Sunday, April 6, 2014

Mansion of the Living Dead (Jess Franco, 1985)

If you were to tell any other actress that the super-tight gold trousers they wore in their latest movie produced a camel toe so pronounced, that you could probably see it from space, she would look at you with a mix of horror and embarrassment. Well, my friends, Lina Romay isn't any other actress. In fact, as far as I'm concerned, she is the only actress. I know, technically, that's not true. The world, unfortunately, is filled with millions of women who think they're actresses. What I mean is, Lina Romay is the only actress who is fully committed to putting herself out there. Hence, the cavalier indifference she would most likely display if you were to inform her that the super-tight gold trousers she wears in Jess Franco's Mansion of the Living Dead generated the mother of all camel toes. Did they even have camel toes in the mid-1980s, you might be inclined to ask? Of course they did. Granted, the expression itself might not have been bandied about with the enthusiasm it is today (not a minute goes by without me hearing about someone sporting a camel toe, or its male cousin, the moose knuckle). But trust me, snug fabric was still pressing tightly against labias the world over in 1985 whether it had a cute name or not. Given the popularity of tight trousers throughout Europe in the '70s and '80s, it was not uncommon for your average reprobate to spot at least fourteen camel toes in a single day.

(Are you going to talk about camel toes for the entirety of this review?) Maybe. What's it to ya? (No, no, no, I want you to talk about camel toes for the entire review. Seriously, you talking non-stop about Lina's Romay's camel toe would be a refreshing change of pace from all the Mansion of the Living Dead reviews I've read lately that don't even bother to mention Lina Romay's camel toe in passing.) How could you not at least make a passing reference to her conspicuous cunt-based indentation in this film?

(Did it ever occur to you that not everyone in this world is a mentally unstable pervert?) I thought about that, and I have say, I'm not buying it. You don't have to be mentally unstable or a pervert to notice a camel toe and then inform others that you noticed it by writing about it using words. Sure, going on and on about it to the point of physical exhaustion isn't for everyone, but would it kill you to type three or four words pertaining to its existence?

And another thing, while the expression "camel toe" is overused nowadays, good luck spotting one in today's prudish, non-pornographic environment. There are literally thousands of publicists, stylists, agents and personal assistants floating around out there whose job it is to squash camel toes on sight. And you'll never see a camel toe in mainstream entertainment ever again because of these people. That's why you need to cherish the instances when one does appear in a movie. (Like you're doing right now?) Exactly.

Arriving at their hotel with a whorish aplomb... (Hold on, "whorish aplomb"?!?) No good? Okay, how 'bout, skanky self-assurance? (Yeah, I like that.) Arriving at their hotel with a skanky self-assurance... no, wait, with a skanky brand of self-assurance (yeah, baby), Candy (Lina Romay), red shorts, Mabel (Mabel Escaño), maroon shorts, Lea (Mari Carmen Nieto), jean shorts, and Caty (Elisa Vela), white shorts, walk up to the front desk to get a room.

It should go without saying, but all the shorts the women are wearing when they arrive at the hotel are ridiculously short. This especially true in regard to the shorts Lina Romay is sporting, as they're barely there fabric-wise.

When they realize there's no one to help them, they start to theorize that everyone must be at the beach. This theory is mentioned at least five times over the span of two minutes, and if someone mentions it again, I'm going to scream. Seriously, ladies, stop saying everyone is at the beach. (All right, calm down.) But they keep mentioning it. (I know, I know.) Oh, look, here comes Carlo Savonarola (Antonio Mayans), the hotel manager.

Putting the women in rooms 609 and 3, Carlos gives them the keys and sends the leggy tarts on their way. Not pleased that their suites are so far apart from one another  (one of them even says, "this sucks," at one point), the women flip a coin to decide who's rooming with who.

Each thinks they hit the jackpot when they're assigned their roommate, as Mabel and Caty think Candy and Lea are pious squares and vice versa. Judging by the way the start groping and kissing one another upon entering their respective rooms, I think it's safe to say that the ladies have plenty of misconceptions about each other. Oh, and the manner in which their similarly worded dialogue was edited together was surprisingly clever.

