JESS FRANCO MONTH: Tender Flesh (1997)

Paula (Amber Newman, who just showed up in The Last of the Grads and is in everything from Night Calls: The Movie, Part 2 to several of the Sex Files movies) snorts coke and dances on stage in a private club before she’s noticed by Mr. and Mrs. Radeck (Alain Petit and, of course, Lina Romay), who ask her to come to their island palace and to bring her lover (who wears a Fangoria shirt) and enjoy a treasure hunt.

Of course, that treasure hunt is really a cosplay of The Most Dangerous Game and seeing Lina with a bow and arrow and short-cropped haircut is the kind of cinema that I am completely a supporter of. I mean, can Paula be surprised that things go this wrong when dinner consists of a kink-filled encounter with the Radeck’s slave Furia (Analia Ivars, who is a Franco veteran with appearances in Bahía blancaVampire BluesDr. Wong’s Virtual Hell and so many more; she also was the makeup department for this film), who urinates on everyone’s Michelin three-star meals, then goes down on both Baroness Irina (Monique Parent, who did this movie for no money and the chance to have a vacation to Spain with her husband; her resume has magical movies like Night Eyes Three, Gregory Dark’s Body of Influence and Secret GamesBlood Scarab and many, many more) and her husband before tasting Lina’s heels. Bon appetit.

To make that even wilder, the rich folks intend to eat the poor, which is about as subtle as a Jess Franco movie.

Sure, it’s like Franco is playing a rib fest, playing just his hits — hey look, parts of Succubus! Do you kids remember Eugenie? The encore — The Perverse Countess followed by a jam-length Macumba Sexual  are you ready to rock? That said, it works.

This was produced by Hugh Gallagher, who made the SOV insanity that is Gorgasm. He also was behind Franco’s movies Mari-Cookie and the Killer TarantulaLust for FrankensteinVampire Blues and Dr. Wong’s Virtual Hell. This is the height — probably — of the last section of Franco’s career. Or if you think he’s a hack, this won’t change your mind.

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