Vampyros Lesbos (1971)

Director: Jess Franco

It seemed logical to follow Venus in Furs with another Franco (Manera) film shot in Turkey and also featuring one of the same actors (Dennis Price, who’s rather more prominently featured in this one). it’s a tenuous connection but it makes a damn sight more sense than anything in the film itself. I last watched this about five years ago, and I remember being struck then by just how whacked out and incoherent it was. I mean, I’d seen the film a few times before that so I probably always realised, but I just remember being really hit by it, Five years later, it hasn’t got any more sensible, of course. However, watching it after Venus in Furs as I did tonight (even though it’s nowhere near as strange as VL), perhaps I was a bit more… attuned to it? I don’t know, maybe I’m just becoming attuned to Franco in general, maybe I’ve learned not to worry so much about the plot making sense (the plot, for what it’s worth: woman working for law firm goes to assist mysterious countess with estate she’s inherited from a certain Count Dracula, falls under her lesbian vampiric spell, sense stops being made roughly around this point) and to just accept that, well, this is how Franco tends to operate (“forget it, James, it’s Francotown”). As such, I was in a somewhat more accepting frame of mind towards it, perhaps, opening myself to its basic silliness and having a good perve at Soledad Miranda. Let’s face it: the late Ms “Korda” and her not at all unattractive body do constitute probably the chief attraction of the film. I’ve got no idea how good an actress she was (not sure if that’s even her own voice on the soundtrack, though I suspect not), but she didn’t look too bad at all in the nude, and I’ve no doubt that was what really mattered anyway. As hard to actually recommend as probably any Jess Franco film, obviously, but quite fascinating…

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