MARI COOKIE AND THE KILLER TARANTULA (1997)
(AKA Eight Legs To Love You)
Director: Jesus Franco
Cast: Lina Romay, Michelle Bauer
Linnea Quigley, Amber Newman, Analia Ivers.
People are being kidnapped in a small village but the naked Sheriff Marga (Michelle Bauer) is hot on the trail for suspects. So with the help of a local socialite Teri (Linnea Quigley) worried about the sexual habits of her daughter Amy (Amber Newman) and with Marga’s cunning linguistic questioning of the sexy night-club dancer Queen Vicious (Analia Ivers) Sheriff Marga is (literally) determined to get to the bottom of the disappearances. Top of the list of suspects are the sexy punk nightclub dancer Tarantula (Lina Romay) and the Socialite Mari Cookie (Lina Romay again) as the Sheriffs investigation tightens it threatens to bring everyone together for a climax, at the climax.
Of the Jess Franco films of recent years (ones which I have seen) this is the best by far. It’s a hilarious comedy (funny because it is meant to be, not funny because of bad acting/directing/writing). Lina Romay is Hilarious in her double role – as Tarantula she is sexy, predatory, hungry ohh and naked. As Mari Cookie, she is innocent, naive, hilariously funny, adorably stupid and sneaky. Comedy in Franco’s movies has always been there, sometimes only to those who observe closely. But in this one it is blatant, apart from the fact that it is a comedy, there are also in-jokes about Luis Bunuel and Franco (hilariously hokey when they hit you) as well as many other bits and pieces. Watch the questioning of Mari Cookie by the naked Sheriff Marga to see what I mean. That and the scenes between Mari Cookie and her husband (Robert King) are some of the best scenes in the movie, and some of the funniest to be seen in any movie!
The performances in the double roles of Mari Cookie and Tarantula by Lina Romay are the best performances by her I have ever seen. And I mean performances in comedic acting and timing, not as in writhing about naked (which she does here too, as well as she does in many of her other movies) but it is the comedy performances by her in this one which you will remember the most. Really showing great acting talent this time rather than just her naked body, which looks great for her age, ignoring of course the multitude of bruises she received on her legs whilst performing the powerful and sexy web dancing scenes.
The supporting cast is a who’s who of b-movie scream queens, with Linnea Quigley, Michelle Bauer and Amber Newman, all giving hilarious hokey support to Lina Romay, and watch for a sexy dance sequence with a sting in the tail from Analia Ivers, appearing here as she did in other recent Franco movies “Vampire Blues (1998)”- “Lust For Frankenstein (1997)”- “Tender Flesh (1997) and “Dr Wong’s Virtual Hell (1998) taking another turn in front of the camera as well as doing the make up for the film.
The music for the film is absolutely amazing most of which is composed by Jesus Franco, and (mostly) performed by his B-Band. It’s one of the best Franco movie soundtracks ever! Even on par with Vampyros Lesbos (1970)! It pulsates over the nightclub dance scenes and sticks in your head for the rest of the movie and for quite sometime afterwards.
The region 1 DVD is by Sub Rosa Studios, co producer of the film with, One Shot Productions. The disk includes some great extras like both European and American versions of the film, behind the scenes footage, a NUDE commentary with Linnea Quigley, Photo Galleries, a weird and funny Short film “Les Psycholettes” by Pedro (Peter) Temboury. As well as an isolated music score of the brilliant soundtrack. If your a Franco fan, and even if you aren’t , you can’t really be without this film in your collection!
Review by Giovanni Pistachio, Giovanni can be contacted at: –
© Owned Giovanni Pistachio 29/01/2004