Sunday, January 3, 2016

She Killed in Ecstasy (Jess Franco, 1971)

Did Paul Muller's character in She Killed in Ecstasy (a.k.a. Sie tötete in Ekstase) seriously just tell Soledad Miranda to leave her alone after she asked him for a light? Is that what just happened. Please tell me there's a logical explanation for this, as I just saw Soledad Miranda get shutdown by a middle-aged Euro-creep. Forget that, I don't need no stinkin' logical explanation. What I just saw was unacceptable. I don't care if Paul Muller's character knows for a fact that Soledad Miranda plans on knifing him in the dick (multiple times, mind you), you still give her a light. That being said, who doesn't want to be murdered by Soledad Miranda? Exactly. Nobody. Okay, while I can't speak for straight women, I'm positive that most gay men, straight men and lesbians would agree that being murdered by a vengeful Soledad Miranda would be the greatest thing to ever happen to them. Or how 'bout this. Let's say there's some kind of after life, and you're sitting around swapping stories with your fellow dead. Suddenly, the topic of how you died comes up. When everyone else has finished boring the group with the details surrounding their pathetic deaths, you get to stand up and say, in a loud and steady voice, I died as a direct result of being stabbed multiple times by a lingerie clad Soledad Miranda. Trust me, you will be the envy of the after life.

In case you haven't figured it out yet, I happen to think that Soledad Miranda is an attractive woman. And the only director I can trust to capture her attractiveness in a manner that I deem satisfactory is Jess Franco. (So, does he manage to capture her attractiveness in a manner that you...) I'm sorry to cut off like that, but you must already know that the answer is... yes. Of course, I'm not saying Soledad Miranda should be allowed to murder the scientists who fucked over her hunky scientist husband just because she looks like Soledad Miranda. No, what I am saying is that the scientists should be thankful that their final moments on planet earth are being spent straddling a half-naked Soledad Miranda. In other words, if you have to be murdered, wouldn't you want Soledad Miranda to be the one holding the knife that plunges deep into your worthless, improperly utilized genitals?

Now that I've established to the best of my ability that being murdered by Soledad Miranda isn't all that bad, can we talk about the top Mrs. Johnson (Soledad Miranda) is wearing when her husband, Dr. Johnson (Fred Williams), shows her his lab?

Looking as if she cut off a chunk of a chandelier and taped it to her chest, Soledad Miranda's top is too ridiculous for words.

I'm not kidding around, Soledad Miranda's chandelier top left me speechless. So much so, that I didn't hear a single word Dr. Johnson said as blathered on and on about his research. Or, I should say, groundbreaking research.

Unfortunately, Dr. Johnson seems to be the only one who thinks his research is "groundbreaking." Submitting his research to a panel of his fellow scientists, Dr. Johnson is devastated by what they have to say about it. Words like, unethical, immoral and criminal are bandied about as Dr. Johnson's colleagues eviscerate his work.

If you're wondering what Dr. Johnson's research entails exactly. I'm sorry, I can't help you. As I said earlier, Soledad Miranda's metallic steampunk chandelier top was too distracting.

How does she manage to keep that thing on?!? There are no sleeves and there are no straps visible. It sort of just hovers there.

Nevertheless, the film's opening credits features words written in a frosty pink font, foetuses in jars, and the funkiest, the trippiest, most psychedelic music you'll ever hear.

If that wasn't enough to convince me that Jess Franco plans on delivering the goods, he then shows a forlorn Soledad Miranda running down multiple flights of stairs in jet black stockings (you get a glimpse of them with every other step) and a crocheted purple cape.

The reason Soledad Miranda is forlorn is because she misses her dead scientist husband. Oh, sure, she still has sex with him every now and then. But it's just not the same.

Driven to suicide by his fellow scientists (their harsh words of disapproval haunt his very existence), Dr. Johnson slits his wrists.

Instead of calling the authorities to haul away his corpse, Soledad Miranda holds on to it. You see, instead heading down to local pub to find another hunky scientist to marry, Soledad Miranda decides to murder those who caused her husband so much pain.

The first target on her list is Prof. Walker (Howard Vernon), a kinky blowhard with a thing for beige suits and degrading sex. This is guy is relatively easy for Soledad Miranda to snag, as all she has to do is flash the tops of her stockings and... boom. Look who's escorting you to his hotel room for some femdom fun. Well, there's fun to be had in the early going. But I think even the most ardent of femdom enthusiasts would frown upon being stabbed so forcefully in the junk.

When word of Prof. Walker's grisly demise gets out to the other scientists, nothing much happens. It's true, Jess Franco's Dr. Donen organizes an impromptu scientist meeting on a secluded beach to discuss the situation. But none of them changes their routine. Just look at the way Dr. Crawford (Ewa Strömberg) hits on Soledad Miranda while on vacation. Actually, I think the reason Dr. Crawford was so bold was because Dr. Donen tells them that a "vulgar brunette" was seen leaving Prof. Walker's hotel room on the night he was murdered, and, as we can clearly see, Soledad Miranda is not a vulgar brunette. Thanks to a short blonde wig and a well-worn paperback, Soledad Miranda has transformed herself into a bookish blonde who is itching to smother to death a smug blonde lesbian with a giant translucent pillow.

Which reminds me. Are you tired of not being able to see the face of the person you're murdering as you smother them to death with a pillow? Well, here at Giant Translucent Pillows, we want you experience the full magnitude of your victim's suffering by allowing you see them gasp for air in graphic detail. So, the next time you're thinking about smothering to death a loved one, or that pesky smug blonde lesbian lady scientist who caused your hunky scientist husband to kill himself, make sure to have a Giant Translucent Pillow handy.

If Soledad Miranda didn't have a Giant Translucent Pillow handy, she could have simply killed Dr. Crawford by plunging her face into the shag carpeting. Seriously, I've never seen shag carpeting so thick. I know, it's 1971, and such carpet-based anomalies were quite commonplace back then. But damn, that was some bushy shag.

Maybe I was a little harsh on Paul Muller's Dr. Houston earlier when I scolded him for not being receptive to Soledad Miranda's advances. I mean, if I saw Soledad Miranda eye-balling me the way she eye-balls people in this movie, I, too, would be somewhat hesitant. What I think I'm trying to say is that Soledad Miranda's eyes are like dark whirlpools filled with nothing but rage and contempt.

While Prof. Walker and Dr. Crawford were unable to pick up on this (the rage and contempt), Dr. Houston spots it almost immediately. However, even the most perceptive of scientists have their weaknesses. And like most men, that weakness is black silk stockings. In other words, flash a little thigh, and you'll have them eating out of the palm of your hand in no time.

If you think about it, that sums up the effect the film's of Jess Franco have on his audience rather nicely. The sensation one experiences while watching a Jess Franco film, when he's firing on all cylinders, is unlike anything in the known universe. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to see if I can buy myself one of them metallic steampunk chandelier tops on Etsy.


  1. O Soledad! Speechlessness is the only response.

  2. Yeah, Ms. Miranda was both beautiful and talented. Unfortunately, she died roughly a decade before I was born, and that tends to get in the way of a relationship. Such a loss to the world.