JESS FRANCO MONTH: Burning Up Inside (1979)

Jenny (Susan Hemingway, whose entire acting career consists of being in Jess Franco’s Voces de muerte, Erotic Symphony, Two Female Spies with Flowered Panties, Elles font tout, Women in Cellblock 9 and Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun) is the virginal daughter of a prominent industrialist.

Tom (Didier Aubriot) and Lorna (Brigitte Lahaie, a woman that Jean Rollin described as perfect; she’s in so many films but let’s go with Faceless and Fascination) kidnap her and sell her into white slavery, but once they learn what she’s really worth, they steal her back and ransom her to her father.

Stephen Thrower says that this movie is Jess realizing just how boring making sex on film is and feeling trapped. How strange and sad is it that he’d have nearly thirty more years to go and that this can be a high point against where he’d go in the years that follow?

The Jess Franco Cinematic Universe is a proven fact. Here, we can see an aphrodisiac gas that traps women in sexual servitude, which also happens in Shining Sex and Blue Rita. It’s the feeling that that gas gives that leads to the title of this film, which is either I’m Burning Everywhere or Burning Up Inside.

The second moment of the JFCU is when Al Pereira shows up, played by Jean Ferrère.

This is one dark and grimy film, a movie that feels like the scummiest porn you’ve ever seen and yet doesn’t show anything explicit. It just feels rough, it feels wrong, it feels greasy and slimy and gross. Then again, any excuse to spend time with Lahaie is worth it, right? And I say all of the above with admiration because how else would I have watched 69% of all Jess Franco movies by now?

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