Hitting the beach, which, like the hotel, is empty, for some topless sunbathing, the women are startled when a large butcher knife is thrown at them from one of the hotel balconies. No one is hurt, but the incident does shake the ladies up a bit. Not too much, though, as Candy relaxes by eating out Lea's pussy, which she does with a... (A whorish aplomb?) Sure, why not.

(Am I crazy, or are the jean shorts Mari Carmen Nieto wears during her post-cunnilingus walk the same jean shorts she wears in Diamonds of Kilimandjaro?)

After doing some half-assed research, I've come to the conclusion that you are in fact crazy. The jean shorts Mari wears in this movie are much darker than the one's she wears in the Jess Franco-directed jungle movie. And on top of that, there's less crotch material on Mari's jungle jean shorts. Meaning, they're totally different. (Oh.)

Different or not, I thought Lea's choice of footwear for her early morning walk was completely impractical. That being said, I did enjoy watching her walk in heels, and the way Jess simply uses wind and the sound of a monastery bell chiming in the distance to create an ominous atmosphere was ingenious.

In a similar vein, Jess employs interesting camera angles to capture the sense of isolation of the characters must be feeling by giving us plenty of shots of empty hallways.

It takes some time, but we finally have a character writhing on a bed in black hold up stockings. Can I get a hallelujah? I can't hear you. That's better. In  surprise twist, it's not Lina Romay who's wearing black hold up stockings while writhing on a bed, but the effectively lumpy Eva León (Golden Temple Amazons).

Playing Olivia, a short-haired blonde woman who is chained to wall of her hotel room, Eva León brings an extra helping of sleaze to the proceedings. Why is she chained to the wall? Well, it would seem that Carlo wants her to be chained to the wall. Wait, that's not a very good explanation. Let's just say, their relationship is somewhat sick and very twisted.

Hiding something behind his back when he enters Olivia's room, Carlo asks her to guess what it is. Since it's all she can think about, she guesses it's food. Wrong! Her second guess is stockings. Wrong again, honey. But then again, I like where your priorities at. Food and stockings, it's what makes the world go round. I won't reveal what Carlo is hiding, but I will say Olivia does try to eat it.

To punish her for trying eat her present, Carlo deposits a hearty dollop of seminal fluid in her vagina. How does he get in there, you ask? It's simple, really. He fucks her pussy with his erect penis.

When Mabel and Carlo meet for a date, Mabel discovers the mansion of the living dead. Though, technically, it should be called "the monastery of the living dead." Either way, there are these white robe-wearing zombie motherfuckers that talk, and they rape and kill leggy chicks for more than just shits and giggles.

Since Lea and Mabel have gone missing, Candy is given no choice by to dyke it up with Caty. Awaken by a woman's screams, Candy decides to investigate. Slipping on a pair of heels, Candy... (Um, isn't Candy going to throw on a robe?) There's no time, these screams need investigating. (Yeah, but she's naked.) Look, Jess Franco clearly wants to film Lina Romay wandering the halls of the hotel without any clothes on, who am I to question his logic?

The thickness, my God, the thickness. I'm sorry, I'm recalling the image of Lina Romay's ample, paella-generated backside traversing the halls of the hotels, as each step is fraught with ass worshiping greatness.

Of course, the woman making all the noise is Olivia. And when Candy discovers her, she's in the middle of trying to reach a tray of food that's been purposely placed just out of reach with one of her stocking ensnared feet. Helping her reach the food, Olivia explains to Candy what's the deal with the Carlo fella while stuffing her face like a pig.

Told by Olivia to leave this place, as it's cursed, Candy puts on a pair of tight gold trousers and proceeds to set in motion a series events that will hopefully lead to her eventually escape. Only problem being, her gold trousers are pressing so tightly against her crotch, that you can see the shape of her labia. Just kidding, that's not a problem. In fact, it's the complete opposite of a problem, if you ask me.

Anyway, before I wrap this thing up, I just wanted to say that this film contains my favourite Antonio Mayans performance.

Like the majority of Jess Franco made during this period, there are plenty of dull patches here and there that might test your patience. However, I think there's enough sleaze sprinkled throughout to satisfy your average Jess Franco lover. Important keywords: Wind, camel toe, hold up stockings, BDSM, jean shorts, food just out of reach, cunnilingus, woman sitting on toilet, rape, heels, female nudity, and lipstick.

No comments:

Post a Comment