Le miroir obscene (1973)

aka Obscene Mirror, Beyond the Grave, Al otro lado del espejo
Article 2321 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-3-2007
Posting Date: 12-20-2007
Directed by Jesus Franco
Featuring Emma Cohen, Howard Vernon, Philippe Lemaire

A woman is possessed by a mirror which shows her obscene images and causes her to murder the men in her life.

Yes, it’s Jess Franco again, and this time I get the opportunity to see one of his movies in unsubtitled French, a good way to guarantee that I won’t understand a word of the dialogue. Oddly enough, this problem didn’t really profoundly change the usual viewing experience I have with Franco movies. This comment cuts both ways; for one thing, I find I have some trouble paying attention to the dialogue even when I understand it in many of his movies anyway, much of which I find to be dull, though I should point out this is only a real problem with his weaker movies. On the other hand, it does show me that dialogue isn’t really what Franco is all about. It’s also helpful that once I got the gist of what was going on in the movie, it was fairly easy to follow. As a matter of fact, I think this was one of the better Franco movies I’ve seen, despite the fact that I was also hampered by having a very weak print of it to begin with; like his better movies, I don’t feel I was wasting my time watching it. I even liked the jazzy musical score up to a point, though it is overused. Granted, I’m still not a fan of Franco’s style; for my taste, I find that the sex scenes go on too long, there’s too many closeups of pubic hair, and that camera won’t stay in focus for more than a few seconds at a time. Yet, it managed to hold my attention and left me thinking about it afterwards.


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