Al Pereira vs. the Alligator Ladies (2012) Poster

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The last (completed) film of Jess Franco.
morrison-dylan-fan6 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
After seeing his very good debut We Are 18 Years Old,I decided to try and track down the last title that film maker Jess Franco had made.Searching round for details on Revenge of the Alligator Ladies,I was sad to find out that Uncle Jess had died before the movie was completed.Talking to a DVD seller,I was happy to find out that he had gotten hold of the last completed movie that Franco had done,which led to me getting ready to pay Uncle Jess a final visit.

The plot:

Entering a villa,private detective Al Pereira finds the place to be filled with Alligator Ladies,who are related to his arch enemy Fu Manchu.Shooting 2 of the Alligator Ladies,Pereira finds the memory of the women to give him troubling nightmares.

View on the film:

For what would turn out to be the last movie that he would complete,co-writer/ (along with lead actor Antonio Mayans) co- editor/ (along with Dani Salama)composer/director Jess Franco gives a fond farewell which chucks in every surviving cast member/character who he can get his hands on,as Antonio Mayans gives a good,worn down performance as the returning Pereira,whilst Uncle Jess shows that he still has an eye for the ladies.with the sexy returning duo Carmen Montes & Paula Davis offering a very alluring screen presence. Disappointingly,despite offering the tantalising premise of a detective story mixed with rather daring 4th wall breaking interludes, (With Uncle Jess being shown rehearsing scenes with actors that appear later in the film!)Franco drags the movie out to a dire pace,with the short 80 minute running time largely being used for (extremely soft) lesbian scenes where the Alligator Ladies do the same dance moves again and again,which along with the burnt to a crisp detective plot leads to this being a rusty,final note from Uncle Jess.
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The final fully completed film from Franco and it is in all honesty really bad
Red-Barracuda5 November 2016
I must admit that I approached this movie with a certain sense of foreboding. I have seen a good number of films from the ultra-prolific Spanish exploitation director Jess Franco but I had not seen anything he had done since the early 80's. By that point in time he had made dozens of very low budget movies that displayed his, shall we say, unique approach to directing which could be summarised as fast, no messing and to the point. Many of these films only barely qualified as narrative movies and could only be appreciated if you were willing to accept quite a few deficiencies and rock bottom production values. But the thing is that cheap films from this era were still at least shot on film and are probably more enjoyable nowadays than they were at the time of their release because of the benefits that older films gain due to their off-their-time look and feel when viewed from the perspective of today, decades on. So, I was a little worried what one of these types of films would be like when stripped of both these retro benefits while being shot on the rather ugly digital video. It turns out my fears were unfortunately well founded as Al Pereira vs. the Alligator Ladies must be the worst Franco movie I have yet seen and much of the reasons were more or less the ones I mentioned before.

This one is notable at least for being the last fully completed movie that Franco ever directed. He made a sequel called Revenge of the Alligator Ladies (2013) where sadly he seems to have died before production was complete. But seeing as its entire plot summary here on IMDb currently states 'Maybe you should skip this one' I get the overall feeling that, on balance, it probably isn't a film to seek out too urgently. Al Pereira vs. the Alligator Ladies shares a common characteristic that anyone who has seen a decent number of Franco movies could attest to and that is that is that its story-line is almost insanely half-hearted. So much so that there is no point in even bothering mentioning it. It's a film which could maybe best be described as a soft-core erotic comedy. The former is made up of pretty lengthy scenes of women dancing around naked. Sadly, these weren't particularly sexy though but I can't criticise the general idea. The comedy part is covered by everything else, including the presence of a particularly annoying man with a beard who talked in a deeply moronic manner. I thought that the most interesting parts by far were the sequences where Franco himself appears as himself actually directing scenes in the film. There is no discernible reason for these moments but they did alleviate the poorly paced tedium that constituted the other events that dragged out before us on screen. These scenes definitely showed that Franco wasn't taking any of this seriously at all which was obviously a plus point. To be honest this one is so cheap that it feels more like a home movie and is about as much fun as watching one of those, essentially proceed with extreme caution I would say.
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The Man in the Mirror
Michael_Elliott8 August 2015
Al Pereira vs. the Alligator Ladies (2012)

** (out of 4)

Al Pereira (Antonio Mayans) is having a very bad nightmare while laying in his bed. Moments later we see a couple ladies, the alligator ladies of course, doing a sexual dance and then all sorts of weirdness follows.

