Monday, September 6, 2010

Vampyros Lesbos: A rich man’s borderline lesby soft porn, a poor man’s Lemora (film review)





Jess Franco's Vampyros Lesbos is a slow, dreamy, almost surreal 'vampire' tale of a performance artist woman (Nadine - played by the mouth-watering Soledad Miranda) who mesmerizes a blonde audience member (Linda), and hypnotizes her into becoming her lesbian love-slave. There are a few other characters in the background, like Linda's concerned boyfriend, a psychiatrist, a random serial killer, etc., but the main story is about Nadine's hold over Linda.

I've only seen one other Jess Franco film ("Marquis De Sade: Justine" 1968), and for me, this film rates lower - mainly because of the lack of vampy horror, the over-the-top 60s soundtrack (which is definitely an acquired taste), and the soggy direction of the movie. Distracting the viewer from these drawbacks are countless boobies, crotch-shots, and girl-on-girl action.

Lesbians watching this film may recognize the underlying message of the story (that Nadine's lesbionic desires towards Linda were viewed as a 'disease,' like a vampire infecting her prey). Men (and women), in turn, may simply salivate with visions of Soledad's naked 60s performance art dancing around a live female mannequin woman. And straight women looking for a horror movie may feel the urge to fall asleep due to the slowness of the film, only to be jolted awake by the 'Spoink!' and 'Clink!' of the soundtrack and unashamed close-ups of countless, dimpled asses.

I will say that I was constantly comparing this film to "Lemora: A Child's Tale of the Supernatural" in my mind. If you happen to be left dry by this movie, I recommend seeing Lemora. The surrealism is done to perfection, it actually has vampires, and the lesbian tension between the two main characters is palpable, honest-to-Ellen.


1 comment:

Dr. AC, Fool for Blood said...

Krisenthia, if you're looking for some Franco recs, let me know. He's definitely an acquired taste, but it's not that difficult to acquire it. For serious lesbian vampire action, check out FEMALE VAMPIRE (which can also be found under myriad other retitlings, including THE BARE-BREASTED CONTESSA) - it shares VL's slow pacing, but at least you get some serous steam going.

Other worthwhile Francos include THE HORRIBLE DR. ORLOFF, FACELESS, VENUS IN FURS and EUGENIE: THE STORY OF HER JOURNEY INTO PERVERSION.

I think the soundtrack for VL is amazing (ditto for VENUS IN FURS), by the way.

LEMORA, for whatever reason, just leaves me cold. But I know I'm in the minority on that one. Great ideas, some semblance of style, but it never really comes together (pun intended) for me.