Saturday, September 28, 2013

5 Problems I have with "Female Vampire"

5 Problems I have with “Female Vampire”

By: A. Aleister Sirrat

Hello Perverts.  Welcome Back.  Well since you’re here, I suppose that means you’re here to read a review about some top notch French Exploitation Film from the 1970’s, right?  Well I’ve ever been one to want to disappoint my readers, so let’s dive into the plot.  “Female Vampire” (sometimes called The Bare-Breasted Countess in Europe) was a 1973 French Erotic/Horror film written and directed by Jesus Franco.  It is the story of Countess Irna Karlstein, a royal descendent of one of the oldest families in Eastern Europe.  The Countess is a mute and the last surviving heir of her bloodline.  Her family has a long history of terror and bloodlust, but the Countess does not lust after blood, she lusts after people.  The same way a vampire needs human blood in order to survive, Countess Karlstein needs sex in order to keep on living.  This film is the Cream of the Cop in regards to sleazy 70’s exploitation.  It has everything: eroticism, sexual tension and build-up, sexy vampires, and of course that classic 70’s bush.   However, this film isn’t without its faults.  In fact, here are 5 Problems I had with the film “Female Vampire”.

1.)    Why Does the Countess Need to Where a Belt?

So the Countess is played by Spanish Actress Lina Romay.  She was 19-years-old when this film was made, and  the film’s director Jesus Franco (who would later go on to marry Romay) took full advantage of showing off her amazing body.  For most of the film her wardrobe consists only of a long black cape, a pair of black leather boots, and a belt(?)  Why does the Countess need to wear a belt?  It’s not like she has any pants or a skirt that she needs to hold up, so why does she need to wear this giant black leather belt?  What is the significance of it?  You can’t even argue something like “oh well she probably needed the belt because they had a microphone clipped on to the belt in the back, so they could pick up her audio without anyone seeing it”, because that brings me right into my next problem that I had with this film.

2.)    If she is a “Mute” then why does she narrate parts of the film? 

So yeah, The Countess is introduced as a “mute” character in the film.  To me that equals one of two things: Either Jesus Franco was very lazy and decided to not give his main character or he didn’t want his actress to speak because he cared more about how her t!ts looked than how she spoke on camera.  This move makes no sense.  We never hear or see her speak on camera, so how are we supposed to no it’s her who is randomly narrating parts of the film, if we don’t know it’s her voice?  Think about it:  How do you know person watching this film for the first time will know it’s the Countess and not assume that it’s just some random woman narrating the film?  It just doesn’t add up.  I think Mr. Franco should have taken his job a tad more seriously and should have written in some intelligent and original dialogue for the Character of the Countess.  Do you really think no one in the audience will be focusing on what her character is saying, just because of her great rack? 

3.)    The Most Unprofessional Newspaper Reporter Ever

So Unprofessional!
So at one point in the film that Countess is lounging around the pool enjoying herself she is approached by a “reporter”, and what is this, so-called, reporter wearing?  Why a pink bikini and sandals!  First of all, she’s a freaking Countess, so why not doll yourself up and make yourself look presentable? I’d hate to see what this woman would wear if she had the chance to interview the Queen of England.  Secondly, she knows the Countess is a mute, so why would she bother to interview her?  That’s like asking Stevie Wonder to judge a beauty pageant, it just doesn’t make sense.  And her “interview” isn’t much of an interview.  She just reads a bunch of facts to the countess, and haves her nod yes or no to confirm if they are correct.  It seems like she already knows a great deal about the Countess, so why bother with this “interview”?  It’s not even really an interview; it’s more like a fact check.  You know, I honestly don’t think this reporter takes her job that seriously?  I think she’s just in it for the travel.

4.)    The Music is too romantic.

So yeah, in the scenes where the Countess is feeding there is music playing.  It’s very orchestral.  It’s very professional sounding...and it’s all wrong!  Who wants romantic music during a sleazy Horror Porn?  Where’s the bass guitar?  Where’s the keyboards?  Where’s the bow-chika-wow-wow?  The music is all wrong.  I don’t want music that makes me feel inspired and beautiful, I want some of that traditional sleazy Porn music, that we’ve all grown fond of and accustomed to in a film like this.

5.)    The Coroners are useless characters.

So, in the film the only person who attempts to stop the Countess is this Coroner and this guy named Dr. Orloff.  I know that Dr. Orloff is a reoccurring character in some of Jesus Franco’s films, but in this film he doesn’t really come off as all that important.  For one thing his character only appears in two scenes of the film.  As for the other coroner, he has a few appearances in the film, he mentions that he suspects a vampire was responsible for the recent deaths in the town, but no one believes him, and he only gets close enough to the Countess once—towards the end of the film—but he doesn’t even stop her.  So his character was very pointless and what’s worst is he took away precious screen time from Lina Romay.  I can think of no greater tragedy that can befall this film then that.

Totally Useless to the Plot

I hope you all enjoyed my latest reviews, and if there is a French Exploitation from that you’d like me to review, let me know in the comment section.  And Be sure to check out some of my other reviews.  Just click on the link below.

