Movie Fan Man: Cinema Connoisseur

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

CHRISTMAS HAUL PART 1: UNDER THE TREE

MERRY CHRISTMAS to my Followers, those I’m Following, all Curious Visitors, and my Relatives and Friends,

Here’s what I’ve gotten so far this Holiday Season

Please excuse the glare in the photos, that was the best spot to showcase my gifts. The tripod will be used for photo taking all future Christmas and Birthday hauls. To all relatives and friends, I’m gonna be replacing my iPhone soon as it won’t let me take anymore pictures and certain functions aren’t working at all now, and this was the best way to show everyone what I’ve received so far.

Filed under: Annoucements, Film & TV: Potpourri

HOLIDAY GREETINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

To all My Followers, those I’m Following, and all Curious Visitors,

Have the Happiest and Safest Wonderful Time of the Year!!!!

IMG_0943

MERRY CHRISTMAS

HAPPY CHRISTMAS

GOOD YULE

BLITHE YULE

JOYEUX NOEL

FROHE WEINACHTEN

BUON NATALE

GOD JUL

VROLIJK KERSFEEST

MERI KURISUMASU

MELE KALIKIMAKA

FELIZ NAVIDAD

GLAEDLIG JUL

WESOLYCH SWIAT

CRACIUN FERICIT

MERI KRISMAS

HYVAA JOULUA

Filed under: Annoucements

Special Shout Out Time

From Tony Nash

Hello to all my Followers, those I’m Following, and all Curious Visitors,

I’m still enjoying my Holiday Break from regular posting, but I’ve had this idea on my mind for a couple of days now and this Season is the right time to share it.

The COVID-19 Epidemic as we all know has practically affected everybody World Wide, but non more than the small business owners, including Blu Ray release companies. Now many of these fine companies have been able to persevere in spite of this chaotic time, thanks primarily from being able to buy directly from their websites or Amazon and its European branches, but still I believe these companies deserve praise and a shout out to keep their spirits high and fan interest up, so here are some of my favorites

Arrow Video - Arrow Video goes digital! Now is your... | Facebook
ARROW VIDEO
88 Films - Home | Facebook
88 FILMS
Cauldron Films - Home | Facebook
CAULDRON FILMS
FRACTURED VISIONS (@FracVis) | Twitter
FRACTURED VISIONS
Introducing Eureka, home of the Masters of Cinema (and The Human Centipede)  | musicMagpie Blog
EUREKA!
Mondo Macabro Blu Ray DVD Collection Overview, Limited Numbered Editions,  Obscure World Cinema - YouTube
MONDO MACABRO
Shameless Films (@ShamelessFilms) | Twitter
SHAMELESS FILMS
Über uns - Explosive-Media GmbH
EXPLOSIVE MEDIA
Koch Media - Crunchbase Company Profile & Funding
KOCH MEDIA
Le Chat Qui Fume Label | Releases | Discogs
LE CHAT QUI FUME (THE SMOKING CAT)
Arrow Academy (@Academy_Arrow) | Twitter
ARROW ACADEMY
Severin Films Blu Ray and DVD Collection Overview, signed editions,  numbered, limited, slipcovers - YouTube
SEVERIN FILMS
Fun City Editions – Vinegar Syndrome
VINEGAR SYNDROME

Now the majority of these companies we all know to some degree already, but I’d like to take the time to highlight a couple.

CAULDRON FILMS was started by Jesse Nelson, the owner of Word-Wide Blu Ray and DVD distribution company DIABOLIKDVD, with the intent of bringing back from obscurity some of the smaller and less focused on genre films from Europe, mainly from Italy and Spain from the looks of their first 4 releases. I have already pre-ordered their recent restored edition of the Mystery Giallo The Crimes of the Black Cat, and from the looks on both their website, and the info on the GRINDHOUSE CINEMA DATABASE, they’ve put in quite a lot of time and effort in the restoration which shows they really plan on giving every release their all for fans to enjoy.

FRACTURED VISIONS originally began as a yearly Film Festival in the United Kingdom, and has recently announced they plan on moving into Blu Ray releases as well. Their first release will be the Italian Action Crime Thriller Silent Action with Tomas Milian, Luc Merenda, and Mel Ferrer, slated for retail release March 25th 2021. I highly encourage everyone to give this company support and help them to make more of these releases a possibility in the future.

