28 December, 2014

Raul Artigot (1936-2014) R.I.P.

 (C) Robert Monell, 2014

The distinctive visual stylist who shot Jess Franco's THE EROTIC RITES OF FRANKENSTEIN, LES DEMONS and directed one of my favorite Spanish horrors, THE WITCHES' MOUNTAIN (1972), died on Christmas day. He directed three films but was much more active as a cinematographer. He also was DP on such European genre favorites as THE CANNIBAL MAN (1972) and La ragazza dal pigiama giallo...

As both director and DP Artigot was skilled at creating striking exterior imagery, the eerie witch haunted Pyrenees in THE WITCHES' MOUNTAIN, and interiors, the Gothic cubism of the strange chambers of Cagliostro's castle in RITES OF FRANKENSTEIN. The low budget period piece LES DEMONS looks rather sumptuous through the lens of Artigot, whose painterly compositions catch the eye with stylized patterns and colorful juxtapostions of costumes and medieval settings.

16 December, 2014

Alpha Waves: La Grande Motte, Alternate Realities, the Mirror Stage in the Sexual Science Fiction of Shining Sex

As in many Jess Franco films, SHINING SEX-LA FILLE AU SEXE BRILLANT opens with an erotic performance...
In SHINING SEX (1975) Eros is an existential state in a cubist world. Cynthia and Alpha enter La Grande Motte...

Cubist architecture
at La Grande Motte

La Grande Motte, Southern France, today...
Cynthia and Madame Pecal (Monica Swinn) in the mirror...

Dr. Seward (Jess Franco) is the paranormal investigator...


Thanks to Marito Almada for helping me to see the longer version this film.

(C) Robert Monell  2014     

07 December, 2014

NEW POLL: What Was The Best Jess Franco Blu-ray/DVD release of 2014

There were a lot of European releases of Jess Franco films on Bllu-ray this in 2014, many more than in the US/N.America. I expect that trend to continue in 2015. Promised but still not released in 2014 titles such as CRYPT OF THE CONDEMNED and REVENGE OF THE ALLIGATOR LADIES have not been included. One can only hope that Redemption Films will resume their Blu-ray releases, including the key JF title THE EROTIC RITES OF FRANKENSTEIN (1972). Ascot Elite's THE GOYA COLLECTION probably released the most titles of any single company. I have still to catch up myself with many of those releases. My own favorites were Redemption's THE DEMONS and Severin's BLOODY MOON, the latter was a pleasantly surprising revelation. A number of titles could not be included for formatting reasons, but if a title is missing from the list of selections, just write it in the Comments below and I will include them in the final tabulation. Also, please excuse and ignore any mistaken 2013 releases listed.

  • Bloody Moon [Blu-ray]