Monday, March 31, 2014

Female Vampire (1973)

Original title: La Comtesse Noire

Director: Jesus Franco

Writers: Jesus Franco, Gerard Brisseau

Composer: Daniel White

Starring: Lina Romay, Jack Taylor, Alice Arno, Monica Swinn, Jesus Franco, Luis Barboo, Jean-Pierre Bouyxou, Raymond Hardy, Anna Watican, Gilda Arancio, Roger Germanes, Ricardo Vazquez

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Maailman Kuulu Shokki!

Plot: Countess Irina Karlstein is the last in a line of vampires. Compelled to suck the life force from her victims during sex, her activities attract the attentions of Dr Roberts, who comes to realise that the spate of bizarre deaths currently plaguing Madeira have a supernatural source. Meanwhile a poet, Baron Von Rathony has become infatuated with Irina. She wants to reciprocate his love, but knows that to do so will surely mean the man's death.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? No.

When I write a film score, this is how I want my name to appear on the screen...

That's actress Lina Romay as Countess Irina Karlstein.  She gets naked...A LOT!  This is a beautifully shot film with lots of pretty images.  This picture has several names depending on the cut.  I watched the 100 minute version which is really slow but in a meditative kind of way.

This could be the first interview with a vampire. Really, that's a reporter on the right asking the Countess about her vampire ancestry.

The Countess may be a mute but she knows the language of love!

That's Doctor Roberts played by the writer/director, Jess Franco.

Ahh, lesbian vampire mating rituals...

That scene above is actually pretty erotic.  You should see the Countess' face when she surfaces from her snack.  Scrummy.

There's no torture but it sure looks like there's going to be.

The Countess falls for Han Solo.  He's a poet...and a scoundrel. 

So I was in the mood for an early 70s, European erotic vampire movie and this one fit the bill. Like a lot of films in that sub genre, it's slow and it's slower than most but then it's designed to be that way.  It's a horror movie but there are no scares or even attempts at any.  It plays out like a meditative dream.  Daniel White wrote a lovely theme that sounds an awful lot like that Frank Sinatra classic, "I Get Along Without You Very Well", but it's the only theme in the movie.  The orchestral version gets the most play but then you get other variations done in different, more pop/elevator influenced, styles.  That's a problem because those don't work well and really date the picture plus it's total overkill hearing the same theme ad nauseum.  Other than the grossly repetitive score, it's an hour and forty minutes of relaxed vampire goings-on with wall to wall nudity, extended soft core sex scenes and very little talking.  I rather liked it but I don't recommend starting this after midnight with a glass of wine.  It'll put you to sleep.  I knew it was going to happen which is why I picked this type of flick.  It fit the bill.

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