Wednesday, December 2, 2009

'Vampyros Lesbos' is Jess Franco at his best

Vampyros Lesbos (aka "The Vampire Women" and "The Heiress of Dracula") (1970s)
Starring: Soledad Miranda, Ewa Stromburg, and Dennis Price
Director: Jess Franco
Rating: Five of Ten Stars

Linda (Stromburg) is drawn to an island where a reclusive young noble woman resides in her castle. Turns out, this noble woman (Miranda) is a vampire with a taste for female flesh and blood. She drinks Linda's blood and starts her transformation into her eternal blood/love/lust slave. Random nonsense follows, as Linda attempts to fight off the vampiric urges and a vampire hunter (Price) with dark motives arrives on the scene.

"Vampyros Lesbos" is one of the better Jess Franco films I've seen, which means that it's not unwatchable garbage.

The film's got some very fascinating visuals, Soledad Miranda gives an excellent and subdued performance as the vampire queen, and there's a dreamlike atmosphere that hangs over the entire film... but, ultimately, what passes for the story here is just an excuse to show as many tits and naked lesbian nookie as possible. Not that is necessarily a bad thing, but when the story is convoluted and badly thought out, it becomes almost as frustrating as the bad comedy bits that Seduction Cinema likes to insert into their films (where the storylines are also mostly just there as an excuse to show naked, cavorting lesbians).

The story that IS here is better than what you find in, say, "My Vampire Lover", but there's no excuse for it to be as muddled as it is... except for the fact that it's badly executed becuase it's just there to get us from one softcore lesbian vampire scene to the next. It also causes the film to drag and feel over-long.

If you feel like you need "art" to justify your softcore porn watching, "Vampyros Lesbos" might be worth checking out. It's a nicely shot film with a pair of very pretty ladies in it.