VAMPYROS LESBOS (1970)
(Las Vampiras, Heiress Of Dracula,
Die Erbin Des Dracula, Sexualité Spéciale)
Director: Jess (Jesus) Franco
Cast: Soledad Miranda, Ewa Stroemberg
Dennis Price, Jess Franco, Paul Muller
*CONTAINS REFERENCES TO ADULT MATERIAL*
Opening in a nightclub, with a writhing jazz soundtrack, and a cavorting exotic dancer. Linda Westinghaus (Ewa Stroemberg) is immediately hypnotized by the presence of the dancer. Linda, whilst visiting her doctor (Paul Muller), tells him of the sexual dreams she has been having, which involved a woman she did not know, and how she then encountered this woman, as the dancer at the night club.
The doctor (whilst, paying attention) tells her she is frigid and suggests she takes a lover, other than her boyfriend Omar. In the hotel where Linda is staying a bellboy, Memmet (Jess Franco) tries to warn her not to go to the countess’ island, as there is death there. While he meanwhile takes pleasure in the sadistic torture of a woman, which he will later try on Linda.
When Linda goes to see Countess Nadine Carody (Soledad Miranda) on her island to sort out her inheritance from Count Dracula, the countess enchants her. The Countess says that Count Dracula had left her the money, because it was her that had made his life worth living. After some female bonding, nude swimming and a couple of bites the two women become lovers. The countess this time round is bewitched by Linda while previously the countess had been the one doing the bewitching.
A female client Agra (a demented Renfield) is stuck in a private clinic, a previous victim of the countess’ deathly seduction. Dr Seward (Dennis Price) the owner of a clinic is treating her. He is also trying to court the countess, to be exposed to her ways of darkness, and to try and pass into her world of the supernatural. One night receives a ghostly visit from her. Getting what he was not expecting.
The scenery, the typically Jess Franco shooting style, the psychedelic jazz soundtrack, the beautiful Soledad Miranda and Ewa Stroemberg, everything about this film is perfect.
From the hypnotic, sensual opening of the film until its blood soaked ending, Vampyros Lesbos is nothing but a total masterpiece. When you delve into the films of Jesus Franco, every single time, you are taken on a journey into the magnificent mind of a genius. With more than 200 films to his credit Franco is the most prolific filmmaker that has ever lived. But there is a deal you strike when you see your first Franco films, you will either hate him or love him. Just think of the similar way in which people react to the films of Woody Allen, some people love everything he does, and no matter what he does there are some that will hate all of it. This is the same kind of reaction you get with Jess Franco films.
In this and in She Killed in Ecstasy (1970) there is a perfect contrast of darkness and light/good and evil portrayed by Soledad Miranda and Ewa Stroemberg. The dark eyes, dark hair, and dark powers of Soledad Miranda, and against, the light eyes light hair, and not so dark powers of Ewa Stroemberg.
Jess Franco’s little turn as the bellboy here shows an obviously little explored talent for playing Shakespearean characters, as he hobbles around in Richard III mode.
People complain that Franco’s films are badly acted, written, scripted and directed. And some of them are that, but one thing Franco loves is making movies, different stories, lots of different wonderful location shoots, and his enthusiasm for jazz music present in most of his films. Jess Franco is a true filmmaker, he makes the films he wants to, the way he wants to. Making them anytime, anyplace, and making films all the time, mostly several in one year.
Sadly not long after finishing this film, the delectable Soledad Miranda was killed in a car accident, just as she was about to embark on a career that would make her famous world-wide. With only a handful of films left behind her. Her films with Jess Franco, Count Dracula (1970), She Killed In Ecstasy (1970) and this one, being her crowning glory.
In this film and She Killed In Ecstasy (1970) Jess Franco is billed as Franco Manera and Soledad Miranda as Susann Korda because Soledad did not want her family to know that she was doing these films..
Review By Giovanni Pistachio. Giovanni can be contacted at: –
© Owned Giovanni Pistachio.