Exorcism 4 Disc Ultimate Edition Blu / DVD set!

Just arrived at ORLOF HQ… the 2nd entry into X-Rated Kult Videos EUROCULT COLLECTION is a mammoth tribute to EXORCISM.  I love this Jess Franco film and even though I can’t play the Blu Ray disc (argh, Region B) I am looking forward to digging in to the 3 DVDs included.  Here are some looks inside and out.  The scans are huge and should give you all the listed specs, more as I dig in!
There are two editions of this. This is Cover A which is limited to 333 units and Cover B features the DEMONIAC artwork and is limited to 666 copies. 
ALL HAIL FRANCO!!!

Singing some Pop Street Blues with Los blues de la calle Pop

I’ve always been a little obsessed by the oddball details that Jess Franco crams in to his films, and while enjoying Los blues de la calle Pop without the ability to decipher any of the dialog (I don’t speak Spanish), it was a lot of fun to sit back and enjoy the new wave punk noir of the film.  It isn’t just a clothing aesthetic either, the entire film plays like a tribute to the tough dick classics that Franco obviously enjoyed, but it shows off his sense of humor as well as random titles stating “OH, SHIT” and Richard Corben artwork pop up to be lovingly panned across.
I had never encountered the film before, but I’m certainly glad I have now!

Felipe Marlboro (of which this is Volume 8 in his adventures by the films amusing logic) gets hired out by “Macho” to do…something.  He appears to be seeking someone, but I couldn’t figure out who.  Yes, I could look it up, but I love to go into these films blind and go to the visuals before looking up plots, and I’ll leave you that same luxury if you choose it.  He encounters a big batch of punk rock archetypes that don’t play nice when Marlboro pokes his nose where it doesn’t belong.  He tries to enlist Sam Chesterfield (Franco in his tribute to cigarette names picked a cool one, or is that KOOL?) and stuff happens. Luckily for him, a beautiful Lina Romay in Candy Coster mode has a few nude dance numbers and does a few numbers with the detective’s dick (and look for a nifty bit with Antonio Mayans and Lina’s pubic tuft)…  It all gets twisted up and has a wonderfully amusing end.  Best I could tell…

It isn’t really the plot that will keep you coming back to this, but the non stop barrage of pop references and comic book editing that made me think of Lucky The Inscrutable with lots more nudity and less budget in a great way.  It never stops!  Here is a look at not only Richard Corben’s DEN appearing, but also the amazing poster for Nosferatu featuring Franco’s old collaborator, Klaus Kinski.

I almost fell out of my chair!  Den makes a few other appearances as well.  Also, you have to love a dancing thug!  This scene is cool in that it takes the tried and true beatdown and has Analia Ivars (in her first Franco role) in there to boot.  Watch for Dancing DoBadder to unleash a stomping!

And you can really get a feel for the editing as Jess Franco makes his first appearance right here!

And it does not pay to beat up Antonio Mayans when he is named after Franco’s smokes…  I love that he keeps on dancin’ till the end.

I think my revelation in this film was two fold.  I owe Franco a big debt in the appreciation that hunting for his movies for the last 20 plus years has allowed me to enjoy cinema on a purely visual level, almost freed from the chains of plot and the sometimes less than logical scripting of exploitation cinema worldwide.  While I know that I miss many cultural references in his films, I also learned to forget fearing that and begin to underthink the story and truly enjoy the visuals.  Los blues de la calle Pop is perfect for this!

And yes, my love for Lina Romay demands we add a little tribute to her work.  One thing I really love about the 80s films is that Jess never lost his faith in Lina’s beauty and always treated her the same way visually.  She has a great dance number…and here it is.  Enjoy it, and if you are feeling frisky or want to see one of the most entertaining comedies of Franco’s 80s career, find yourself a little Pop Street action!

