JESS FRANCO MONTH: Eugénie de Sade (1973)

I love that watching Jess Franco movies teaches you all sorts of secret facts, like how this movie is not Eugenie… The Story of Her Journey into Perversion, an adaptation of de Sade’s book Philosophy in the Bedroom as this is based on the book Eugénie de Franval. They’re totally different albeit similar movies because, well, look, Franco can be difficult before you even get into him making three cannibal movies in a year that are all rather alike or remaking Exorcism in a bunch of different cuts.

It’s worth it.

Eugenie (Soledad Miranda) starts the film on her deathbed, explaining her sordid life to, well, Franco as she relates the story of how she fell in love with her stepfather Albert (Paul Muller) through the books that he wrote and how that leads her into a world of perversion. At first, that’s just, you know, incestual BDSM, but that’s never enough and before you know it, they’re taking photos of Alice Arno all tied up and killing her. But when her father demands that she kill a jazz musician, she falls in love and starts on the road to her demise.

It goes without saying that the reason why this movie works is Miranda. She’s a force of nature, someone who can devastate the lives of men and women while putting herself on her knees in front of a man who sees cruelty as love. She’s devoted to him at her own peril and yet, when the lure of the carnal darkness enters her soul, she can’t help but submit.

Don’t go into this expecting a sexy bit of froth or a good time. Sure, there are gorgeous bodies on display but there’s also an understanding that nothing good or lasting can come from the union of Albert and Eugenie. A drinking game between father, stepdaughter and hitchhiker (Greta Schmidt) is filled with menace even when it seems like it’s about to be a sex scene because even now we’re predisposed to the conventions of adult film. Leave it to Franco to break this up by making it deadly.

Miranda didn’t want to shame her parents by appearing nude so she used the name Susan Korday, a combination of Valley of the Dolls writer Jacqueline Susann and the director Alexander Korda. As this movie was made in 1970 and not released until 1973, by the time the world saw it, she was dead, the victim of a car crash. Her hold over us — not just Franco — was frozen in ember by her demise.

JESS FRANCO MONTH: Al otro lado del espejo (1973)

The Other Side of the Mirror is about Ana (Emma Cohen, Horror Rises from the Tomb) is a jazz singer who calls off her engagement to Arturo after her father (Howard Vernon, I mean, this is a Jess Franco movie) kills himself. She calls off the wedding, leaves behind her hometown and soon figures out that when any man comes close to her, she feels the urge to murder them, driven on by the image of her father hanging in any reflection she sees. The same image she saw as she tried on her wedding dress for the first time, looking back into her room to see the man self-lynched behind her.

There are tones of past Franco films here; the father and daughter relationship — also Howard Vernon as the dad — from A Virgin Among the Living Dead, the jazz protagonist lost in a world of sex and death from Venus In Furs, but it’s definitely its own movie.

Ana is beyond this world, trapped by something beyond, something that causes her to destroy anyone that could change her from daddy’s little girl and no matter how many miles from the island she grew up on, things can never change. It’s an endless cycle, even if she plays the above it all jazz chanteuse, even if tries to fit in with a group of people younger than her, this can only end one way.

This film has very few of the Franco-isms that most associate with him; it’s sexy but not pornographic; it’s deep but more easily understood; more f-giallo than giallo. Emma Cohen is dead center in this, a force of pure nature even when surrounded by Jess-related obsessions like jazz and dancing women.

Of course, so many men have to pay along the way, like Bill the trumpet player, Miguel the play director and even Pipo, the married man who falls in love with her. Each finds their way into the blade of her letter opener. Is she deranged? Or can her father’s love — and if you didn’t guess it goes beyond that, welcome to Eurosleaze — damn her from beyond death?

JEAN ROLLIN-UARY: A Virgin Among the Living Dead (1973)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This was originally posted February 1, 2022.

Originally filmed as La nuit des étoiles filantes (The Night of the Shooting Stars), Jess Franco felt that this movie was one of his favorites and he even appears as Basilio, a man who wanders the movie speaking to a chicken’s head, and his wife Nicole Guettard is also on hand as a nurse.

But then, remixes started happening that had nothing to do with the original work Franco created.

It was released twice — as Christina, Princess of Eroticism in 1973 and in Italy in 1978 as The Erotic Dreams of Christine, both versions cwith  porn inserts directed by Pierre Querut — before Jean Rollin was hired to shoot zombie footage, the porn inserts removed and a new title A Virgin Among the Living Dead.