5 Problems I Have with "Schoolgirl Hitchhikers"

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Character Analysis: P.R. Deltoid

Character Analysis: P.R. Deltoid

By: Brian Cotnoir

     Hey, it’s been a while since I talked about “A Clockwork Orange” on this blog so let’s change that.  So from the time I started doing this “Character Analysis” I’ve wanted to do one on a character from “A Clockwork Orange”, and to most people the obvious choice would be to do one on the story/films main character Alex, but the more I thought about it, the more I began to see that it wouldn’t be much of a challenge.
So sorry, little Alex.  You're just not challenging enough
You see there are literally dozens of articles, videos and analysis’s of Alex on the internet.  Pretty much everything that can be said about him—in both the novella and the film—has already been said, and I really don’t have a lot of new material or ideas I could bring to a “Character Analysis” of Alex.  Even, if I still wanted to write an analysis of Alex it would be far too long, and I’d probably have to break up the article into much shorter articles so as not to overwhelm you, the reader.  I really wish I could have done a character analysis on one of Alex’s cellmates, but unfortunately they were all left out of the film.  As for his Alex’s Droogs, well they were enjoyable, but just not as enjoyable a character Alex.  Plus, Director Stanley Kubrick did make some significant changes to the characters in the film that differ from Anthony Burgess novella, and I feel like I would have spent more time talking about the differences in the characters between the novella and the film rather than analyzing their character.                    
    However, there is one other character in “A Clockwork Orange” that I always enjoyed and he often get’s over looked at that characters is P.R. Deltoid, Alex’s Probation officer.

CHARACTER: P.R. Deltoid from “A Clockwork Orange” (1971)

P.R. Deltoid from "Clockwork Orange" (1971)
    P.R. Deltoid is Alex’s “Criminal Rehabilitation social worker” who was assigned to watch over Alex after an earlier incident (not mentioned in the novella or film) and keep him out of trouble and from making bad choices.  In the novella he’s kind of a dweeb who tries to see the good in everyone and just does a really bad job at trying to motivate Alex and keep him from doing bad things.  In the novel, we are first introduced to him after Alex skips school and he shows up at Alex’s flat to talk to him about working hard and staying out of trouble.  And what does Alex do right after this little “pep-talk”; why he goes out and drugs and rapes two 10-year-old girls of course.      
Bad Touch! Bad Touch!
However, in the film, he comes off more as cunning and is aware of whom he’s dealing with.  In the film you get the vibe that Mr. Deltoid is fully aware of what Alex is capable of doing and that he knows deep down he’s probably been doing some of those things.  His relationship with Alex in the film comes off as “I don’t like you, but I’m stuck with you!  So stay out of trouble and don’t cause me to lose my job!”.   I think this change to his character in the film definitely makes him a more enjoyable character.  He’s also kind of bossy.  At one point he lies Alex down on the bed next to him and grabs him by the balls as if he’s saying “don’t-let-these-impede-with-your-progress.  Don’t-let-these-get-you-into-trouble”.                                 
   The last time we see Mr. Deltoid—in both the novella and film—he is visiting Alex down at Police Station.  Alex has been arrested and charged with murder, and Mr. Deltoid says that he is at “the end of the line [with Alex]”.  He tells Alex that he is on his own from now on and that he no longer responsible for trying to make Alex a parting shot, he spits in the face of Alex and that’s the last we see of him in the film.


Actor Aubrey Morris
The Actor who plays P.R. Deltoid is Aubrey Morris.  Besides this the only other notable film that he’s appeared in was “The Wicker Man” (1973).  What I like about Morris’s portrayal of P.R. Deltoid is that he isn’t playing it with blind ignorance like in the novella.  He knows what Alex does and what he’s capable of doing and he lets Alex know that he won’t always be there to rescue him or come to his aid.  To which Alex scoffs.       I also really like the way he talks in this film.  He speaks with an upward inflection when he talks.  Everything he says, ends with him asking a question.  I can’t really explain it that well, but I thoroughly enjoyed how he read his lines.  So much so, that when I was in college the first production I was in required us to speak with English accents, and my opening monologue in the production was 3 pages long and my first 40-or-so lines were questions, and so at the first rehearsal I was reading my lines like Mr. Deltoid as a joke...well the Director and Stage Director thought it was really funny and I was required to talk like Mr. Deltoid through the whole production.  So Aubrey Morris has influenced my stage work some.

Character is similar to or Inspired By:

     I couldn’t find any characters in any film that P.R. Deltoid is similar to.  I do think he kind of sounds like Tim Curry in the film, but his voice was not inspired by Tim Curry because Tim Curry’s first film role didn’t come until 4-years after the release of “A Clockwork Orange”.

The way he talks is just so interesting.

Fate of the Character:

     We don’t really know whatever happened to Mr. Deltoid.  The last we see or hear from in the film and novella was when he spat in Alex’s face down at the police station.  Presumably, he went back to his job, to serve another misguided youth.  I think they could have done a lot more with his character though.  I think it would have been great for him to have been one of the guests at the Minister of The Interiors demonstration following Alex’s stint through the Ludovico Technique.  Maybe, then we could have gotten his opinion on whether he thought it was the best thing for Alex, or maybe he would have said something like “once a delinquent, always a delinquent”.  That really is a change I think Stanley Kubrick should have made in his film version.  I think Mr. Deltoid had a lot more he could have offered the film, but oh well.  It is what it is.