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Midnight Party
Lady Porno / Heisse Berührungen / La Coccolona / La Partouze de Minuit

Belgium / Spain / France 1976
produced by
Eurociné, Brux Inter Film
directed by Jess Franco (as James Gardner)
starring Lina Romay, Monica Swinn, Olivier Mathot, Evelyne Scott, Yul Sanders (= Claude Boisson), Nadine Focarde, Alain Petit (as Charlie Christian), C.L. Fartier, Pierre Taylou, Isabel Gargano, Ilona Kunesova, Raymond Hardy, Jess Franco, Madeleine Quiquandon, Simon Berger, Nicole Guettard, Gerald Cazal
story by Jess Franco, adaptation and dialogues by Pierre-Claude Garnier, H.L. Rostaine (= Marius Lesoeur), music by Daniel J. White

Al Pereira

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Sylvia (Lina Romay) is a stripper at a nightclub who thoroughly enjoys her job. She also has two fiancés, private eye Al Pereira (Olivier Mathot) and musician Nicky (Alain Petit) as well as a stay-at-home husband to keep happy, so to make a little money on the side, she works as a prostitute - and enjoys that job even more. One night, she's invited to a party by diplomat Joe Loggia (Yul Sanders), where she ends up in bed with him and his wife. The next morning, she wakes up to find them both stabbed. She is taken captive by Loggia's right-hand Radek (Jess Franco) and his two helpers, who try to make her confess to the murders - but Radek's helpers are actually a sex crazy couple who want nothing more than habe sex with Sylvia ... which she thoroughly enjoys. Sylvia makes a getaway too, but is recaptured only to have more sex with Radek's helpers before Radek enters the scene, now to apologize ... and set her free again. Then he has her recaptured, and while she is in eager anticipation of having more sex with Radek's helpers, it's actually Joe Loggia himself who wants to have his way with her. You see, Loggia is a secret agent and he of course was never really killed, just needed a witness to testify he was - Sylvia. And now he wants to (have sex with her and) kill her because ... no idea, but before he can do either, he is killed by Al Pereira, because you see, Nicky has alerted him that Sylvia was kidnapped. However, Pereira later tells her that he has to kill her because he's a secret agent as well and ... well, whatever, he's killed by Nicky anyways, who's no secret agent but ... well, then Nicky also kills Radek's helpers in an unnecessary shoot-out and gets the girl of course.

 

First and foremost, one can't help to admit Midnight Party makes very little sense, narratively speaking, and the excuses it finds to get Lina Romay out of her clothes and spread her legs (which she does with a gusto) are ridiculous to say the least - and yet, Midnight Party is definitely a better film than this makes it sound: First and foremost, it's entirely told tongue-in-cheek, and even in the nude, Lina Romay proves a great sense of humour - it's running gag to have Lina turn to the audience to explain something in mostly sexual situations is endearing. It's also full of genre mainstays that are playfully attached to the softcore porn sequences (that are often mere instances away from going hardcore), and of course, Jess Franco's trademark free-floating camera and good eye for appealing images certainly makes this appealing to look at. And Lina Romay is very sexy in this one, and allows the camera to explore every inch of her, down to her shaven vagina.

Now all of this makes Midnight Party no classic of course, not even within the (rather large) oeuvre of Jess Franco, but it's a rather unusual and (at least for vintage erotica enthusiasts) endearing sex comedy nevertheless.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Your Bones to

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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD