A girl arrives from London to visit her estranged relatives in a remote castle for the reading of her father's will. After a while she discovers that they are all in fact dead and her ...
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Women's prison tale, with Lina Romay as Maria who is jailed after killing her father, played by director Jess Franco, who tries to rape her. Lesbian wardens, torture, nudity, sex, insanity and conspiracy round out the formula.
A girl arrives from London to visit her estranged relatives in a remote castle for the reading of her father's will. After a while she discovers that they are all in fact dead and her decision to live with them turns into a nightmare. Unable to leave she's drawn into a macabre underworld through visions of nude satanic rituals and her own impending sacrifice. Written by
Ever get the feeling this wasn't intended for the sober?
I'm not implying that watching this drunk would be a great idea, I meant it in a "Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas" kind of way, if that makes no sense. nevermind. Back to the subject. We already have Night of the Living Dead, Erotic Nights of the Living Dead, we even got a Hell of the Living Dead, so why the hell not A Virgin Among the Living Dead? They could probably use one. Although, that's not the original title, and has absolutely nothing to do with what goes on, I'm not entirely sure what to think of this one, yet, that's probably why I dig it so much. What almost seems more like some kind of shroom-dream... make that shroom-nightmare, A Virgin Among the Living Dead is director, Jess Franco's exploration into the grey area between life and death, or at least that's what they say. As of this moment, all traditional B-horror rules have now been thrown out the window.
We begin with a young woman, Christina, traveling to an out of the way, castle, in Spain. There, stay the relatives of her estranged father, who has recently committed suicide, soon, there will be a reading of the will. Once Christina arrives in town, she's looked at like shes crazy after asking for directions, she's told no one lives there. The next day, with the guidance of a mute, Christina arrives at Monserat, to find that all her relatives are somewhere between eccentric, and insane. Monserat is filled with some kind of evil/confusion/ insanity, it's just very incoherent. Although her peculiar relatives seem kind of harmless, Christina suspects that something is a little off, when her step-mother warns her to leave, seconds before her death, not to mention bizarre occurrences such as, waking up one morning to find a big, black dildo on the floor, and a blind girl sitting in the corner, walking in on blood sucking sessions, finding dead bats on her bed, just, confusion, after confusion. and not even being allowed to have friends over, also seems a bit suspicious. Besides all the random confusion, it really seems like death is hovering over everything. With this film coming off as a dream, and being about death, then, isn't this just one big nightmare? Possibly, but I think it's deeper than that.
It is said that Jess Franco made this film as a way to cope with the death of Soledad Miranda, hence, the emphasis on death. For a horror film to come off as a genuine nightmare will always be a job well done, regardless of the intended message. Whatever message Franco intended, was intended for Franco, we're just lucky that he shared it with us, because witnessing such surreal magnificence really is a rare experience. The vibe of this film is simply indescribable. For more dream on film, check out Messiah of Evil, and Death Bed, although, You really won't find anything quite like this one anywhere, not even from Franco. Above all else, A Virgin Among The Living Dead is bold, independent film-making in its purest form. 9/10
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