JESS FRANCO MONTH: Macumba Sexual (1983)

Princesa Obongo (Ajita Wilson) is the Goddess of Unspeakable Lust, rising from the dunes of sand and remaking and remixing and redoing Vampyros Lesbos by way of Lorna the Exorcist — even ending with Lina screaming — but in a way that makes this its own film worth watching.

Is Obongo even a real person? Or is she just the ultimate fantasy of Lina and her husband (Antonio Mayans), a black goddess here to dominate them both, to raise idols worthy of worship and by worship, I mean in the biblical sense in the way that Jess Franco means biblical sense.

There’s also the issues of identity that we have to contend with, as Lina isn’t even Lina and we must pretend that she’s Candy Coster and of course, we love her little smile and agree to her game. And the powers of Wilson, well, Franco would say that “Ajita had that naivete, like she belonged to a world less perverted than our own.” And while In life, Ajita was a goddess to men and a European sex film star, the truth is that she wasn’t born a woman and even in 2022 we’re having trouble wrapping our head around that and unable to admit that maybe everyone and everything can be beautiful and worthy of lust. There’s been some mystery about this fact, but Lina would say, “She was definitely transsexual.”

There’s also this fish lizard creature with a large penis that keeps showing up. It’s a Jenny Haniver, a carcass of a ray or a skate that has been modified by hand before being turned into a mummified specimen.

Franco remained obsessed by women whose encounters with the occult would unlock their latent sexual powers, which alternatively thrilled and terrified those caught in this pull. By those, I pretty much mean Lina, who endures this journey and the relentless zooming lens of the man who transformed his fascination with her into an eternal love affair.

For an incredible read on this subject, I recommend the article I used for reference, Created By Cinema: The Enigma of Ajita Wilson, which is on Grindhouse Effect.

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