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Tenemos 18 Años

We are 18 Years Old

Spain 1959
produced by
Auster Films
directed by Jess Franco
starring Isana Medel, Terele Pávez, Carmen Lozano, Luis Pena, Licia Calderón, Javier García, María Luisa Ponte, Pablo Sanz, Mercedes Alonso, Aníbal Vela, Juan José Vidal, Rufino Inglés, Emilia Rubio, Bárbara Orbís, Antonio Ozores, Antonio Vela, Rafael Bardem, Baba Haruna, Antonio Jiménez Escribano, Ada Tauler
written by Jess Franco, additional dialogue by Antonio Ozores, music by Jess Franco

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Since their parents have decided to go on a vacation over Christmas and New Year, 18 year olds María José (Isana Medel) and Pili (Terele Pávez) decide to go on a road trip through the South of Spain - an enterprise that seems to be doomed from day one, when they buy a car (that's been on the market for at least 50 years) and "equipment" (including a parrot that's actually an owl) from a friend that all proves to be more a burden than a blessing. Their journey turns out to be a wild ride on which they meet many weird characters like a car-thief, a serialkiller with a castle right out of a horror film, and a bankrobber hell-bent to cross over the border (he's ultimately shot attempting to do so).

However, during the film it turns out that not everything is true even in the context of the movie, as the girls write down their adventures and bend and tweak them to their liking - so some of the story is wishful thinking and weird fantasy of two not-quite grown up girls. And in the end they are seen just burning their notes ...


A light-footed teen comedy that hits a few darker notes and that's mainly interesting for being an early film by later cult director Jess Franco.

Taken by its own merits, the movie might be of some interest because of its narrative concept that deliberately mixes reality and fantasy, but nevertheless seems to be leading nowhere in particular (narratively), with the concept being little more than a touch of bright light - in other words, it does improve the film as such, but doesn't make it a masterpiece.

Seen within Jess Franco's body of work, the film foreshadows some of his later themes, like the female couple on the run, the spots of gothic horror, the occasional pulp reference, and the surreal bits every now and again. At the same time though, the movie is neither as other-worldly as some of his later masterpieces (not even close), nor does Franco show the same passion for voyeurism and the like as in his later, sleazier stuff.

This all doesn't make it a bad film, it's certainly worth a look or two for both Jess Franco-fans and afficionados of teen comedies from the 1950's - in either category though it's certainly not the most memorable film ...


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




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


A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD