may or may not have dastardly plans.

Sollasina cthulhu – Nix Illustration
A Possible Fate for Those Who Worship Great Cthulhu (from Nix Illustration)

Ian Gordon once again shows both his ability as a writer and a voice actor by not only crafting a fine story, but also offering up a fine tragic and sympathetic performance as the ill fated Miles Gordon (interesting nod). Nodding to the entirety of Lovecraft’s themes, Ian presents Miles as a man seeking to learn and discover, unaware of the consequences that could very well befall him for going into areas he needn’t go in his search for answers, the typical Lovecraftian tragedy of suffering for the sake of education. Miles isn’t shown as a skeptic looking to prove or disprove something, he’s shown as genuinely curious seeking to discover what could or couldn’t be around folks, trying to tread as lightly as a can just in case what he’s looking for happens to be around the corner.

Podcast Networks Provide Much-Needed Comfort During Pandemic – Deadline
An example of Podcasting (from Deadline)

Jennifer Gill, more of a behind the scenes figure at HorrorBabble, gets to show off her voice acting skills in the role of Lana Thompson. Lana is more of a traditional paranormal expert, not taking anything at face value, looking to see if someone is acting out a hoax before she’ll confirm something truly out of the ordinary is happening. The possible fate of Miles Gordon does seem to have her unnerved, but at the same time given that the evidence before her is strictly audio recordings, she has to take into consideration that it could be edited together.

The Legend of Cthulhu (The Birdbox Monster) | by Mukesh Solanki | Medium
Cthulhu and His Minions (from Medium)

Ian and Jennifer mix Horror and Comedy well here, and put a unique and clever spin on the Lovecraft universe that is both modern, and still maintains a tie to the past.

(This is another HorrorBabble Audio Play I recommend as while it does have ties to the Cthulhu Mythos, Ian and Jennifer take such an interesting interpretation on it that it feels like Cthulhu is more of a traditional demonic deity than something completely from the outside who doesn’t care a thing about humanity or its worshippers. Granted only scraps of information are given on the High Priest of Ryl’eah, Ian has us the viewer believing Cthulhu in the real world is another in a long line of pagan gods that simply may be more powerful than his contemporaries, which is still pretty interesting, especially since he can mutate those in his presence into his form.)

all images courtesy of Google.com/Google Images, their respective owners, and HorrorBabble

for more information

https://www.horrorbabble.com/

to listen to the recording

https://horrorbabble.bandcamp.com/album/tentacles-a-lovecraftian-audio-drama

Filed under: Film & TV: Potpourri

HorrorBabble Theater Presents: H.P. Lovecraft’s Dagon

by Tony Nash

(Halloween Potpourri 1)

(All opinions are of the author alone)

(Mild Spoilers)

Original Artwork (from HorrorBabble/Bandcamp)

Dagon (1917/2018) ***** PG-13

The Narrator/Turner, a Guard/Phipps, an Inmate/A Deep One: Ian Gordon

Music, Sound Effects, and Produced by: Ian Gordon

Adapted for the Airwaves by Ian Gordon from the short story by H.P. Lovecraft

Synopsis: While awaiting a decision on his mental capacity to stand trial for assault on a sailor, a man recounts to a doctor the strange, bizarre, and mind shattering events that led to an addiction to morphine.

Dagon | The H.P. Lovecraft Wiki | Fandom
Mind Shattering Eldritch Horror (from the HP Lovecraft-Wiki Fandom)

Ian Gordon and Jennifer Gill, co-founders of the website and YouTube channel HorrorBabble, bring public domain Horror Classics back to life for new audiences to appreciate, and offer old fans unique renderings of the tales. Two years ago, Ian began the process of turning some of the stories into dramatic adaptations, like the old radio plays of the 20th century, and the first two were of the author who inspired HorrorBabble: H.P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft, who most people know and are aware, was most famous for his grim and nihilistic Supernatural and Cosmic Horror, but his earliest efforts were quite different, as was the case with Dagon. Dagon is, by all accounts, about a man who’s world view has shattered beyond repair upon discovering something that is much older than humanity, but because Lovecraft had yet to give the basics for what would become the Cthulhu Mythos or The Lovecraftian Cycle and Yogsothoth -ary , this story can be interpreted in many different ways.

