A group of ghostly women are locked in the crypt in a cemetery, convicted of an old curse. Enclosed within the four walls of a lost pantheon, punished for something they are committed in a previous existence.
Let's face it, Jess Franco is valuable. He's an intuitive, an oaf, an illiterate, an anti-intellectual. He's not like John Waters, who displays trailer trash. He IS trailer trash. He apparently does no planning for his movies and sort of makes them up as he goes, coming to work each day, using whoever shows up.
But his intuitions are so mystifyingly perfect sometimes. He is the genius who invented the superpositions we celebrate in "Rocky Horror," the well sculpted sleaze. But that perfection of narrative cinema the insertion of something from one movie tradition into another in a way that shows mastery of both is important because it seems to underpin much of what we see in today's Spanish-speaking filmmakers. They don't do sleaze, that's irrelevant. They superimpose, fold.
But Franco is a tough one to like. He's still making movies, over a hundred and fifty so far. Most of them have none of his magic in them and most of those, I think, weren't even made by him. That's because he usually doesn't even come to work, and his long time companion runs the show, making movies that feature herself. Its the Yoko Ono deal run amok.
Needless to say, she is trailer trash in the uninteresting sense, someone who believes vulvas are expressive. The films that appear from her have neither Romay or Franco's names on them instead one of the dozens of pseudonyms they've invented, here "Betty Carter."
I do recommend you spend time with Franco. There are a half dozen you probably must see and as with many filmmakers ignore what you see and watch how it is put together. But not this. Its made by the walking dead.
Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.
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