|Index||8 reviews in total|
Daughters of Darkness meets Female Vampire. How in God's name could you mess up a film with heavy close-up nudity and much lesbianism? Here's how. Make your film look like the world's worst vacation video, add some horrible in-camera effects and loop the same crappy song 87 times through the film. Please Jess I'm begging stop using the camcorder and pick up a Panaflex. And while your at it write a script. Unintentional laughs abound.
In the long filmography of Jess Franco, this direct-to-video cheapo is obviously just a minor work. "Vampire Blues" tells about a tourist (Rachel Sheppard) who has daydreams about a vampire lady seducing her. The strong points of the movie are: first, Lina Romay as the fortune-teller; she has a strong presence. Second, newcomer Rachel Sheppard brings an innocent beauty into the flick, just the kind of victim a wicked vampire would look out for. Third, certain obsessive shots (the mysterious house up the hill, the palm trees) create a surreal atmosphere typical for Franco. On the other hand, the weak points are the video effects (which seemed fashionable in 1983 maybe), the vampire lady who looks like a retired porn actress, and the minimized story. Many viewers will dislike the slowness of the movie as well as its bizarre colors. I suppose "Vampire Blues" could have done well as an experimental 30 minute video, but there is not enough substance for a 90 minute movie.
To Jess Franco I plead: please don't ever turn out a vile, unwatchable
piece of trash like this ever again. This is your yellow card, one more
screw up like this and it's game over.
Alright, the plot: Vampire chick seduces younger, hotter chick, witch-lady chick tries to prevent.
Even compared solely against the director's own material, this is bad. Almost the entire running time is composed of LLLOOOONNNGGGG slow-mo and optically distorted shots of the (unattractive) vampire chick doing a strip tease. The actress could have been any individual person's dream girl and it would still suck, an hour of that just isn't interesting.
Furhtering the matter is the non-existent script (you know they made up the limited dialogue on set), the bad acting (except for Romay, schlocky as ever), the cheap film stock, and the horrid editing.
Franco completest (like me) should still see it, ever one else should decry it's existence.
this is a modern jess franco made in malaga spain Like all jess francos its rubbishy a lot of the time but it has its moments,most noteably the daeth by dildo scene. Really only for fans,if its modern franco you are after try "Tender Flesh" made the previos year
The previous detractors have it right.
There is almost no plot, and the video appears very cheap.
The low level of dialog renders the movie quite amateurish. The 'silk screened' video effect on the characters' bodies, or overall, was bizarre, but did not help much. The overly guttural growls and vampire slurping worsened the cheap effects.
If the same plot were 'fleshed out' with more drama, more dialog, and less flesh, I would probably appreciate it much more! The result is a a very dull film with almost no eroticism.
Please, Mr. Franco, put some meat in the plot!
I am a Franco fan. I don't even bother to deny it in polite company. I
collected much of his eclectic oeuvre. I scan the net for new
However this home-video flick falls into his "worthless" category (alongside "Lust for Frankenstein" etc). It has little plot, amateur special effects and a budget which would probably not exceed the weekly expenditure of a middle class woman in Chad. It lacks any sensuality- the (sadly) crotch shaven women (including an elderly Romay) who shed their clothes raise not so much as a flicker of interest in the viewer.
Where was the creative impsulse, the tension- the eroticism? In this case, who cares?
Now this is pure and unadulterated Jess Franco! The director is perfectly teamed with his new One Shot Productions staff and together they have created one of the coolest and most unusual vampire films ever made. The cast consists of Euro diva Lina Romay, one of the most underrated actresses of the last quarter century, and relative unknowns Analia Ivars and Rachel Sheppard. Sheppard is terrific as the gal from New Joisey who encounters a sexually active vampire during her vacation in Spain. The English dub is the best on any Franco film in the last 10 years and the music on the American version is perfectly chosen by One Shot Productions. It's moody and visually spectacular. Definitely one of Franco's best later efforts and not to be missed if you are a fan of occult films or vampire cinema.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I sometimes wonder what Jess Franco was like when he wasn't shooting a
film. I imagine him like a caged animal, sweating, irascible and
subconsciously reaching for a camera. He probably wasn't like that at
all, but by his own admission, film-making is when he felt most alive.
By the time of 'Vampire Blues', his collaboration with One Shot
Productions had ensured that any pretence at commerciality was long
And so we open with a stuttering camera taking in the sumptuous seaside delights of Madrid, where a young woman Rachel Crosby (Rachel Sheppard, billed rather generously as a teenager on the DVD packaging) enjoying solitary days of sight-seeing and sunbathing. Her driftings into sleep are interrupted by visions of a vampire woman. When we first see this woman, she is the only splash of colour in an otherwise sepia scene. Often accompanied by a Rocky Horror-style soundtrack, Countess Irina von Murnau cuts a curious figure (she even gets to misquote 1931's Dracula: "The children of the night, what beautiful music they play."). The actress Analia Ivars, is billed in the opening credits as is everyone without a space between her names, which lead me to read her name as Anal Iaivars, but that may just be me. Her eventual fate is shocking, and brings back memories of Franco's predilection for sexual torture.
Amidst blotchy and distracting video effects that would have been innovative twenty years before, it is impossible to ignore how this once again recycles themes and moments from earlier Franco films. I won't list them.
It is good to see a cigarette smoking Franco cameoing as a market trader, and Lina Romay as an extravagant gypsy fortune teller Marga. As events roll on, Crosby becomes simply a pawn between the Countess and the flamboyant gypsy.
As a whole this drifts from being deeply monotonous to effectively dream-like. The sight of shaven women of a certain age indulging in protracted foreplay shot on video is an acquired taste, even for fans of Franco's films, which are an acquired taste to begin with. This definitely paves the way for modern day film-makers like Chris Alexander, who have extolled the virtues of micro-budget project (even his star Shauna Henry looks like Rachel Sheppard, although that is probably coincidental).
Enjoying a later Franco film despite the monotonous sex scenes is like enjoying a sponge pudding despite the sponge, but although this is far from my favourite, it still contains moments that sparkle.
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