H.P. Lovecraft - Dagon | Lovecraft art, Lovecraft, Lovecraftian horror
Artist Depiction of What is on the Dagon Monolith (from Pinterest)

Ian took Lovecraft’s initial concept of a man recounting his horrific mental collapse through a diary in his home before taking his own life, and transferred it into a prison where the unnamed narrator recounts his tale to a visiting psychiatrist who may doubt the man, with a fellow inmate interjecting at interludes. Doing the adaptation as an audio drama, the mind comes into play, viewers encouraged to picture the murky dingy cell, the storm rattling outside, grungy looking prisoners, and a fancy looking guard & doctor. Ian’s use of music and sound effects are perfectly in tune with the atmosphere Lovecraft intended for the piece to invoke, recreating it through performance in fine harmony with the author’s words. The tempo slowly reaches the necessary crescendo as the audience and narrator go deeper and deeper into the vast unknown island, the terror, uncertainty, and awe bubbling to the surface. When the original Deep One first appears, the sound of wet scaley flesh smacking the ground and a gurgle like voice signify its horridness and menace.

Exploring Lovecraft: 1. Dagon – Setting the foundations - GeekChocolate
Artist Representation of Dagon the God (from GeekChocolate)

Ian is an excellent voice artist as well as author and adapter, giving enough distinction with each voice to make him the quintessential one man cast. He uses his own voice for the protagonist narrator, a deep Cockney style accent for the guard, a hoarse raspy voice for the protagonist’s cell mate, and sound effects to make up the noises of a Deep One. The Narrator in Ian’s adaptation is quite rebellious and seems to be very welcoming of death even by his own hands, his reason for wanting to tell his story is so he won’t be written off as just another kook who succumbed to drug abuse, and to let others know what’s out there waiting to rise up again. His cell mate seems very simple, but believes his story, encouraging the doctor to not dismiss the man’s story as a form of hallucination. While Ian’s voice is distinctive enough to know it is him doing all the voices, he is so good at giving each character a different feel that once audiences become acquainted with them, it no longer feels like the same person doing all the talking.  

(The COVID Pandemic, and mine not working my normal summer job has left me unable to get new titles to look into for my blog, so I decided to try something different that feels like Old Time Radio. This might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but this is purely experimental and something I always wanted to see of I could do justice to for reviews. I’m not the hugest fan of H.P. Lovecraft, but this story and The Nameless City are very good tales that, while are a part of the Cthulhu Mythos, were done early enough in Lovecraft’s lifetime and career that they can be taken as stand alone tales that aren’t too bleak or nihilistic. I’m a huge fan of Ian Gordon and feel he’s a highly talented individual who should certainly be famous worldwide, but still does very well with a large league of followers on the HorrorBabble YouTube channel. If anyone hasn’t already, please check out the channel, and I’ll be leaving links to both the video and the website.

all images courtesy of Google.com/Google Images and their respective owners

for more information

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dagon_(short_story)

to read the actual story

https://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/fiction/d.aspx

to listen to the recording

https://horrorbabble.bandcamp.com/album/dagon-a-dramatic-adaptation

please check out the website

https://www.horrorbabble.com/

Filed under: Film & TV: Potpourri

Take a Film Dare: My Take

by Tony Nash

(A Blog Extra Special)

(All opinions are of the author alone)

(SPOILERS AHEAD)

Maria Falconetti and Eugene Silvain in La passion de Jeanne d'Arc (1928)
US Poster re-release (from IMDb)

La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc (The Passion of Joan of Arc/Jeanne d’Arcs Lidelse og Dod) (1928) ***** PG-13

Renee (Maria) Falconetti: Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc) (as Melle Falconetti)

Eugene Silvain: Eveque (Bishop) Pierre Cauchon

Andre Berley: Jean d’Estivet

Maurice Schutz: Nicolas Loyseleur

Antonin Artaud: Jean Massieu

Michel Simon: Jean Lemaitre

Jean d’Yd: Guillaume Evrad

Louis Ravet: Jean Beaupere (as Ravet

Armand Lurville: Un Juge (A Judge) (as Andre Lurville)

Written by: Joseph Delteil & Carl Theodor Dreyer (transcribed from the real court documents)

Directed by: Carl Theodor Dreyer (as Carl Th. Dreyer)

Synopsis: Faithfully reconstructed from the real court documents, the trial, sentencing, and execution of French heroine and saint Joan of Arc is subtly re-enacted.

260 Film Screenings: La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc | Denise Likomeno
Joan Preparing to Give Her Testimony (from Denise Likomeno’s WordPress Page)

This take on my Take a Film Dare Challenge will be a little bit different in that I’m going into the past and speak about a film I wasn’t sure I’d have liked even after quite a few years.