Christina von Blanc (The Dead Are Alive) is Christina Benson, who has come to Europe for the reading of her father’s (Paul Muller, a Franco regular) will. Soon learning that her relatives — like Howard Vernon as Uncle Howard — are all the living dead, she sees them as a way to avoid her loneliness and invites them to stay. But her father committed suicide, so the Queen of the Night (Anne Libert, The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein) owns his soul forever unless she can save him.

You know how Lisa and the Devil has another world that takes over our own? Franco does that here but, being Franco, it’s filled with zooms, nudity and a gigantic phallus that all live in their own world, a place where things like logic, pace and common sense are cast aside much like the clothing of his actresses.

We should all commit to the joys of walking into the ghostly swamp.

You can watch this on Kino Cult.

A Virgin Among the Living Dead is also on the ARROW PLAYER. Head over to ARROW to start your 30-day free trial. Subscriptions are available for $4.99 monthly or $49.99 yearly. ARROW is available in the US, Canada, the UK and Ireland on the following Apps/devices: Roku (all Roku sticks, boxes, devices, etc), Apple TV & iOS devices, Android TV and mobile devices, Fire TV (all Amazon Fire TV Sticks, boxes, etc), and on all web browsers at https://www.arrow-player.com.

JEAN ROLLIN-UARY: Schoolgirl Hitchhikers (1973)

So yeah, that title sounds like this is going to be totally a sexploitation movie — and it totally is — but Jean Rollin directed it so that means there are going to be times where things move so slow that you’re sure you just drank a whole bottle of 70s cough syrup from back when that stuff was really a drug and you had to drink NyQuil in bed because it would knock you to the floor otherwise and it’s the only movie I know that has a torture gazebo with stained glass windows.

So much of the popularity of Rollin’s movies was the sex scenes, so he became Michel Gentil and started making sexy films but couldn’t forget the horror or the weirdness. Monica (Joëlle Coeur, who made twenty movies in four years, many with Rollin, then retired because she had no problem with going nude or doing sex scenes but hated hardcore; I imagine she is very much into Tales of Ribaldry) and Jackie (Gilda Arancio) wander the woods and come upon an abandoned house and before you can say José Ramón Larraz they’re in trouble.

Before that trouble, they make love, then Monica makes love with a man who just wanders in (Pierre Julien), then there’s a threeway when Jackie comes back, then they run afoul of that man’s partner Beatrice (Marie Hélène Règne) who is sure they stole the treasure that they were there to steal in the first place. A private detective and his assistant show up and fumble about while Beatrice whips the girls like she’s a French Olga before the day is saved and our lovely ladies hold hands and skip into the woods all innocent but we just watched them endure a lot over the running time of this film.

Oh yeah — that’s totally Rollin as the owner of the house.

JEAN ROLLIN-UARY: The Iron Rose (1973)

I’d like to pretend to be above these matters, but one of the things that struck me about Jean Rollin’s The Iron Rose is just how supernaturally gorgeous Françoise Pascal is and when you accept that, you’ll understand why anyone would follow her not just into a maze of a cemetery but toward death itself.

Born in Mauritius, a one-time colony of the United Kingdom, Pascal had already appeared in Norman J. Warren’s Loving Feeling, Pete Walker’s School for Sex, Incense for the DamnedBurke & Hare and There’s a Girl in My Soup, as well as having had a short singing career and being selected as the Penthouse Pet of the Month for August 1970 and being the first cover girl for Club International in 1972. She moved to France where she’d star in her first of several movies with Rollin; she’s also in The Grapes of Death.

In this film, she’s an unnamed woman who meets a man for a picnic and bike ride. As you do, they see a cemetery and decide to go inside. He lures her inside a crypt — a place of death — and together they engage in the act of making new life as a clown places flowers on a grave, a strange man (Rollin) watches and an old woman closes the gates.

What follows is deep dialogue — “They say that the stars are gods sending us signals.” — as they stroll through the graves, gradually going mad as they find their way at the city of the dead’s center, a place filled with small coffins and even smaller skeletons. He gives no concern to where they are, smashing and attacking the headstones as she quickly goes mad. As she gives into sheer insanity and an acceptance of the world of the dead, she draws him into a crypt and leaves him to die as she dances past the rememberences of people long gone, life and beauty and art giving way to decay, entropy and the void. She lowers herself into that same grave as the sun rises and those gates are opened again.

Also known by the just as great if not better titles The Crystal RoseFriedhof der toten Seelen (Graveyard of Lost Souls) and La Nuit du cimetière (The Night of the Cemetery), this film finds Rollin attempting to move past the vampire horror that he was known for and trying a more adult and artistic way of making horror. It failed — this is not a new thing to Rollin — and he was making adult films for years before trying again. Yet he did try again and that’s the real magic.

Cinematic Void January Giallo 2023: No One Heard the Scream (1973)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Cinematic Void will be playing this movie on Tuesday, Jan. 10 at 7:00 PM at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago, IL (tickets here). For more information, visit Cinematic Void.

Elisa (Carmen Sevilla) may be in her thirties yet she lives a life filled with the type of comforts younger women could never have, her entire life paid for in exchange for one weekend a month with her elderly lover Óscar (Antonio Casas). Yet she’s sick of him and decides to break things off, despite the fact that she could lose everything. Trying to relax before her luxury is gone, she is interrupted by her next door neighbor Miguel (Vicente Parra) who is waving around a gun and demanding that she help him get his dead wife Nuria (María Asquerino) out of the elevator shaft and disposed of.

Somehow, as they evade the police and deal with all sorts of twists in their pathway, these two fall in love. Miguel had dreams of being a writer once and settled for being a husband. Perhaps Elisa feels something of the same. She nearly drowns him at her estate at the lake as they throw his dead wife into the water and then decides to save him. The sexual tension is too much, eclipsed only by the longing that it sems like Miguel has for her nephew Tony (Tony Isbert) who isn’t just her nephew — or maybe he isn’t, this is a Spanish giallo — but also her lover.

Nonetheless, the two decide to finally become lovers and make love, then follow that up with plenty of pills and champagne. And then Elisa wakes up to a dead body sleeping next to her.

Director Eloy de la Iglesia, who wrote this with Antonio Fos and Gabriel Moreno Burgos, uses the voyeurism and murder within the giallo form to really get into his favorite subjects: socialism, the caste system and hot naked men. As you can imagine, this made the conservative film censors of Francisco Franco lose their minds.

This movie looks great and plays even better. It’s thanks to Severin that this movie ever made it to America. You can get it from them or watch it on Tubi.

Cinematic Void January Giallo 2023: Torso (1973)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Cinematic Void will be playing this on Saturday, Jan. 7 at Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline, MA (tickets here) with CV’s Jim Branscome in person. For more information, visit Cinematic Void.

Torso is such a simple title. I’d rather call this film by its Italian name: I Corpi Presentano Tracce di Violenza Carnale, or The Bodies Bear Traces of Carnal Violence. Either way, it was directed by Sergio Martino and features none of the cast that he had come to use in his past films like George Hilton, Ivan Rassimov or Edwige Fenech.

It does, however, star Brtish actress Suzy Kendall, who played the lead role of Julia in Dario Argento’s seminal The Bird with the Crystal Plumage. She’s so associated with giallo that she appeared as the main character’s mother in 2012’s ode to the genre, Berberian Sound Studio.

This is a film that wastes no time being strange. Or salacious. A photographer is shooting a soft focus lovemaking session between three women amongst creepy, eyeless baby dolls. By the time we register what is happening, we’re now in a classroom, where swooping pans and zooms refer us to the main cast of the film as we overhear a lecture and later a discussion about Pietro Perugino’s painting of Saint Sebastian. Did he believe in God? Or was he just trying to sell sentimentality? Could an atheist find himself able to translate religion to those with faith?

We cut to a couple making out in a car as a figure stalks them through the eye of the camera, making us complicit in the act of the killer. Quick cuts reveal the white-masked face of this maniac. The man runs after him while the girl doesn’t even care that they had a voyeur watching. As she waits for him to return to the car, but grows impatient. The headlights of the car cast her shadow large across the columns of a bridge. And their light is quickly extinguished by black-gloved hands. The camerawork here is really striking, keeping us watching for the killer, as we’re no longer behind his eyes. His attack is swift and ruthless, juxtaposed against the images of fingers penetrating the eyes of a doll.

The art professor (John Richardson, Black Sunday, The Church) and Jane (Kendall) meet by chance at a church where she challenges him to change his views on Perugino. As she returns from their somewhat romantic afternoon, Jane spies her friend Carol arguing in the car with a man who she believes is married.

