Monday, February 23, 2009

Vampyros Lesbos

This 1971 European movie is one I have been hearing about for many years, but had never had a chance to see. When I had the recent opportunity to pick up the cheap DVD of the movie, I took a chance on it.

Everyone has raved about how Jess Franco was a vanguard piece of experimental filmmaking, and was an influence on many films to follow. Frankly, I just didn’t get it. There seems to me to be little that is innovative about the film, and even the strange association of lesbianism and vampirism is a worn motif. The plot, such as it is, concerns a young lawyer sent to an island off the Turkish coast to settle an estate vampire. There, she either is or isn’t molested by a female vampire. And there’s a recurring scorpion, which ultimately drowns. It does feature a lot of female nudity, and simulated lesbianism, if that’s your thing. Unfortunately, there’s not much else.

The soundtrack has also won raves, but to me it was indistinguishable from any cheap porno movie of the 70s (not that I would know what that sounds like).

The early 70s must have been the Golden Age of lesbian vampires in the cinema. In addition to this movie, there was Daughters of Darkness, The Vampire Lovers, and the superior Countess Dracula. I did feel sorry for the scorpion, the most mistreated movie scorpion since The Wild Bunch.

No comments: