After a four-month hiatus, I returned to Jess Franco territory once more with a DVD rental of BLUE RITA (1977). In fact, the owner of my local DVD outlet recently purchased Anchor Bay UK's 8-Disc Franco collection while in London and, needless to say, I was immediately attracted by these titles despite the censor-imposed cuts on a number of them since I had only previously watched two films from that set, namely uncut (albeit dubbed and full-frame) versions of LOVE LETTERS OF A Portuguese NUN (1977) and SEXY SISTERS (1977).
I must say that I was pretty surprised by the fact that BLUE RITA and, I assume, the other titles as well sports English subtitles on the original German-language version, which is obviously the preferred way to watch it! This fact, however, has angered me quite a bit as I had ordered the discounted R1 edition of JACK THE RIPPER (1976; from Image, and whose German version is not subtitled) only recently and, unfortunately, this shipped just a couple of days before I rented the BLUE RITA disc!!
As for the film itself, I was rather let down by it: in all probability, a Franco title from his Swiss period was not the ideal way to reacquaint myself with the director's work, especially since the last film I watched had been the rather experimental NIGHTMARES COME AT NIGHT (1970)! Most reviews I've encountered mention the film's bizarre décor and garish color scheme not to mention the wacky plot among its assets but, really, I found the film's overall style thoroughly flat and the situations so repetitive and uninvolving (as if the director's heart wasn't quite in it) that it hardly matters that it is actually good to look at! The cast, apart from Pamela Stanford (who, disappointingly, is given little to do here), is rather second-rate on this occasion especially Martine Flety, who didn't make much of an impression as the title figure and, in fact, only Dagmar Burger (!) as the counter-agent Sun emerged with some measure of dignity! Of course, similarly to SEXY SISTERS, the film obviously doesn't take itself at all seriously and the numerous would-be torture sequences and an awkwardly-staged brawl provide nonstop hilarity throughout!! As for the nudity, well, there's plenty of it (from both sexes!) but it's never really erotic but then this IS an exploitation piece after all!
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