Meanwhile, ladies of the evening walk the street, ending up with Stefano, a student who has been stalking Julie. He has trouble performing and the prostitute he’s with tells him that all the men with hang-ups always come her way. That said — even if he’s queer, he better pay the money. He flips out and attacks her, but she makes her escape.

We’re then taken to a hippy party that looks like it’s taking place inside Edward Lionheart’s Theater of Blood. There’s weed, there are acoustic guitars, there are bongos, there are dudes with neckerchiefs, there are motorcycles. Truly, there’s something for everyone. But after leading on two men, Carol just walks out into the mud. They try and chase her, but she makes her escape into the foggy night. We hear her footsteps through the swamp as she walks, exhausted and covered in mud. What better time for our white-masked killer to return? We see glimpses of him through the fog and then he is gone. Whereas in past films Martino ignored the murder scenes instead of story, here the violence is extended, placing the killer and his actions in full view. After killing the girl, he rubs mud all over her body before stabbing her eyes — again intercut with the baby doll imagery. Her blood leaks into the mud as the score dies down.

This scene really feels like what the first two Friday the 13th movies were trying to achieve, but of course several years before they were made.

A police detective is in front of the art class, showing images not of art, but of the crime scene. A piece of cloth has been found under the fingernails of one of the murdered students, Flo. And that same scarf was found on Carol’s body. It’s their duty to report seeing anyone who wore this scarf to the police, who want to cooperate with the students who normally riot and throw rocks at them.

Two of the men in the class — Peter and George — were the last two people to be seen with Carol, the ones who she turned down at the party. Meanwhile, Stefano continues to stalk Jane. The music in this film is so forward-leaning — tones play when the killer shows or during moments of tension.

A man calls Daniela and tells her that if she ever tells where she saw the red and black scarf, she’s dead. Fearing for her life, she tells her uncle, who lends his country home to her and her friends so that they can get away from the city while the killer is at large.

Oh yeah — I forgot the pervy scarf salesman, who the police are leaning on. Right after talking to the police inspector, he calls someone and asks for money to buy his silence. Whoever it is, they bought the scarf from him and wouldn’t want anyone else to know. They’ll also get out of town and head to the country. Coincidence? I think not!

Stefano is all over Dani, telling her that he needs her. She wants nothing to do with him. When she stares at him, she remembers seeing him wear the red scarf. She escapes — slamming the door in his face. She tells Jane that she remembers seeing him wear the scarf — and never again — the day Flo died. The whole time, the creepy uncle is watching the two girls. Jane offers to speak to Stefano, then meet the girls at the vacation home.

The street vendor is flush with cash, creeping along in the dark. A car starts to follow him. We see the black-gloved hands again as the car hits its victim again and again, bright red gore pouring all over the screen.

Jane goes to speak to Stefano, finding only strange baby dolls and letters to Dani asking her to love him and remember the promise that she made as a little girl. Jane is surprised by Stefano’s grandmother, who tells her that he left town.

The other girls are asleep on the train as someone watches them. A strange man enters their train car and sits down.

The camerawork in this movie feels as predatory as the perverts and killers that exist within it. Speaking of pervs, when the girls arrive in the countryside, the local men pretty much lose their minds, particularly over Ursula (Carla Brait, the man wrestling dancer from The Case of the Bloody Iris). She and Katia make out as a peeping tom watches, only for the killer to show up and off the leering man. There’s an amazing scene of the killer dumping the pervert into a well, shot underwater and staring upward as the body falls toward the lens.

Man, every man in this movie is scum. They’re either frightened boys or perverts wanting one chance to knock up a woman or scarred from past sexual encounters. None of them are positive, as even the uncle who gives Dani the villa seems way too interested in her. Every man is a predator at worst and a leering pervert at best.

Jane hurts her ankle when she gets overly excited about breakfast. A doctor arrives — the mysterious man from the train — and he gives her a pill, which knocks her out.

The girls go sunbathing while Jane recovers. Dani thinks she sees Stefano — complete with the red scarf — watching them. They return home and drink champagne, which Jane uses to wash down her sleeping pills.

A few minutes later, the door rings. It’s Stefano — the girls all scream — but he’s dead — the girls scream again — and the killer is behind him, holding the red scarf — now scream even louder! Instead of showing us the murders, Martino switches form, cutting to a ringing bell and Stefano being buried.

