Thursday, 4 June 2015

The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein (1972, Jess Franco)

More movie-making madness from the archfiend of Iberian exploitation Jess Franco. This movie, known variously in its alternate guises as "The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein" and "The Curse of Frankenstein" (not to be confused with the Peter Cushing Hammer classic of the same vintage), re-utilises a great deal of the same cast and characters of Franco's roughly contemporaneous "Dracula, Prisoner of Frankenstein", but is thankfully a more coherent film than that effort.

That's not necessarily to say that it's good, mind...

The plot, such as it is, involves Dr. Frankenstein (Dennis Price once again slogging the twilight years of a once-promising career away in Eurotrash exploitation) and his assistant creating a bizarre silver monster, before being attacked by Melisa the flesh-eating bird woman (the lovely Anne Libert, also to be seen in Franco's "A Virgin Among the Living Dead"), resplendent in green feathers and not a lot else. Melisa is the slave of the immortal Cagliostro, played with relish and garnish on the side by the godlike genius of Howard Vernon, who wants to mate the creature with kidnapped lovelies such as Britt Nichols. Well, you would, wouldn't you?

 Meanwhile, Esmerelda the gypsy (future Mrs. Franco Lina Romay) is having her own ponderous and largely irrelevant adventures in the woods, chatting away to a batty old crone who doesn't seem to realise that she's even in the film. Understated just doesn't cover it. Cagliostro is in the meantime summoning an undead army of darkness (ie: extras wearing Halloween skellington masks and cloaks), resulting in some quite atmospheric and haunting shots of these revenants drifting through a mist-shrouded forest. Sadly, however, these dreams of conquest are destined to never come to fruition, and Cagliostro winds up plummeting over the edge of a precipice for no other reason than that the film's run-time is almost up.

A truly trippy and hallucinatory experience that must be endured to be believed, this is another true Franco classic that combines the kind of story-line you made up when you were too young to know any better, needless nudity of hot chicks, and editing seemingly done on the hoof by a blind man. And a green-feathered flesh eating bird woman. What's not to love?


  1. No, no, nope. I've fought Revenants in Dragon Age Origins and they are tough sons of bitches that look a damn sight scarier that a person dressed in a bedsheet!

    The bird woman sounds like something out of Vengeance On Varos...

  2. She's sexier than bird Peri. As difficult as that might be to imagine.

  3. Who's the woman who's been eating a burger that contains way too much ketchup? Is that Melisa?

  4. It is indeed. Green feathers and breasts not pictured.