88 FILMS, MONDO MACABRO, and SHAMELESS FILMS we all know pretty well, but I wanted to give them an extra bit of a shout out as their limited crew run companies that deserve a lot more love and attention so they can continue to grow and expand.

Now I know this last year has been a tough one for everybody, including is cinema lovers as we had be relatively selective when it comes to buying Blu Rays and DVDs as many of us weren’t able to work as much as we wanted to and be able to put aside some of our paychecks to indulge every once in a while, but I hope as we return to normal throughout 2021 we’re able to give these companies an extra dosage of support so they can get that extra push that they didn’t necessarily lose on account of the Pandemic, but definitely experienced a few curveballs from it. Just by supporting them directly via purchasing their products, or recommending them to people in and around where they’re located is more than enough to give them a hand.

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

For additional information and to support them

https://arrowfilms.com/

https://www.arrowvideo.com/

https://88-films.myshopify.com/

https://www.cauldron-films.com/

https://www.fracvis.co.uk/

https://www.mondo-macabro.com/

https://mondomacabro.bigcartel.com/

https://www.shameless-films.com/

https://www.kochmedia-film.de/blu-ray/page/1/view/film/

https://lechatquifume.myshopify.com/

https://severin-films.com/

https://vinegarsyndrome.com/password

https://www.facebook.com/severinfilms/?ref=py_c

https://www.facebook.com/vinsyn/?ref=py_c

I’ve also included the SEVERIN and VINEGAR SYNDROME Facebook pages as their websites are currently offline and down as they sort and ship everything out from their big Black Friday sales.

Filed under: Annoucements

TOM TURKEY IS HERE!!!!!

To all my Followers, those I’m Following, and all Curious Visitors,

60 Grateful Thanksgiving Messages, Wishes and Quotes for Family & Friends

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!!!

Hope you are all safe, and are enjoying the Day with those you love. I’m thankful for my family, my closest friends, and everyone who supports me here on WordPress.

From Tony Nash, MOVIE FAN MAN

Filed under: Annoucements

HOLIDAY BREAK TIME!!

from Tony Nash,

Hello to my Followers, those I’m Following, and all Curious Visitors,

The Time has come for my two month Holiday Break, so you won’t be seeing much posts from now until 2 or three days after New Years. This past year has been a tough one for all of us with COVID-19 and any other stuff going on in our private lives, but that we’ve been able to our share our passions with others to keep the spirits up has made being a part of this community all the more enjoyable. I’ll be having a load of cool stuff to write about in the coming New Year: a new season of The Melodic Gialli, a couple of Obscure and Unique films, and a few surprises along the way.

I’ll still be posting my yearly greetings for the upcoming holidays and if something I hear or read about sounds interesting enough to spread around, a quickie will pop up.

See you all in (the hopefully not as hectic/crazy/scary) 2021

Filed under: Annoucements

Rebuttal to “Walter Peck Was Right”

by Tony Nash

(Halloween Potpourri Finale Special)

(All Opinions are of the Author Alone)

(Spoilers Ahead)

Ghostbusters III Confirmed, Without Ivan Reitman | Time
The Original Trio (from Time Magazine)

Here’s a link to the Looper article that explains the Peck was Right aspect

https://www.looper.com/170123/dumb-things-in-ghostbusters-everyone-ignored/

I’ve had a lot fun recently playing The Ghostbusters Video Game on my XBox the last couple of months, and it’s led me to read a little more about the first film, which the game mainly acts as a sequel of.

Movie Beards: Walter Peck: "Ghostbusters"
An Overzealous Peck (from Movie Beards)

One thing I was fairly struck by was the considered view that sidekick antagonist Walter Peck was in some ways right in his treatment of the Ghostbusters. Now pushing aside for the moment the fact that Bill Murray’s Peter Venkman is an annoying lothario hack who’s into the fame Ghostbusting brings him and makes even an ardent Pacifist want to hit him, let’s look at some of the items that fans consider relevant.