Jane wakes up, asking where her breakfast is. She’s obviously slept late as a result of the pills. She walks around the apartment, looking for Dani, Ursula and Katia, only to find a mess. Tossed chairs, bottles of beer and every single one of her friends murdered. Suzy Kendall is amazing in this scene, caught between fear and nausea. Unlike so many wooden giallo performances, she’s actually believable.

She hides as the killer comes back, forced to stay quiet and watch as he saws her friends into pieces. Even the ordinary world routine of the milkman arriving cannot stop the butchering of her friends, with her trapped just feet away.

This final act is completely unexpected, as up until now, the film had played by the rules of the giallo, the large number of victims versus a large number of red herrings.

In fact, this film is so packed with red herrings, even the cast had no idea who the killer was. Martino wouldn’t tell them who it was, so each of the actresses had her own theory as to who the killer was. And in the original script, the killer survived.

Now, instead of that traditional giallo structure as I mentioned above, it is the last survivor — a near prototype for the final girl — against a killer. Throw in that Julie can’t move well due to her leg and Martino has set up quite the suspenseful coda.

Trapped in the house, Julie tries to signal with a mirror, using Morse code. But it totally misses the heroic doctor’s sight. He places a call, but it doesn’t seem like it’s to Julie. She looks out the window and sees the killer coming back.

It turns out that the killer was the professor, who saw a childhood friend die trying to reach for a doll. He compares the other kills to dolls, with only Julie as a flesh and blood person. Everyone else was a bitch or played games with him or blackmailed him. He hacked Ursula and Katia to pieces like dolls as a result. Dani saw him. Carol may have seen him. And he killed Stefano when he saw him in the village. Death, he says, is the best keeper of secrets and then he sees Julie as a doll and tries to hang her. She’s saved at the last second by the doctor.

They battle into a farmhouse, across the yard and to a similar rock where we saw the younger professor watch his friend die. We hear a screen and have no idea who has been killed — but luckily for Jane, the doctor survives.  He discusses whether fate or providence had kept him in town, where he could save her. Perhaps it was written in the stars. Julie replies that Franz, the professor, would have been a realist and called it a necessity. Franz is dead and the dreamers live on.

The more times that I’ve watched this film, the more that I appreciate it and how it flips the genre conventions on their head and moves toward more of a slasher, with many of the giallo elements feeling tacked on somewhat to stay within the expected pieces of the form. A real clue that it’s really a slasher? The killings are more important than who the killer is.

Cinematic Void January Giallo 2023: The Corruption of Chris Miller (1973)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Cinematic Void will be playing this on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 7:30 PM at the Sie Film Center in Denver, CO (tickets here) with Four Flies On Grey VelvetFor more information, visit Cinematic Void

Chris Miller (former Spanish child star Marisol; when she married dancer Antonio Gades, Fidel Castro acted as their godfather) lives with her stepmother Ruth (Jean Seberg, the haunted and doomed beauty who was also in Breathless and Saint Joan). The loss of Chris’ father has damaged both of them, so when a drifter named Barney (Barry Stokes, Prey) shows up, it changes their lives. Maybe not for the better, what with a killer slicing his way through the village…

This Spanish giallo was directed by Juan Antonio Bardem (yes, the uncle of Javier) who also made Death of a Cyclist and wrote A Bell From Hell. It was written by Santiago Moncada, who was also the pen behind Hatchet for the HoneymoonRicco and The Fourth Victim.

Ruth blames Chris for her husband leaving, so she uses Barney to seduce her stepdaughter, who is recovering from the dual loss of her father and being assaulted at school. Her plan? When daddy comes home, he won’t love his daughter much any longer because she’s no longer a virgin. Meanwhile, the killer keeps on killing, including a scene where he dresses like Charlie Chaplin.

Also released as Behind the Shutters Sisters of Corruption and , this movie is also a proto-slasher, rife with bloody murders, including a moment when the rain slicker-covered villain kills an entire family in slow motion.

This is a film that deals as much with trauma as murder, that has the sound of running water causing horrifying flashbacks and has no easy ending for anyone in the film, as the guilt of the killings won’t disappear with the death of any suspect.

Vinegar Syndrome recently released this on blu ray, complete with a newly scanned 4K capture from the original 35mm negative.

CAULDRON FILMS BLU RAY RELEASE: Shanghai Joe (1973)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This was originally on the site on August 20, 2020.  It’s back because Cauldron has released an absolutely stunning version of it on blu ray featuring a 2K restoration from the negative, both English and Italian audio options, CD soundtrack with music from Bruno Nicolai, and brand new extras including an interview with Master Katsutoshi Mikuriya, a visual essay by film historian Eric Zaldivar, commentary with film historian Mike Hauss from The Spaghetti Western Digest, a trailer, poster and high-quality slipcase. You get buy it from Cauldron.

