Les avaleuses (1973)
Eurotrash sex / horror auteur Jesus Franco's Female Vampire
delivers nudity, drinking of human body fluids, plentiful zoom
shots, languorous music, a vestigial storyline and the odd moment of
surrealism (a flapping bat car ornament). It opens with a soulful-eyed
brunette (Lina Romay) striding through misty woods wearing only thigh-boots,
a leather belt and a black cloak, then chancing across a breeder of
tropical birds whom upon whom she performs an act of oral sex that winds
up painfully and fatally for the poor chump. One of Franco's better
films, this still has an extremely leisurely pace which means that the
story drifts dreamlike (or tediously, depending on your point of view)
between protracted but unappealing sexual encounters as a smitten fellow
with the requisite 70s porno moustache (Jack Taylor), a vampire-hating
doctor (director Franco) and a blind coroner pursue the gloomy Countess
for their own reasons. The vampire is mute but has an Anne Rice-style
whining voice-over, but the dubbing means that everyone else seems equally
dissociated from the words that fail to approximate their lip movements.
Fans of Lina's frustrated naked writhings get to see her do the thing
on top of several men and women, a bed, a tree and in a bath of blood.
To Francophiles, a masterpiece; to everyone else, wearisome tat.
First published on Amazon.co.uk.
All text on this page © Kim Newman