La passion de Jeanne d'Arc / The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) Carl Theodor  Dreyer, Maria Falconetti, Eugene Silvain, André Berley, Biography, Drama,  History | RareFilm
Jean Massieu, the Only One on Joan’s Side (from RareFilm)

I had first seen Danish film icon Carl Th. Dreyer’s masterpiece late one night when I was in grade school on Turner Classic Movies with my Dad. I knew about Jeanne d’Arc from school and of course the History Channel (back when it actually showed good History programs), so I had a fairly good idea about what I was going to see. I was really struck by the use of close-ups of the faces, particularly that of Ms. Falconetti, but after about 20 minutes or so, I didn’t think the film was going anywhere and I ended up going to bed a little later.

La Passion et la Mort de Jeanne d'Arc - Posts | Facebook
Massieu Attempts to Comfort Jeanne (from Facebook)

As I was finishing High School and going into college, I started reading a little more about Dreyer and his film about Jeanne, and was starting to reassess my original thoughts of it, and it was in 2012 while taking a Women in History course I became re-immersed in the story. Our main grade was going to be based on a paper we did on famous female figure in history, and I ended up picking Jeanne. Making a mention of Jeanne in the world of TV and Film, I finally decided it was time to give that Silent film another try.

La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc: film - Students | Britannica Kids | Homework  Help
A Guard and Inquistor Look on as Jeanne Prays with the Monks (from Kids Britannica)

For the Christmas of 2012, one of my gifts was the Criterion Collection DVD of The Passion of Joan of Arc and the day after the holiday while my parents were out to the theater seeing the film musical Les Miserables I spent the evening watching the DVD. The second go around was a much more pleasurable experience than all those years ago, partly because I was older now and became more knowledgeable when it came to cinema, and cause I was more open to the experience of Dreyer’s style of filmmaking. The one thing that didn’t change for me was how horrible the score that was used for the film was, and I spent my re-watch listening to the audio commentary from historian and Dreyer biographer Casper Tybjerg.

Still Of Maria Falconetti In La Passion De Jeanne Dx Arc Photo Shared By  Frayda14 | Fans Share Images
Jeanne’s Ring is Stolen by the Inquisitors (from fansshare)
La passion de Jeanne d'Arc (The Passion of Joan of Arc). 1928. Directed by  Carl Theodor Dreyer | MoMA
Renee Falconetti perfectly embodied the spirit of Jeanne (from

The use of close-ups held more of an impact the second viewing, coming to realize Dreyer was recreating the tension, claustrophobia, and suspense that Jeanne must have felt during her trial and execution. Renee Falconetti’s performance as Jeanne is breathtaking, near perfectly identifying with the courage, fear, despair, hope, and resoluteness that was the Maid of Orleans. Never before had an actress been able to draw audiences so close to a real life figure and be able to identify with her on a real intimate level. Only Albert Dieudonne’s performance as Napoleon comes close to what Falconetti achieved with her body language and facial expressions.

La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc | Philharmonie de Paris
The end draws near for Jeanne (from Philharmonie de Paris)

I can definitely my opinion changed on the film, and for the better, as I came to understand for the most part what Dreyer wanted to achieve with the film and how he pulled it off so seamlessly. This certainly isn’t the first time a film I wasn’t sure of previously had come to work for me, but this one was the first to have a great impact on me. I highly recommend anyone to check this one out, and to definitely either the Criterion Blu Ray or Eureka! Blu Ray as they offer multiple score options over the Voices of Light that, while impressive, takes away from the film.

Please feel free to list your own experiences in the comment section, or leave a link in the comment section if you wish to take the Film Dare Challenge

All images courtesy of Google.com/Google Images and their respective owners

For more information

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0019254/?ref_=nm_knf_i1

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Passion_of_Joan_of_Arc

buying options

https://www.criterion.com/films/228-the-passion-of-joan-of-arc

from the Masters of Cinema Eureka!
From Amazon
From Amazon UK

Filed under: Film & TV: Potpourri, Film: Special Topics

Take a Film Dare Challenge: A Fun Little Game for the Lock-down

From Tony Nash

Hello to my followers, those I’m following, and all curious visitors

With things still up in the air thanks to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), I figured I’d try making up a nice little game to stifle some of the boredom of being indoors most of the time

I’m calling this game “Take a Film Dare Challenge” and the object is for people to pick out some Word-Pressers who follow you and try to think of a film they would like, but for whatever the reason, haven’t talked about them before. Once the film is viewed, do however long or short a write up you would prefer about your thoughts and impression of the film, and whether you’d check out other films from that genre or similar films The object of course is to have fun and also to see if extra spark can be found for new types of films and genres. I’ll start out by picking some of the folks I find very cool to read. To make the inaugural round interesting, I’ll be picking titles for these WP users via my personal collection of Blu Rays and DVDs.