According to the Spaghetti Western Database, lead actor Chen Lee may have been a Japanese karate instructor, but according to director Mario Caiano (Eye In the Labyrinth), he worked in a laundry, not in a dojo, and was picked because he looked like a young Dustin Hoffman. Some think his real name was Mioshini Hayakawa, which is Japanese, not Chinese. That said, if that being racist — not knowing the difference between two countries nearly 1,900 miles away from one another — then this movie is not for you.

Seriously, nearly every race gets denigrated in this movie audibly and physically. Luckily, Shanghai Joe ends up killing every single offender.

Also — the Bruno Nicolai music — recycled from Have a Good Funeral, My Friend… Sartana Will Pay — is so good you’ll want to stick around for the whole movie.

Shanghai — or Chin Hao — has come to this country and instead of finding whatever it is he’s looking for — he has tattoos much like Kwai Chang Caine — he’s found that aforementioned racism and a love interest in Cristina (Carla Romanelli, Fenomenal and the Treasure of TutankamenThe Lonely Lady).

Our hero’s skills as a fighting man make their way to cattle rancher Stanley Spencer (Piero Lulli, Kill, Baby…Kill!), who is really enslaving Mexicans to do his work. That means that the bad guys decide to kill him, but none of them can get it done.

Spencer ends up hiring four different killers, much like video game bosses, to do his work for him. There’s Tricky the Gambler (Giacomo Rossi Stuart, The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave), Pedro the Cannibal (Robert Hundar, Sabata), Buryin’ Sam (Gordon Mitchell, who improvised and sang the song “Chin-Chin Chinaman” while carrying a shovel to try to kill Shanghai) and Scalper Jack (an astonishing Klaus Kinski, who is obsessed with hair and you genuinely fear for the life of Romanelli in their scene).

Finally, Mikuja, the only person who has the same martial arts technique and tattoo as our hero, is hired to kill him. Their battle may not be a fight on the order of a Shaw Brothers technical battle, but it’s still fun.

This movie is incredibly strange, because every time I thought it was going to be normal, it would go from slapstick to our hero plucking out a bad guy’s eye and blood spraying all over the place. It’s closer to a horror film set in the West with martial arts than a straight-up Italian Western, but it’s better for that difference.

Totally recommended.

AMANDO DE OSSORIO WEEK: The Loreley’s Grasp (1973)

As you know, I do love alternate titles. This was known in the U.S. as When the Screaming Stops and even better, The Swinging Monster, both titles that make no sense, what with this being set in an indeterminate time and the only swinging coming from how many gorgeous women are in it. That said, the first other title got a gimmick from distributor Independent Artists, who added Shock Notice, turning the screen red with flashing lights before each murder.

Directed and written by Amando de Ossorio, this is about a German boarding school for girls — parents, don’t send your babies to German boarding schools — where the young ladies are getting murdered in such bloody and horrifying ways during every full moon. This leads to the teacher, Elke Ackerman (Silvia Tortosa, Horror Express) to hire a hunter named Sigurd (Tony Kendall, The Whip and the Body) to protect her pupils.

Each night, Sigurd patrols the school grounds — noticing the many gorgeous students under his protection, naturally — before he meets Sigurd a cloaked woman (Helga Liné) that he keeps missing despite chasing her. He also meets Professor Von Lander (Ángel Menéndez) who has made a dagger that can transform the creature — the Loreley — back to her human form. And as you can imagine, he’s already fallen for her, despite his job and the fact that she’s killed numerous people.

Sigurd is also in love with Elke — maybe he’s The Swinging Monster — and Loreley has already gone after her while restraining him in the undersea cave where she lives with an army of feral women. It’s an entire world removed from our own, like another time and place, which our somewhat modern man destroys with bombs before leaving behind the monstrous world and embracing a love of reason. I’m not so sure I’d make the same choice.

I’ve read a lot of reviews that make fun of this movie, that say it has bad effects, that it’s kind of stupid. Those people are small minded sad folks who can’t embrace the world of Eurohorror, where every man looks like a superhero and every young girl’s bodice is practically either ripped open or covered in blood. A world where gorgeous women lie in wait inside lagoon caves, ready to transform and destroy.