Article #878 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-10-2003
Posting Date: 1-7-2004
Directed by Jess Franco
Featuring Janine Raynaud, Jack Taylor, Howard Vernon
A woman who performs in a sadistic stage show starts to blur the line between fantasy and reality.
Title check: No buses are sucked, and as for the alternate title, this has precious little to do with Lovecraft’s fictional tome.
Here we are, 878 listings into the MOTDs, and I finally hit Jess Franco. I’ve heard him described as one of the worst directors of all time; I’ve also heard him described as a genius, though even his supporters seem to think that he’s made a fair number of stinkers. I’ve seen a few of his others, and I suspect this is one of those in which he put some sort of effort into his work. He’s not talentless, and he has the occasional flare for interesting visuals, but he’s not much of a storyteller (I haven’t seen a movie of his that didn’t leave me somewhat confused), and sometimes his surreal visuals become merely silly and stupid. Quite frankly, I don’t have much use for this movie; if I’m in the mood for arty, erotic horror, I can always turn to Jean Rollin; unfortunately, I’m rarely in that mood. And I’m afraid that, despite all the name dropping of famous people and cultural icons (including the Marquis de Sade, the name people like to trot out to demonstrate that their delvings into sadism are actually high art of some sort), I suspect that there’s really a whole lot less here than meets the eye.