JESS FRANCO MONTH: She Killed In Ecstasy (1971)

So yes, this is the same cast and crew as Vampyros Lesbos and pretty much the same story as Venus In Furs and Ms. Muerte, but look, if Soledad Miranda made a movie where all she did was eat soup, I’d watch it.

This time around, she’s Mrs. Johnson, the widow of a scientist who was doing some, well, perhaps unethical experiments with human embryos that led to a medical committee rejecting his work and leading to his depression and suicide. So she does what any of us would: she hunts and kills everyone that caused this to happen.

Yes, one by one, Prof. Jonathan Walker (Howard Vernon), Dr. Franklin Houston (Paul Muller), Dr. Doneen (director Jess Franco) and Dr. Crawford (Ewa Stromberg) are all part of her revenge, with a side of a love scene between Johnson and Crawford because there’s no way that Franco would have Miranda and Stromberg in the same movie and miss that.

Before this movie was even released, Miranda died as a result of major head and back trauma from a car crash. She left behind a son, a husband and thirty movies in ten years, as well as a hole in the life of Franco, as she’d been the muse behind some of his best films.

In this movie, she is the center of the world, a dark-eyed shadow of a woman destroyed yet willing to take that pain and give blow for blow, scorn for scorn, doom for doom — with interest compounded liberally.

At just 80 minutes and with some incredibly arty angles and a great soundtrack — something else this has in common with Vampyros Lesbos — this is prime Franco.

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