MMC! (Make Mine Criterion!): I’ve got to admit at first I thought I wouldn’t be able to find anything for MMC! as his knowledge and interest in film is vast and I’m pretty sure there isn’t too much he hasn’t seen. I quickly realized I shouldn’t be thinking about what he hasn’t watched, but what he hasn’t discussed in his writings he’d be eloquent with. For this reason I’ve chosen Jacques Demy’s Une Chambre en Ville ( A Room in Town) from 1982 as his challenge.

Une chambre en ville

Demy’s salute to Opera doesn’t come close to recapturing the magic of his classic Le Parapluis du Cherburg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) but it does capture the magic and style of such composers as Puccini, Verdi, Wagner, Leoncavello, and many others. MMC!, I think you’ll enjoy this one.

Mikes Take on the Movies: Like with MMC!, Mike has a pretty eclectic taste in varied film genres and movements, so this one had to be really special. I haven’t heard Mike talk too much about Musicals, and I believe I’ve found one that would peak his curiosity. I’m sticking with Demy on this one, and Mike’c challenge is Demy’s 1970 Musical Fairy Tale Peau d’Ane (Donkey Skin).

Donkey Skin

Mixing bizarre, whimsical, and enchanting as only Demy can, this little fable has both the charm of the kind of stories told to children, and the qualities only adults would truly understand. Mike, I believe you’d get a lot of enjoyment out of this for both the visuals and storytelling.

Debbi’s I Found it at the Movies: I couldn’t decide on just one film for Debbi as she’s very eclectic as well in her viewing pleasures, so I’m giving her the option of doing two films, or picking the one that intrigues her the most. I’ve seen her talk about quite a lot from the classic era of movies, but I’m unsure of how much Japanese cinema she’s experienced, so I’m giving her double dose of Samurai action films in Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo from 1961

Yojimbo

and the Italian Western influenced Kill! by Kihachi Okamoto from 1968

Kill!

Both films offer a wandering samurai taking on outlaw gangs, one in a more philosophical sense, and the other leaning more towards tongue-in-cheek humor. Both are on the dark comedy side when it comes to giving viewers a chuckle, but aren’t offensive in any way.  Both are also action-packed and offer great thrills along the way. Debbi, I’m sure you’ll enjoy either of these.

The Wee Writing Lassie: At first I wasn’t sure whether to include the Lassie in this game as I believe her blog deals a little more in books, travel, and theater, but I know she enjoys a good film like the rest of us, so hope you enjoy ride Lass. Since I know she enjoys a good mystery from time to time, I figured Lassie would enjoy an early Italian Giallo thriller that offers the same thrills and intrigue without the sleaze and exploitation frills that would come to dominate it from the 1970’s onward.

The Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion Blu-Ray image 1

I thought Le Foto Proibite di una Signora per Bene (The Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion) from 1969 would be something that keeps you guessing, but not worrying about how much skin or sleaze gets in the way. Lass, I hope you enjoy and maybe find something new to explore as you try things out.

Master Mix Movies: This dude is one of my more recent followers, but I’m already very impressed with his material so I decided to include him here. So far from what I’ve seen he likes films that mix a lot of stuff together to form a solid whole that makes for good entertainment. With this in mind, I’ve picked two titles and, like with Debbi, can choose to both, or pick the one he likes the most.

First off, we have Henri-Georges Clouzot’s, the man who gave Hitchcock a run for his money, Le Salaire de la Peur (The Wages of Fear) from 1952

The Wages of Fear

A tense, and at times both cynical and nihilistic, Thriller as 4 desperate expatriated men try to get money to escape poverty in a rural South American town. Yves Montand and Charles Vanel have great chemistry and represent two separate generations, one on the way out, the other on the rise-but still with a lot to learn.

Then we have Francesco Rosi’s underscored hit, Salvatore Giuliano from 1962.

Salvatore Giuliano

This film mixes both documentary style filmmaking, Murder Mystery Thriller, and Crime Drama, as Rosi traces the life of the notorious Sicilian outlaw and the forces many believe silenced him from telling the truth.

Now I’m gonna be taking part in this myself, but I’ll leave my pick as a surprise. I can tell you it’ll be posted at the end of September when I complete a special I’ll be starting next week, which I’m sure many of you will get a kick out of.

