If anyone is interested to see Spanish psychotronic film legend Jesús
Franco in a quite big acting role outside of his own films or outside
the cult film genre - this film is it. I enjoyed this old Spanish film,
a crime mystery and a comedy in black & white from 1964 with it's
ground to the criminal ongoings with the village and it's population
of all ages. Even though i didn't have any subtitles and my spanish
the film gave me good vibes, and a snug feeling , like watching some
old crime mystery on TV when i was a kid.
The exquisite crisp cinematography from José
F. Aguayo enhances the film a lot, so does the charismatic Tota Alba
and Rafaela Aparicio with
her unusual performance. A liked it even though i didn't understand
what was going on in most scenes with the villagers, and i guess i missed
the underlying social commentary from the director. It must have been
something more than just the crime story that made Spanish filmcritics
vote this film to be the 7th best Spanish film ever. Nice also to see
Jesús Franco in a decent acting role, that must have been a rare
The Great Tota Alba
We have a village with people of all ages, but mostly
with older folks as the young probably has left for some big city, where
the older ones
watch with incredulity when the young people dance the rock n' roll.
All of the old men wears a black beret, something i haven't seen any
spanish man do when visiting Spain (maybe some really old men in the
countryside still do, perhaps?).
There are some sub-stories i didn't get, Fernando (Carlos Larrañaga)
sings and plays the guitar in the local band Los Guacamayos and he has
a love affair with Beatrice (Lina Canalejas) and he's in a bad need
for money to be able to tour with his band (i think) and then there's
about a garment of sexy female underwear that upsets the villagers,
ha, as i said, i can't speak spanish.
But, in a sinister looking house at a corner of the
village square, there lives 3 siblings: the oldest, the scary looking
old spinster Dona Ignacia
(Tota Alba) and her 2 younger siblings, the cretinous Don Venancio (Jesús
Franco) and Doña Pequita (Rafaela Aparicio). Dona Ignacia is
but lonely woman and somehow she manages the money of the family (maybe
she's the guardian of her relatives?).
Ignacia has a fire burning under her stern looking outside and wants
to visit Paris and to have some romance before it's to late and her
are deadly afraid that she will ditch them and leave.
And, there are some strange things going on in the house at night, Venancio
and Paquita hear scary sounds, squeaks and footsteps. Is there some
spookery going on, is it a ghost moving around at night ? The idiot
couple are scared out of their minds and soon everything ends in disaster.
Tota Alba (1914-1983) was 50 years old when making this film and not
a beauty in any way, so i may be a sick puppy but i think she's kinda
I know, there must be something wrong with me. A very stern looking
older woman dressed in black with her hair in a bun and with gothic
This film was based on a real Spanish crime case where 2 people were
found dead on a beach.
This Spanish DVD edition presents the film in a 1.66:1
widescreen with a spanish audio 2.0 and WITHOUT any english subtitles
or any subs at all
Extras: Presentacion de la pelicula by actor Carlos Larrañaga
(Ferdinand) and some commentaries and anecdotes, filmografia, tecnical