JESS FRANCO MONTH: Weiße Haut und schwarze Schenkel (1976)

Look, when you have a movie called White Skin, Black Thighs and Jess Franco directs it, you may know what to expect.

What I did not expect was to see a love making scene where people are horizontally dancing on what appears to be dry ice, as smoke pours out all over the place.

One of the movies that Franco made with Erwin C. Dietrich, this is pretty much a remake of Le Journal d’une Nymphomane — thanks Adrian from Letterboxd — this is mostly a series of couplings with only the slightest of connecting story, but hey — there’s an alien that lives in the basement and he gets to make love to one of the actresses, which is pretty wild, when you get your mind around it.

There’s are some great production values, but someone must have yelled at Franco to keep his hands off the camera, because there are no zooms in and out. In fact, I felt kind of strange watching one of his movies without the constant camera moves.

The main story is about Marga (Diotta Fatou, who is also in Franco’s uncredited Girls in the Night Traffic and Swedish Nympho Slaves) trying to kill herself after catching her girlfriend Lena (Kali Hansa, Night of the SorcerersDemon Witch Child) making love to Victor Kühn (Erik Falk) on stage.

Franco said in a commentary track that Hansa disappeared after this movie, possibly back to her native Cuba “because she was against Fidel Castro…she wanted to be there to fight him because she was a very strong woman. I never heard about her again.”

Victor is married to Lola (Pilar Coll, Around the World In 80 Beds) and when she finds out that her man has led a woman to her suicide attempt, she’s not mad. She is upset that he slept with a black woman, however, and then ends up exploring her other more sapphic side with Lena, so man, that rich Kühn couple just can’t resist that lady, huh?

All in all, this wasn’t as good as the film it’s remaking, which is true nearly all of the time but always definitely true when it comes to the many, many times Franco tried to make his movies again.

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