Now if any of you I’ve picked don’t have access to the films I’ve picked for you, please let me know and I will gladly pick something else out, this is meant for pure fun and to do something unique and different.

I hope those I have picked will enjoy this experiment, have fun with it, and pick out some folks to give it a try themselves.

Filed under: Annoucements, Film & TV: Potpourri, Film: Special Topics

A Filmic Acid Trip

That Also Defies Definition

by Tony Nash

(Obscure & Unique)

(All opinions are of the author alone)

(Mild Spoilers to Spoiler Free)

(Author’s Note: Few images exist of this film and since there’s quite a bit of nudity, not many images will be shown)

The Lady Kills (1971): Mondo Macabro Blu-ray

Perverse et Docile (The Lady Kills/Wild & Willing) (1971) **** NC-17

Carole Lebel: Françoise Fremond

Albert Simono: John Greenfield

Christian Duc: Christian Belmont (as Christian Duke)

Paul Descombes: Karl Mohr

Claude Beautheac: François Ficheux

Charles Martin: The Roman Fashion Designer

Katia Tchenko: Hina

Written & Directed by: Jean-Louis van Belle

Synopsis: A group of men gang up on a woman and proceed to rape her repeatedly. About 20 years later, these same men are being killed in very unique fashion by a mysterious woman named Françoise Fremond. Why she is doing this is unknown.

NSFW Gallery: The Lady Kills (Mondo Macabro Blu-ray) Screenshots ...
Still From Mondo Macabro

Jean-Louis van Belle, a French-Belgian underground filmmaker who became a hit with the Swinging Sixties audiences with his funky Sci-Fi Horror film Le Sadique aux Dents Rouges (The Sadist with Red Teeth) and his mockumentary Paris Interdit (Forbidden Paris), proved at that same period he could be thought provoking and artistic while also entertaining with Perverse et Docile. Mixing Mondo documentary films, Giallo Suspense, Travel films showing the sights, and avant-garde cinematography, van Belle concocts a very unusual story of machismo run amok and the revenge that comes about when this psyche goes too far. By having the audience follow his heroine as she goes from country to country, eliminating a series of men who were involved in a horrid act of rape, van Belle not only shows off the beauty of the various countries he was able to film in, but also shows an independent woman’s fierce determination to bring the masculine domination of European society down a very harsh peg. Combining inventive cinematography, including an x-ray style opening credit sequence, with the traditional storytelling, Belle takes his viewers through a vignette style journey.

Amazon.com: The Lady Kills / Pervertissima [Blu-ray]: Carole Lebel ...
Still from Amazon

Carole Lebel, a Belgian model and actress, takes the lead in her final film before retiring as the seductive and mysterious Françoise. Almost nothing is known about Françoise, even as the camera follows her as she kills man after man for seemingly no reason at all. All audiences know is that she can’t stand men who take advantage of women in such fashions, and even more disgusted that they live such hedonistic lifestyles. Lebel proves herself a capable actress as she plays it calm and cool, never showing emotion until the crucial moment as she lures her prey into false senses of security and safety, nearly perfectly embodying a Black Widow spider. In order to keep the murders as isolated and unrelated as possible, she kills each man differently, using an array of weapons from a gun, to acid, to knives, to bombs. She also uses a series of aliases, wigs, and personalities so the men are easily stunned by her charms, never knowing until practically too late what is about to befall them.

NSFW Gallery: The Lady Kills (Mondo Macabro Blu-ray) Screenshots ...
Still from Cultsploitation

The remainder of the cast is made up of local area Belgian and French actors/actresses, playing the victims and other characters that make up the world Van Belle paints. Not much can be said about these performers as they’re only seen for maybe 10 minutes per vignette and all that can be gotten from those brief moments is their careers and preferred sexual escapades. The little info per the IMDb on the performers at hand is that they mainly and briefly acted in French and Belgian television, only Albert Simono having had a 30 plus year career in both TV and films, albeit in small roles.

Amazon.com: The Lady Kills / Pervertissima [Blu-ray]: Carole Lebel ...
From Amazon

While Van Belle entertains with a Mystery in travelogue documentary form, he also takes a scathing stab at male patriarchal chauvinism that seemed to be at a height in Europe in the 60’s and 70’s. Second Wave Feminism was in full swing, and even in Europe women were beginning to assert themselves as individuals and breaking the shackles of the once viewed as norm roles they were expected to take. That Van Belle mixes this with entertainment makes the film all the more interesting and worthy of getting wider appeal. While at times non-linear in going into the lead character’s motivations, and even a little on the psychedelic in terms of cinematography, the film still captures attention and interest.

