JESS FRANCO MONTH: Blue Rita (1977)

In the Jess Franco Cinematic Universe, which may have not been a thing but let’s believe that it could be, heroines/villains like Rita Blue (Martine Fléty) can be all at once a nightclub owner, an erotic dancer, a spy and a survivor of abuse that uses her abject disdain for men to torture them as a means of not only getting the information governments all over the world crave, but also to gain vast fortunes from rich men only too happy to be menaced by knives and handcuffs and — as Russ Meyer taught us — violence that cloaks itself in a plethora of disguises, with its favorite mantle still remaining sex.

Also known as Das Frauenhaus (The House of Women), this is another Franco riff on a cadre of man-hating women unleashed upon victims willing and unwilling, just like The Girl from Rio. The major difference is that Rita Blue’s female forces have synthesized a Spanish Fly of green ooze that drives men wild with desire — if their bodies didn’t already do the job for them — as they’re denied access to the folds of the flesh they want so much.

Now, set all of this in a world five minutes into the future that we’ll never live in, filled with go go boots, smoke both from machines and cigarettes, furniture not made for sitting on, jazz, nightclubs that define seedy, neon colors and all metallic everywhere.

Pure movie drugs, a film that you should only watch in a basement or somewhere hidden, maybe under the covers, perhaps keeping it to yourself, so that you can drink deep and inhale and live inside this world, a place that could never be but obviously should, a world dangerous to every man dumb enough to fall in lust.

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