Saturday, October 26, 2013
A VIRGIN AMONG THE LIVING DEAD (1973)
After watching 2 different versions of this Jess Franco Euro-trash epic over the last 2 days I'm still not sure if I would say I actually like this film or not but it is at least an interesting viewing experience. It's the story of a family of weirdies who have a young gal, Cristine von Blanc, our titular virgin, come live with them. This family includes Franco himself as a mumbly-mouthed maniac, a couple of chicks who might be vampires of some sort that use scissors instead of fangs to extract blood, and Howard Vernon as the creepy head of the family. It's basically the chronicles of mistreatment of a naive blonde gal. The better version, with the VIRGIN AMONG... title, has a couple of dream sequences with zombies that were filmed by Jean Rollin, and who better to film dream segments than the guy who's every movie plays like one long dream? There are numerous claims on the internet that these bits are taken from Rollin's ZOMBIE LAKE but I don't think that's true. Either way these aren't your typical flesh-eating killer zombies, they basically just menacingly stalk and mess up your hair which is a little disappointing to say the least. There's also a rape scene and an erect penis that pops up in this version. This wasn't the original cut though but actually a 1981 re-release version made to capitalize on the zombie craze at the time. The original, which was titled CHRISTINA, PRINCESS OF EROTICISM, is shorter, has no zombies and just focuses more on the soft-core sex stuff and has a bit with a giant black dildo that rules the universe or something. While this is essential viewing for Franco-fanatics, normal, well-adjusted humans will most likely be repelled by the leisurely pace and illogical weirdness of it all.
This was eventually released on VHS in a severely cut version with no nudity as ZOMBIE 4: A VIRGIN AMONG THE LIVING DEAD to make it part of that series and there's probably a few more cuts of this out there but since life comes to an end at some point I don't think I can watch all of them.