JESS FRANCO MONTH: A Ritmo de Jess (2013)

With no budget and no real script, an 82-year-old Jess Franco is alone — his muse and wife Lina Romay died a few months before — and directing his final movie, Al Pereira vs. the Alligator Ladies.

With Paula Davis (Paula-Paula), Carmen Monte (Killer Barbys vs. Dracula), Irene Verdu and Antonio Mayans ready to act, Franco remains filled with energy despite his age and depression. There’s one moment where the older maniac’s energy is too much for the young crew, who tell him they can no longer rub their body parts together, and he loses it on everyone, retreating to close his eyes and just deal with reality. It’s also inordinately depressing because Franco really looks ready to die.

The way that his movies are made looks exactly like I thought they would. It’s boring at times, yet at others you can see the fire in the faded eyes of a man who made hundreds of movies. This movie made me confront my mortality in ways that other high art minded movies never could.

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