I must immediately make clear that the version of 'Succubus' I watched was the American one with the shorter running time. I have absolutely no idea what has been cut and how different this is from what Jess Franco originally intended. Even so, this is a remarkable movie, and one of the most interesting Franco movies I have seen.
The beautiful Janine Reynaud plays Lorna Green, an enigmatic erotic dancer cum performance artist who stages odd, sadomasochistic events at a nightclub. She is plagued by hallucinations (?) and begins to confuse fantasy and reality, a common Franco scenario. I have to admit by the half way point I didn't have a clue what was going on, or who was who, but I didn't mind. Plot in 'Succubus' is secondary. Atmosphere, aesthetics, babes and surreal dialogue which name-dropped everyone from Stockhausen to Spillane to Mingus to De Sade, make this movie essential viewing. Reynaud is stunning to look at, there's some tasty jazz on the soundtrack, and there's the added kick of seeing the legendary Howard Vernon, a Franco regular who also appeared in everything from Godard's 'Alphaville' to Polanski's 'The Ninth Gate'.
Beginners should check out 'Vampyros Lesbos' first, still the most satisfying Franco I've seen, but make 'Succubus' a close second. You'll see nothing like it anywhere!
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