(I do highly recommend giving this film a viewing as while there’s a lot to find incoherent and down right bizarre in some of the shots, it does in fact have a linear narrative that once the ending begins to roll, everything will come into a clear perspective. Van Belle is grossly underrated as a filmmaker, and while his work is definitely low budget is the work of a man with a lot of passion, determination, and talent, so only his avant-garde underground style seems to be what scares off people from looking into his work. The Blu Ray from Mondo Macabro offers up an immaculate transfer in both audio and visual quality, everything looking pristine as if it was just made and released to the public. As a nice bonus there’s a 30 minute documentary about Van Belle that was filmed at a retrospective in France honoring his contributions to cinema, featuring comments from critics, Van Belle’s favorite crew members & actors, and from Van Belle himself, who for some reason asked to not have his face shown on camera.)

All images courtesy of Google.com/Google Images and their respective owners

for more information

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0258019/?ref_=fn_nm_nm_1a

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perverse_et_Docile

buying options

https://www.mondo-macabro.com/mondo-macabro-blu-ray/the-lady-kills/pervertissima.html

https://www.moviesunlimited.com/the-lady-kills-pervertissima/843276021191

Filed under: Film & TV: Potpourri, Film: Analysis/Overview, Film: Special Topics

My First Fan/Viewer Input Spot

Hello to all my followers, those I’m following, and all curious visitors,

With all the craziness of the COVID-19 Pandemic, I forgot to make an announcement I was excited to share with everyone.

I recently hit a milestone of 21 Followers here on WordPress, something I never thought would happen. I figured maybe five to ten people would find what I write about interesting, and am still pleasantly surprised by the number of people following and reading my entries. Thank you all so much!!!!

Now officially I have 20 Followers as one of my followers, Mr. Gary Loggins, aka Cracked Rear Viewer sadly passed away, and at the same time I didn’t have the heart to take his name off of my followers list, and another follower, whose name escapes me right now, has retired his WordPress Page; but in reality numbers aren’t too essential as its the people themselves who count in the long run.

To celebrate this milestone, I’d like my followers to feel free to offer their input on an idea I had for Halloween 2020. Normally I try to have a theme every Halloween as it’s pretty much my year end hurrah as I take a vacation from posting material from November to the new year in January, save for Holiday greetings, and anything super special, so I try to have something cool every time. This year I was thinking about doing a little salute to the Spanish Lon Chaney Jr., Paul Naschy, as several of his films are being graced with Blu Ray treatments. So far I have only seen his sole foray into the Mummy realm, La Venganza de la Momia (Vengeance of the Mummy/The Mummy’s Revenge), and thought that was fairly well made. Many of his entries in the El Hombre Lobo (The Wolfman) Waldemar Daninsky franchise are on Blu Ray here in the US and Germany, and I’m curious about seeing the early ones.

What I’d like to know form you my viewers is, would be interested in me checking out any of Mr. Naschy’s work, whether it be his entries in the Waldemar Daninsky saga or his varied other kind of Horror films?

I may end up giving Naschy the spotlight in October anyway, but I’d really be interested in hearing what you the fans would like me to check out.

This is my personalized way of saying thank you for all the support you’ve given me the last 2 to 3 years.

Tony Nash, aka Movie Fan Man

 

Filed under: Annoucements, Film & TV: Potpourri

Peter Cottontail Has Arrived!!!!

HAPPY EASTER to everyone here on WordPress!!

Happy Easter - Village of Colonie, NY

Wishing you all well and that you’re all safe, happy, and having fun.

From Tony Nash aka Movie Fan Man

Filed under: Annoucements, Film & TV: Potpourri

Birthday Haul 2020 Pt. 1

Hello to my followers, those I’m following, and all curious visitors,

I thought I would try something new and show off what I got for my Birthday. This was stuff from last year as this year is so far kind of boring for Blu Ray and DVD, at least Stateside wide. And it’s mainly stuff I got myself as some were from the UK and Germany, one was an exclusive, and were items I didn’t feel comfortable asking as gifts. If this is something you’d like to do yearly, please feel free to comment below. Enjoy.

and I’d like to give a special shout out and thanks to 88 Films for giving me a gift of Birthday points for being a customer and subscriber to their site. Really sweet!!

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Filed under: Film & TV: Potpourri