JESS FRANCO MONTH: Mansion of the Living Dead (1982)

I know it’s not exact, but I was struck by a moment in this film that recalls Messiah of Evil as a character stans in a hallway and we’re struck by just how alone she is in spite of being in a very public place.

Mansion of the Living Dead

Messiah of Evil

It’s not a perfect match, but the feeling is right and I’m struck that at times, Jess Franco can render a great horror mood. Other times, he’s moving the camera so wildly that you wonder if he’s going to ever focus on something happening.

Several waitresses — including Candy Coster, who we all know is Lina Romay in a blonde short wig and love her even more for it — visit an out of season resort hotel, only to find that long-dead monks have come back from the dead, watched a few Amando de Ossorio movies and start luring the women one at a time to the basement where they’re assaulted and then murdered to the sound of bells, the wind and an otherworldly song. So yes, pretty much the Blind Dead with dried shaving cream for makeup.

Also, for some reason, Eva León from Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll is chained to a wall by Antonio Mayans and taunted with promises of food.

Somehow, someway, Candy is the reincarnation of the witch who cursed the monks all those years ago and perhaps she’s also the one that can free them, except she’s kind of busy making out with Lea (Mari Carmen Nieto, The Sexual Story of O) and hiding that fact from their friends Mabel (Mabel Escaño, Wicked Memoirs of Eugenie) and Caty (Elisa Vela, Cries of Pleasure), thinking that they’d be judged, but then those two are also getting down.

Look, Lina gets possessed, goes wild and ends up making out with an evil monk, which releases everyone from their curse and…yeah. Look, this movie is pretty much exactly what I seek out and often I’m using movies as drugs to erase my consciousness, so go in with that knowledge.

One thought on “JESS FRANCO MONTH: Mansion of the Living Dead (1982)

  1. For every atmospheric, evocative shot, there are 10 where an actor bumps the camera, there’s a zoom-in crotch shot, or there’s a worthless long, upward boom crane of clouds in the sky. But, hey, that’s what makes Jess Franco, Jess Franco!

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