The Strange allure of Jess movies
OK, don't believe the (probably) turned-psychotronic
filmwriters as Tim Lucas or Stephen Thrower when they claim that Jesús
really was a master filmmaker in the same legion as an Orson Welles,
a Luis Buñuel or a Murnau, that Jess knew how to make movies
of the same quality as these filmmakers but that he "preferred"to
make his own subversive "deceiveingly" bad kind of cinema.
No, the loose cannon of Spanish cinema obviously couldn't make great
films like the mentioned masters of cinema, as 10 or 15 of Jess
films could be considered "good" but then we have the other
200 or something. As this trashy film or even much, much worse.
You most always feel deeply cheated and unsatisfied after watching a
Jess Franco film. "How could i be lured into watching yet another
of these awful films?" - you ask yourself. Why, WHY do
i buy and watch another Jess Franco film ?
Everytime the last 30 (thirty) years i've asked myself
this question after yet another schlockeroo watching. The answer is
something about them, something that i can't put in words. A strange
I started in the 1980's when collecting uncut VHS tapes of horror films
and an uncut Franco trash-fest could cost a lot, 500 skr for an
uncut copy (often a Dutch release) of White Cannibal Queen, Macumba
Sexual or some other Franco garbage was quite normal.
Like in a D'Amato movie there are no rules in Jess movies ... except
the muff zoom for bush lovers, and some of Jess best films do have a
lot of atmosphere and personal style to them.
Some of my favourite Jess Franco films are: the Awful Dr. Orlof, Justine,
The Diabolical Dr. Z, The Bloody Judge, Exorcisme et Masses
Noire, Bloody Moon and Greta, haus ohne männer/Wanda, the Wicked
A lot of different genres, like Jess mad doctor
movies, his swinging 60's spy movies, the arty-farty sex movies often
his nunsploitation movies, his witch-hunt films, his porno movies, his
WIP ones and the many excruciatingly bad Jungle movies, yuck!
And this 1980 film belongs to his more light-hearted spy sleaze genre
and as usual it seems highly probable that Jess just let the camera
roll and improvised the story during the filming in the Canary Islands,
when meandering around aimlessly.
This film is quite BAD but still, also a bit entertaining as there's
some (unintentional?) comedy with sweet Lina Romay running around
in a martian bikini when chased by a helicopter (the rental of the helicopter
with it's pilot probably burned 90 % of Jess budget) and
the stripping from Lina and Lynn Monteil must be the worst, most un-erotic
ever done on film, but also quite funny.
The Story .... written on a piece of toilet-paper maybe?
Cécile (Lina Romay) and Brigitte (Lynn Monteil?) are 2 strippers
that has been sentenced to 1 year in jail due to their badly performed
striptease, and the french police gives them a chance to avoid jail
by being secret stripper agents in Spain. Their mission to spy on a
white slavery ring in the Canary Islands and lots of thick bushes, poor
acting, poor script writing and poor sex scenes follow.
Some sort of a sequel to his 1969 Red Lips stripper spies movie maybe.
4:3 screen ratio with an english or french PCM stereo
audio dub with english subtitles - i preferred the french audio as it
The Spanish version of this film - Opalo de Fuego DVD
are included with the 3000 first copies of the US Severin blu-ray ....
are there really
3000 sick puppies of Jess Franco fans out there ? Yes, probably.
Extras: Two Cats in the Canaries: Interview with Old Jess - R.I.P. Maestro
(10 minutes in french with subs), Donald farmer interview with
Jess Franco composer Daniel White (11 minutes from 1993), Franco expert
Stephen Thrower on Two Female Spies (29 minutes, Author of
"Murderous Passions: The Delirious Cinema of Jesús Franco),
9 minutes of outtakes and a theatrical trailer
OK, so there's about 30 minutes of material that differs
between the Spanish version of this film and the Two Female Spies version
so if you're inclined to torture yourself some, please watch also Opalo
de Fuego on the DVD, and go mad ...