Jess Franco takes the long and rough road through JUNGLE OF FEAR

For as many films as I’d like to explore once more in the filmography of Jess Franco, there are all the unfinished, the variant edition and those darn ones I have no way of understanding that tease me down the path to Cinemania.  One of these is JUNGLE OF FEAR, an uncompleted feature that exists as a 125 minute work print that is unscored and still has missing scenes.  It’s a fun watch on the surface because there is some off camera direction to be heard and you can watch actors speak different languages to bounce off each others pauses (to be fixed later) and the incredibly heavy accented performances of some of the players.  I expected to be entertained, but what I found was a really fun comic strip like caper that is an adaptation (of a very loose sort) from THE GOLD BUG.  It plays out like a cross between a Franco film and one of the final gasp of the films we covered in Tough To Kill, minus any real action bits or exploding huts.  The plot and characters are so intriguing that anyone with an interest in Franco really should sit down and watch it.

 Antonio Mayans is exploring about in South America when a flying bug kills one of his party. And turns gold!  It’s amazing! It’s stunning!  And a documentary crew (with Lina Romay of course) heads out to discover and catalog a very convoluted set of riddles that lead to crystal skulls, the combined plots of Van Helsing and Dr. Quasimodo (!!!) and just…a lot more.  Seriously.  While the audio is far from ideal, every time a plot point was explained I was just hypnotized. Here…  “Several years ago…the old Nazi, VAN HELSING…”

Woah.  And there is more Francoism going on here! Witness the introduction for FURIA, the dominatrix, dancer, adventurer…evil person.  Of course, she dances and smacks around assistants that disappoint her.  Can anyone ID this actress?

And of course, THE GOLD BUG ATTACK!!

William Berger appears in the final third of the film as Dr. Quasimodo in what was to be his last film, he really goes to town with his lines and insane exposition as well. There is a great bit where he explains his luck by saying that rubbing the hump of hunchback is lucky, so he rubs HIS every morning when he wakes up!

And would any Franco light hearted adventure be the same without a great cameo?  Listen for his line about Michael Jackson and take note that the next line of dialog includes an emphatic BEAT IT!  Accident?  I bet not.  The clip also shows Charlie Chaplin Jr. walking past a random Chaplin mural.  Talk about synchronicity!

And I bet you never thought you would see Jean Claude Van Damme’s face slide away to have Lina Romay pass through it.  Well…

Now, as goofy as some of it is, there are also some pieces that would have turned out really great I think, the introduction of some “mystic” guys (that later mug for a camera) is well done and has been floating about on YouTube for some time, check it out.

So, is this a lost gem?  Probably not, but it is a very entertaining look at what could have been and might have stood as an interesting entry in the 90s Franco output and would go nicely with Dark Mission and Downtown Heat. Lina Romay definitely seems to be having fun as she is obviously amused during some takes and has a shower scene that turns into her hooking up with Charlie Chaplin’s son.
For now, JUNGLE OF FEAR remains a path for the fearless amongst Franco fans to cut a swath through.  Some of you may find it very rewarding!

Midnight Party – Edition Tonfilm DVD quick look

Check out this “Damaged VHS” cover for the Edition Tonfilm release of MIDNIGHT PARTY!  A quick look has the film playing at 90 minutes and 5 seconds with 25 seconds of play out music over a black screen.  I love the theater play out inclusions.  The film is one of Franco’s best (and most remixed and reshaped) sex films in my opinion, and I’m looking forward to settling in with the DVD this weekend.  You can purchase this at DIABOLIK DVD by clicking here:  I WANT TO GO TO THE MIDNIGHT PARTY WHERE THE GIRLS ARE SWEET AND THE SEX FLOWS WITH ZOOMS!  

The disc is PAL and Region 2 with English, German and French audio.  Here are the menu sets and some images.  Lina looks beautiful in this and the final masturbation with a wink and knowing nod is one of her sexiest moments in the Francoverse!

More soon….

There is also a shorter (74 minute) German language version (that is different from the start) and the quality is surprisingly good…