Dumb things in Ghostbusters everyone ignored
Who’s the More Annoying? (from Looper)

LACK OF FUNDS AND TRAINING

First things first, let’s talk about the Ghostbusters’ lack of testing and facilities. Peck’s innuendos of everything not following protocol may be legit, but’s forgetting statements made by the team earlier in the film. Ray and Egon, the most qualified members of the team, made several applications for grants, funding, and adequate periods of training and testing and research, but were always turned down because of their former university colleagues statements of them being crackpots who’s research had no legit grounds for such investments. With having to go the route of acting as a privately run and operated organization that must adhere to state wide business requirements to prove their research and evidence is conclusive, that leaves very little time to go into the kind of research, testing, and cataloging that goes on in most, if not all, scientific endeavors. Remember that the team, Ray and Egon in particular, have done their homework, engaged in research, and went through the required approval of various security organizations to obtain the equipment they needed to operate. Those two are legit, even if academically discredited, scientists, and aren’t going to jeopardize themselves by going through areas that would have the FBI and CIA poking their noses in.

Walter Peck Archives ⋆
The Peck Hits the Breaking Point (from The Comics Agenda)

With all of this in mind, wouldn’t anyone think an organization like the EPA would give a struggling outfit like the Ghostbusters time to work out what they need to as they’re clearly underfunded, and won’t be getting any help from the State of New York or the various universities at the moment. Yes the quartet needed to take time to become more familiar with they’re equipment and material, but when you’re being called crackpot, your theories called a pseudo science, you’re looking at being shutdown any minute for not being able to prove your value, and of course a massive end of the world scenario looming over, you don’t have time for the basics.

ArtStation - Ghostbusters: The Video Game - Walter Peck, Ian McIntosh
The Peck in Video Game Form (from ArtStation)

LESS THAN SAFE PROCEDURES and HOUSING

This goes a little into the lack of funding field too, but deserves its own section. Peck is right in that the Containment Grid and much of the other items the Ghostbusters have could use a lot more testing and inspection, but again, when you’re an underfunded organization not given the same consideration as other outlets, what is available has to spent on the absolute necessities. The team has to make due with what it has, and sadly it isn’t enough. Again, Ray and Egon are the most experienced men of the outfit and have pretty clear cut ideas about how to protect both themselves and the citizens of New York City, so even if the material doesn’t meet the exact standards a group like the EPA would deem appropriate, it still does the job regardless of worry by an individual like Peck. With the Containment Grid, Ray and Egon were explaining in detail to Peck what would happen should it just be “Turned Off” but Peck’s general attitude and hatred of Peter Venkman made Peck’s judgement worse.

Pete Venkman and Walter Peck | Ghostbusters, Great movies, Ghostbusters 1984
You’re Outta Here, ya Peck!! (from Pinterest)

Now in all likelihood Peck’s singling out of the Ghostbusters is primarily based on his utter hatred of Peter Venkman and the embarrassment he suffered via Venkman’s rudeness, as well as not being able to prove the power of Gozer a hoax. I firmly believe he only wants to fire and imprison the others just to pay back Venkman and give him the same feeling of embarrassment he gave Peck, letting his professional pride snub cloud his judgement over the bigger issues, revealing he’d rather be thrown under the bus by the Mayor and other city officials as the sole bearer of the problem than have to admit he made a huge mistake. Ray and Egon on several occasions earnestly tried to be the voices of reason, with Venkman only making things worse and causing the normally level-headed Egon to attack Peck when Peck made a degrading personal insult to him.

(Please note that this is primarily my personal opinion rebuttal to the looper article and I do not in any way state that this is how others feel. Please feel free to constructively criticize the piece if there’s anything I missed here [please remember to be kind here folks]. This is in now way canon and my own ideas regarding from what I’ve seen of the film and the game sequel, I could be totally wrong and be perfectly fine with it. Thanks for tuning in this month, and any apologies for the more sporadic postings as things my way have been fairly crazy busy. HAPPY HALOWEEN!)

