JESS FRANCO MONTH: Downtown (1975)

Can Al Pereira (Jess Franco) ever catch a break? Stuck in Puerto Rico, down on his luck and broke, he finally gets a job seeing if Carlos Ramos (Eric Fauk) is cheating on his wife Cynthia (Lina Romay), who soon falls into bed with our detective hero and pins the murder of her husvand on him, as he was the last person to see Carlos alive.

Yet when he explains this to the police, they offer to bring him to meet with the dead man’s wife to confirm the story. That’s when the truth comes out. She wasn’t his wife. Olga (Monica Swinn) is, yet she still clears his name.

And soon, Cynthia is back in his life all over again.

Is this Jess Franco’s Chinatown? No, no. It’s just an excuse to use the the pulp detective framework to get down and dirty, featuring numerous dance moments and Lina drinking a Coke in a way that will instantly induce puberty or work better than any little blue pill.

Also, Adrian on Letterboxd shared the lyrics to the song that Lina sings, “Keep It Cool,” and man, it’s really something else, sung phoentically in something approaching English. I’ll summarize a few lines:

“Keep cool, if I come to you,
Keep cool, if I’m kissing you,
Keep cool, if I’m sucking you,
Keep cool, my love, my sweet, keep cool…”

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