This turned out to be the last completed film before director Jess Franco passed away and he certainly went out in a rather playful mood. I say this because AL PEREIRA VS. THE ALLIGATOR LADIES is quite different from the films he was making over the last two decades of his career. Visually it has a lot in common with the direct-to-video releases from One Shot but at the same time it's a lot smarter and appears to have more attention and energy from the director.

I say this because there's quite a bit going on here. However, if you're looking for some sort of plot then you're going to be disappointed and you should probably just walk away from the film. I believe everything we're seeing is a dream so it makes sense that nothing we're seeing makes much sense. We go from women doing various sexual things with one another. Then the next scene will just be a couple different women. Throughout all of this there are moments where the actors will speak directly towards the camera and in the film's highlight a woman is stripping when she stops and receives direction from Franco himself.

We see Franco in the mirror as he is directing the actress and there are several moments like this throughout the picture. During one scene Mayans is acting with two women on the bed and he stops and begins talking to Franco who throws in some direction. It's scenes like this that really stand out here and makes it a tad bit smarter and more clever than what the director had been doing at the later period of his career. There's plenty of nudity and sexuality throughout but the real key here is just getting to see Franco work his magic.
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Spoilers follow ...
Nigel P11 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
2012. Soledad Miranda was no more, neither was Howard Vernon. Lina Romay was also gone, and yet Director Jess Franco – near the end of his life - continued making films. His collaborator here is Antonio Mayans, who had acted in a number of Franco productions, and this celebrates 40 years of their association. Mayans co-writes this and stars once more as titular investigator Al Pereira, a role he had previous played a number of times for his director friend in the 1980s.

This, Franco's final completed film, stars Mayans – who is sometimes credited as Robert Foster - as Pereira, who is suffering from bad dreams. Soon, we see near naked females, the Alligator ladies (Irene Verdú, Carmen Montes and Paula Davis), playfully cavorting and exhibiting carefree and uninhibited sexual abandon to the sound of jazz music. Two of the girls are the daughters of Fu Manchu, no less, hearkening back to the Franco-directed projects from the dawn of the 1970s. Production wise, this is substantially better than anything I've seen by One Shot Productions – sound, music, lighting and acting are all as impressive as anything Franco had achieved in his later years.

Plot-wise of course, this hurtles towards the end of the road and is just as incomprehensible as anything the director has done. Halfway through a striptease, one Alligator Lady moves to the side to reveal Jess Franco himself in the mirror, directing the scene. This continues for some time, before the flamenco guitar ushers in more gyrating. So what seems to be happening is that this young lady is lap-dancing for Uncle Jess in front of a mirror, and he's recording himself filming it. Franco makes more than one appearance in this manner. He looks very frail, but certainly in better spirits than he seemed to be during the making of 'Blind Target (2000)'.

The three Alligator ladies are frequently delightful, and appear to be having a great time making this, especially Davis, who's natural exuberance and addictive laughter seemed to be paving the way to becoming a Franco regular. Art director Luisje Moyano also plays a variation on Franco's simpleton character, Sal Pereira, in the second half. By the time of his appearance, enthusiastic though it is, the appeal of this bizarre project is wearing thin. 81 minutes this may be, but it could have done with some pruning. Or could it? Who am I to suggest such things? Jess Franco did things his way, uncompromising and crazy as can be, right until the very end.
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