Cast: Lina Romay, Michelle Bauer
Extras: Behind the Scenes Video, Michelle Bauer Interview, Bonus Trailers
Despite the fact that I have an interest in Euro-horror and that he’s made like a gazillion movies, I’ve never seen a Jess Franco film until now. (I have ’Virgin Among the Living Dead’ on VHS, but I’ve never gotten around to watching it.) Well, I’ve just finished watching Franco’s 1988 film ’Lust For Frankenstein’ and all I can say is, that was some crazy s**t! Dwelling somewhere between the art-house and the gutter, ’Lust for Frankenstein’ is one of the weirdest things that I’ve ever seen. Franco regular Lina Romay stars as Moira Frankenstein, daughter of Dr. Frankenstein. Moira begins to have visions of her dead father (who looks like he should be in a grunge band), and he urges her to play his records, which are heavy metal. (I’m not making this up.) After listening to the record, Moira leaves her apartment and goes to a villa… for some reason. Once there, she finds her father’s last creation, a creature called Goddess (Michelle Bauer). Goddess is a lot like the ’Bride of Frankenstein’… except that she’s naked. Moira soon learns that Goddess needs fresh blood to survive. This is quite convenient, as Goddess murders anyone that Moira is sexually attracted to. Moira must find a way to satisfy the monster’s need for blood, as well as her own personal urges.
I would call ’Lust For Frankenstein’ an experimental film, but that wouldn’t begin to describe it. Most of the movie was shot on film, but at times, it changes to video. Here, Franco adds weird photographic effects, which make it resemble an 80s music video. There is very little narrative plot in the movie, and the second half is mainly a combination of scenes in which Moira is seduced and then Goddess kills. The movie seems to take on a life of its own, and the seemingly random images begin to make a twisted kind of sense. Those hoping for a gorefest will be sorely disappointed, as there is more flesh than blood here. The DVD contains two versions of the film, the American cut and the European version, which runs eight minutes longer. Those eight minutes mainly consist of sex scenes, which push the boundaries of what most would consider softcore. Obviously, ’Lust For Frankenstein’ isn’t a horror film in the true sense, but the scenes with Dr. Frankenstein’s ghost (?) are sort of disturbing. ’Lust for Frankenstein’ is hard to judge. I can’t say that I enjoyed it, but it’s just too weird to be called bad. Franco fans or fans of alternative cinema should find ’Lust For Frankenstein’ very interesting. Despite the bad dubbing and the unmotivated zooms, this isn’t the kid of Euro-horror that I’m used to!
As noted above, most of ’Lust For Frankenstein’ was shot on film. The movie has been letterboxed at approximately 1.50:1, but judging by how the letters of the credits hug the edge of the frame, I would guess that the movie was shot at 1.66:1. The image is clear and the colors are good, but there is a fine sheen of grain visible throughout the feature. During the shot on video scenes, the grain is a bit diminished, and the colors improve somewhat. There is no difference in picture quality between the two versions of the film included on the disc. The audio on the DVD appears to be a digital mono track. This offers dialogue which is audible for the most part, however, some of the sound effects and music is a bit distorted. Also, there is an audible hiss on the track.
The DVD includes 24-minutes of behind-the-scenes video, which shows Jess Franco at work directing the film and also offers alternate angles of some of the scenes. There is also a 5-minute interview with Michelle Bauer, in which she discusses her ’Scream Queen’ status. Unfortunately, this interview was conducted in 1994! Finally, we have three bonus trailers for other Shock-O-Rama titles — ’Vamps’, ’Psycho Sisters’, and ’Santa Claws’.