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

for more information

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087332/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_2

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

https://ghostbusters.fandom.com/wiki/Ghostbusters_Wiki

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

Season’s Scaring’s

from Tony Nash

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

Download the Best Happy Halloween Greeting Cards, Free eCards, Images &  Pictures With Best Wishes. | Scary halloween pictures, Halloween pictures,  Scary halloween
from Pinterest

Filed under: Annoucements

The Maestro of Horror’s Grand Opus

by Tony Nash

(Halloween Potpourri 5)

(All opinions are of the author alone)

(Major Spoilers)

(Review is of the uncut Italian language version)

(Author’s Note: This review will be a little different, as I feel to relate the film is to speak of personal viewpoint, so here I’ll be speaking in the first person for much of the review)

Lisa and the Devil (1973) Preview - Color / 3:05 mins - YouTube
A US Poster (from YouTube)

Lisa e il Diavolo (Lisa and the Devil) (1972/73) ****1/2 R

Telly Savalas: Leandro, the Butler/A Demon

Elke Sommer: Lisa Reiner/Elena, Max’s Wife

Alessio Orano: Max, the Countess’ Son

Alida Valli: The Countess

Sylva Koscina: Sophie Leher

Eduardo Fajardo: Francis Leher

Espartaco Santoni: Carlo, Countess’ Husband

Gabriele Tinti: George, the Leher Chauffer

Franz von Treuberg: The Shopkeeper

Kathleen Leone: Lisa’s Friend (as Kathy Leone)

Written by: Mario Bava & Alfredo Leone (as Alfred Leone)

Directed by: Mario Bava

Synopsis: A woman finds herself put through a night of bizarre terror and the supernatural while spending the night at a decrepit villa of a creepy Spanish noble family

Lisa and the Devil (1973)
The Countess recalls the Past (from the IMDb)

After years of having his films compromised by Samuel Z. Arkoff and James H. Nicholson for American distribution, Mario Bava finally achieved complete creative freedom for exhibition in both Europe and the States with his newest film Lisa e il Diavolo. Bava had the concept for the film in his head for years, having jotted down notes and a treatment throughout the years, but couldn’t convince anyone to back the film due to its artistic and experimental nature. The picture finally got greenlight after Bava had a string of successes and one of the Italian studios offered him the opportunity to make any film he wished. What audiences of the time were treated to was a series of surreal imagery and story that had them struggling to comprehend what they were seeing. This botch at the box office caused Producer and co-writer Alfredo Leone to make changes to the film without contacting Bava and the subsequent mess that resulted from the changes led to the first of Bava’s descent into poor health and a heart attack. Not until Bava’s passing was the original film praised.

lisa e il diavolo | Tumblr
The Weeds of Time (from Tumbler)

The film is very hard to explain, Bava employing the painterly qualities he learned from his father to the overall look to the piece. This makes the film seem much more akin to a puzzle that even I your humble reviewer had trouble deciphering. This doesn’t take away from the films’ beauty at all, and it is indeed very much a painting brought to life the way only a mind like Bava’s could achieve. What we the audience end up seeing on screen is a version of Hell in its most devilish form, the realization all of these characters are being forced to relive their horrific deaths night after night as punishment for their sins in life. Whether they try every night to escape their fates isn’t determined, but what we do know is that at least two of the characters are aware of what is really happening, with the littlest of hope they can change history.

Lisa and the Devil (1973)
Devilish Hands at Work (from the IMDb)

Telly Savalas, one of the most iconic character actors of several decades, gets to play in his one and only avant-garde artistic style role with the part of Leandro the Butler. Whether he is Satan himself (as the fresco in the film’s opening suggests) or A demon sent by Satan to ensure history is repeated daily is unknown, but it is clear he holds permanent dominion over this disturbed family and the unfortunate guests who happened to become ensnared in events, and is loving it. Amazingly, Leandro in no way manipulates the events to ensure the Horror of these poor souls continues, and seems to only be a presence that moves in and out of the scenes, interacting with the others when necessary.

(Author’s Note: The lollipop that would become Savalas’ trademark as the character of Kojack originated in this film. Savalas was having difficulties giving up smoking, and Bava recommended he suck on lollipops as a substitute.)

Lisa and the Devil (1973)
Going Deeper into the Madness (from the IMDb)

Elke Sommer, the Austrian beauty, reunites with Bava a year after working with him on Gli Orrori del Castello di Norimberga (The Horror of Nuremburg Castle/Baron Blood) in the role of Lisa. Very little is known about Lisa, other than that she decided to spend her vacation in Spain, which makes her ending up at the villa and her subsequent connection to the other participants even stranger as there’s no way to figure out how this is all happening. Sommer has very little to almost no dialogue in the film, making her like Leandro in that everything seems to happen around her, making her the central figure.

Lisa and the Devil (1973)
The Blind Countess (from the IMDb)
Film Review: Lisa and the Devil (1974) | HNN
The Unstable Max (from Horromews)
Lisa and the Devil (1973)
The Lovely Sophie (from the IMDb)
Lisa e il diavolo (1973) - il Davinotti
Francis and Leandro (from il Davinotti)

The two leads are joined by such performers as Alida Valli, Eduardo Fajardo, Sylva Koscina, and Alessio Orano. These players at one time or another engaged acts of infidelity, betrayal, and murder, and are forced by the power of the Devil to relive those sins, and the deaths they suffered because of them in an immortal loop, dying only to return to life not long after to begin the tragic cycle all over again.

Lisa and the Devil (1973)
House of Puppets (from the IMDb)

Mannequins play an important role in the film as since the majority of the characters are long dead, the life size figures act as recreations of the deceased, fixed and brought back to life by Leandro, once every murder has been committed. How Leandro does thins is never explained, only that each figure is created by a local shopkeeper to fit the likeness of the participants, and then animated by unknown forces.

lisa e il diavolo Tumblr posts - Tumbral.com
Tragedy Lies Behind this Beautiful Facade (from Tumbral)

Like I said in the past , how each viewer interprets a film is based on their own experience, and Lisa e il Diavolo is the ultimate example of this. It can be really difficult to explain this one without giving your own opinion as the imagery Bava goes with is very visceral and is nearly impossible to be objective when discussing it. Since Bava made the film with no audience in mind and truly did make something he himself wanted to see, it makes pinpointing something exact hard. If Bava truly intended for this to be the type of film that every viewer would have a different perspective on after seeing it, then he succeeded a 100 times over since his death in 1980 as the film does continue to fascinate, unnerve, and confound people.

(This film isn’t for everyone, but those who do see it, while bewildered, do come away with interesting experience that leaves them thinking about the film for a long while after seeing it. The Blu Ray from Arrow Video is fairly immaculate, only small hints of age and wear present.)

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

for more information

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0068863/?ref_=hm_rvi_tt

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

https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisa_e_il_diavolo

buying options

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

Birthday Wishes to My Favorite Actress

from Tony Nash

Today is the birthday of my all time favorite actress ever, Miss Catherine Deneuve, who is 77 years young.

The 8th Best Actress of All-Time: Catherine Deneuve - The Cinema Archives
(from the Cinema Archive)
Indie Sales to Show New Film with Catherine Deneuve at UniFrance RDV -  Variety
(from Variety)

I first saw Catherine Deneuve in a film when I was 19 and watched my first ever French language film Un Flic (A Cop) from French Noir master Jean-Pierre Melville. Granted Melville had difficulty in writing parts for film actresses, she was still a graceful and wonderful presence to behold on screen.

I first came to really appreciate her after watching Le Parapluies du Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) about a year later, and was completely under her spell. There’s just something completely enrapturing about her, that soulful, and sometimes mournful, gaze just implores you not to look away from her. Few actresses have left this type of impression on me, the others being Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, and Grace Kelly, so this naturally makes Catherine Deneuve pretty special, to me at least. I’ve seen a good amount of her films, have always been impressed with her, even when the film itself is a little clunky, which again shows just how much of a fine actress she is.

Another item that makes Catherine Deneuve great is that she’s one of a handful of actresses who’s never felt the need to always “bare all” for the camera to achieve desirability. Not that she wasn’t willing by any means, but she had this knack to give off the illusion of being au natural and that gave her an even more enigmatic feel as even her body remained an intriguing mystery.

So HAPPY BIRTHDAY Mademoiselle Deneuve, you’re a first class lady

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

Here’s some English friendly interviews with the grand actress

Filed under: Film: Actor/Actress Spotlight

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

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