Sunday, September 18, 2016

Snakewoman (Jess Franco, 2005)

First off, I think it's a tad weird to watch a Jess Franco film where things like, mobile phones and computers not only exist, but are actually used. And in the case of Snakewoman, rather frequently (seeing people pump gas was weird, too). It's weird because people in Jess Franco movies don't usually communicate via technology, they do so, for the most part, by writhing. That's right, I said, writhing. What you do is, you take off all your clothes (if, of course, you're wearing stockings, you keep those on... if you don't I will hunt you down and murder you... just kidding... but seriously, don't take them off). At any rate, once you've removed your clothes, lie down on a bed (or a couch/sectional) and start writhing. And depending on the gusto of your writhing, you should be communicating with sex-starved vampire lesbians with boyish hips in no time. What's that? What if you don't want to communicate with sex-starved vampire lesbians with boyish hips? Don't be silly. I know you're simply playing devil's advocate, but I don't think there's a man, woman or child on this earth who doesn't want their clit eaten out by a sex-starved vampire lesbian with boyish hips. Oh, and when I say "eaten out," I'm not kidding around, she will eat your motherfucking clit... for lunch, breakfast and dinner. I know, you're thinking to yourself: But Yum-Yum, I don't have a clit. You don't, eh? Do you see that skin-covered protuberance dangling from the middle portion of your blotch-covered crotch? Well, that's your clit, you gutless worm.

Enough with the anatomy lessons. Let's talk about the reason we're all here. If you remember my review of Jess Franco's Broken Dolls, you will recall that I was justifiably fixated with late career Franco starlet Christie Levin. Calling her, "one of the sexiest women ever to appear in the Jess Franco universe," I was obsessed with the saucy minx with the giant eyes and pillowy, bee-stung lips.

Informed by a loyal reader that Christie Levin's turn in Snakewoman (2005) was just as sexy, I made the watching of this film a top priority. Or did I? Sitting on my shelf for what seemed like an eternity, I made severally attempts to watch Snakewoman over the past year. Tired of waiting for Christie Levin to appear on-screen, I found myself fast-forwarding to her scenes out of frustration. And when Christie Levin stopped appearing all-together, I usually turned off the film.

After doing this three or four times, I gave up. That is, until, I found myself with nothing to watch one week (even my emergency stash of Taija Rae porn had dried up). I wondered to myself: What would Snakewoman be like if I watched it at regular speed?

Is it dull, tedious, amateurish and asinine? Sure. I mean, twenty minutes is a pretty long time to watch two lesbians unenthusiastically grope one another. I don't care if one of the lesbians is played by "one of the sexiest women ever to appear in the Jess Franco universe," I've got less important things to do. Nevertheless, the film still manages to project that uniquely oft-kilter Jess Franco vibe that I've come to love.

Utilizing the minimal resources at hand, Jess Franco updates his vampire lesbian trope for a whole new generation. Creating a world where low-key dread and cunnilingial distress collide with one another on a semi-regular basis, the film retains its otherworldliness, or, I should say, its Franconess, despite its obvious deficiencies when it came to just about everything.

The film's plot, like, Vampyros Lesbos, Female Vampire and, to a lesser extent, Lorna The Exorcist, involves a straight-laced woman, Carla (Fata Morgana), becoming enchanted by a female vampire. Even though she's got big vaginas to fill, Carman Montes does a capable job in the role of the film's primary enchantress, an ageless Hungarian flapper with a large snake tattoo that snakes across her torso like a... snake. A staunch lesbian and an even stauncher vampire, Oriana Balasz haunts the grounds of her palatial home, which, from the looks of it, is now some kind of monastery/mental asylum.

Run by a grizzled monk, Franco regular Antonio Mayans, the monastery/mental asylum is where Christie Levin's "Alpha" spends the bulk of her time writhing. Usually seen wandering the around in a long white nightshirt, like, Catherine Lafferière's character in Lorna The Exorcist, is under the spell of a female demon.

The reason Carla is at the home of Oriana Balasz is because the production company she works for would like the purchase the rights to her films and music. Produced mainly during the 20s and 30s, Carla's employers think they can make a fortune off Oriana's erotically-charged work. Of course, things get complicated for Carla, who is, for some reason, wearing a judogi, when she starts seeing the always naked Oriana in her room. Which, as you might expect, distracts her from completing the task at hand. Or maybe it actually helps her, as asking Oriana to sell her the rights to her work directly would probably make things a whole lot easier.

Though, I have to say, she might not be able to hear you given that she's currently gnawing on your clit. Ouch. Anyway, I think that pretty much covers the plot.

While the decision to have Carla wear that judogi-inspired outfit for the bulk of the movie was beyond aggravating (get this woman a frilly white blouse, a tight red leather skirt, a pair of jet black fully-fashioned stockings and some chunky cherry-red stripper heels, stat!), the inclusion of synth flourishes made things a little more tolerable. That's right, Snakewoman is chock-full of synth flourishes. I was taken aback, as I don't usually associate Jess Franco movies with synthesizers.

Even though she only gets two measly close-ups, Christie Levin still manages to ooze resplendence as a mildly deranged lesbian mental patient. Whether ambling through a field of sunflowers or massaging a lesbian vampire's hairy labia, Christie knows what fans of Jess Franco want to see. (And that is?) And that is, attractive women with humongous eyes and bulbous lips teetering on the brink of a total and absolute psycho-sexual breakdown. Only problem being, you're going to have to wade through an awful lot of uneventful nonsense to see Christie Levin do her thing. And trust me, this film is filled with shitloads of uneventful nonsense.


  1. Too bad you didn't take to the non-Christie Levin parts. Personally I think this is Franco's best video work. I was really taken by Carmen Montes. A worthy Franco muse.

    Oh and he did a movie called Vampire Junction in 2001 that features laptops! What makes it even weirder is that it takes place in a town that seems stuck in the old west yet all sorts of modernity is on display. Now that one will make you forget all concepts of time and space.

    1. I've tried to watch Christie Levin's other Jess Franco film, Red Silk, at least five times. I'll make it all the way through one of these days.

      I don't think I have Vampire Junction in any of the One Shot collections I own. I know I have something called "Blind Target," but it's not even close to being watchable.

  2. Well, if it took you that many tries and you still haven't made it all the way through then Vampire Junction might fuck you up something fierce haha.

    Ooh, Linnea Quigley's in Blind Target too. There was actually a behind the scenes doc called Antenna Criminal made about Blind Target.

  3. Wow, A Franco film I have not seen. Wish the the endorsement was better though!