Jess Franco’s Forgotten Films: Vol. 1

EL FRANCONOMICON / I'M IN A JESS FRANCO STATE OF MIND

This HD double bill, JESS FRANCO’S FORGOTTEN FILMS: Vol. 1 from Dorado Films, is another welcome addition to the growing list of Blu-ray releases of the the films of the prolific director. This set contains two of his first MANACOA FILMS productions, LOS OJOS DEL DOCTOR ORLOFF/THE SINISTER EYES OF DOCTOR ORLOFF (1973) and UN SILENCIO DE TUMBA (1972).img_3341968679648.jpeg

This is a review of The Ultimate Edition of this Dorado Films release, which contains 4k scans from 35mm elements of both features. Also included in the edition is THE MANACOA EXPERIENCE, a 14 page history of Films Manacoa P.C., the production company which Franco founded in late 1972. The Manacoa company lasted until the very end of his career, including his last two features, AL PEREIRA VS THE ALLIGATOR LADIES and REVENGE OF THE ALLIGATOR LADIES (2012 and 2015, respectively). One of my favorite Franco films LOS BLUES DE LAS…

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MIL SEXOS TIENE LA NOCHE–Mondo Macabro Blu-ray

EL FRANCONOMICON / I'M IN A JESS FRANCO STATE OF MIND

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A delirious exercise in horror y sexo this pitch black Film Noir is one of Jess Franco’s most visually arresting entries from his early 1980s Spanish period. MIL SEXOS TIENE LA NOCHE is one of the series of films he made for Emilio Larraga’s GOLDEN FILMS INTERNACIONAL S.A., Barcelona. These productions were low budget films in a variety of genres, including the follow up to GRITOS EN LA NOCHE (1961), EL SINIESTRO DR. OFLOFF, softcore romps like LAS ORGIAS INCONFESABLES DE EMMANUELLE erotic crime-thrillers BOTAS NEGRAS, LATIGO DE CUERO, and Sade adaptations GEMIDOS DE PLACER (all 1982). There were also Poe adaptations EN BUSCA DEL DRAGON DORADO and even martial arts adventures LA SOMBRA DEL JUDOKA CONTRA EL DOCTOR WONG (both 1983). What locks all these films together, good, bad, not completed, was that they are all 100 percent undiluted Jess Franco, both in terms of style and content. They…

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COMING FROM MONDO MACABRO: MIL SEXOS TIENE LA NOCHE on Blu-ray! — EL FRANCONOMICON / I’M IN A JESS FRANCO STATE OF MIND

We are extremely proud to present the North American home video premiere of Jess Franco’s underrated 80s supernatural-sex opus MIL SEXOS TIENE LA NOCHE! A quasi-remake of his own earlier film NIGHTMARES COME AT NIGHT, this unusual thriller finds Franco at the height of his stylistic delirium: “The dreamlike atmosphere is everything here and the […]

via COMING FROM MONDO MACABRO: MIL SEXOS TIENE LA NOCHE on Blu-ray! — EL FRANCONOMICON / I’M IN A JESS FRANCO STATE OF MIND

Man From Deep River (1972)

latest ´from the Tomb´ review

Torn From The Tomb

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aka The Man from the Deep River, Deep River Savages, Sacrifice! 

Directed by Umberto Lenzi    

Starring Ivan Rassimov, Me Me Lai

93 minutes

Italy

Umberto Lenzi’s 1972 Man From Deep River, is often listed in the same breath as other Italian cannibal films such as Cannibal Holocaust or Cannibal Ferox, but the film isn’t really like those at all. As the film which kick-started the whole cannibal trend, Man From Deep River suffers form early installment weirdness, in that it is essentially a story of ones man’s journey into a tribe on the border between Thailand and Burma, and from there becomes a combination of a showcase of the tribes customs and rituals and a love story. It is much more influenced by Mondo movies and the 1970 western A Man Called Horse (hence the similar title), which featured a white man who became integrated…

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TLMEA (2016) Review

The Breathing Dead

During a drug raid a group of policemen find themselves trapped in a nightmare, the third zone of Dante’s ninth circle of Hell.

I had the pleasure of viewing another German/English language screener personally from filmmaker Kevin Kopacka. Here the Austrian director offers another dark moody psychological visual 32 minute short. The preceding opening with a horrific story of the fate of a young boy which is followed by a flick though the sounds, voices and static of a radio station of 99.9, Kopacka’s prequel to Hades – TLMEA is more street than its predecessor, following a sullen group of swat and undercover police (poliza). Blurred images, shadows on red, troubled sleep with unnatural lighting, flashy editing that cuts to the hyper real moments as the director takes us through on screen title cards beginning with segments subtitled Limbo and Lust.

TLMEA unfolds with the harsh reverberating, at times melodic…

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The Love Witch (2016) trailer

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Is the good cinema coming back?

If the trailer for Anna Biller’s latest feature The Love Witch is anything to go by, it finally is – the kind of cinema that’s pleasing not only emotionally but also aesthetically. The kind of cinema thought lost since the late 1970’s – films bold enough to embody their makers’ aesthetic views in each frame, each cut, each carefully selected prop, each note on the soundtrack.

With its eye-popping colours, lovingly composed shots, gorgeous  set design and atmospheric sound scape (and fabulous costumes!), The Love Witch promises to be a one-of-a-kind feast for the senses.

Judging from the trailer, The Love Witch is an ironic retro-melodrama with some mild horror elements. According to the director, the film is an attempt at expressing the complex sensation of being a woman in a society where conventional ‘retro’ femininity is all but outlawed. In The Love Witch the multitalented artist and filmmaker Anna Biller (who has dedicated months to creating the many exquisite costumes and set designs echoing the 1950’s studio  films with her own hands) employs the tropes of such ‘old-fashioned’ genres as Douglas Sirk-style melodramas and Hollywood musicals to make a statement regarding  woman’s place in contemporary society.

Having made a name for herself with a number of 16mm short films, Biller has made her feature debut with Viva(2008), a gloriously kitschy comedy that has garnered positive response at film festivals across Europe. The Love Witch is another step further towards embodying the untamed femininity on the screen. Apart from writing and directing the film, Biller has also edited and scored The Love Witch herself. The gorgeous cinematography is courtesy of M. David Mullen (Jennifer’s Body) while the demanding lead role is essayed by Samantha Robinson.

samantha robinson witch

Here’s to hoping The Love Witch finds a good distributor so that Anna Biller may continue to thread the fine line between art and kitsch and  make more daring, dazzling, delightful films.