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Christina, Princesse de l'Érotisme

A Virgin Among the Living Dead
Une Vierge chez les Morts Vivants / Eine Jungfrau in den Krallen von Zombies / Zombi 4

France/Italy/Liechtenstein 1973
produced by
Karl Heinz Mannchen for Prodif Ets.
directed by Jess Franco
starring Christina von Blanc, Britt Nichols, Howard Vernon, Paul Muller, Rosa Palomar, Anne Libert, Jess Franco, Nicole Guettard, Nadine Pascal, Rose Kiekens
written by Jess Franco, music & special effects (!) by Bruno Nicolai

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Even though everybody claims castle Montserrat has been uninhabited for years, Christina (Christina von Blanc) goes there to visit her family & await the reasing of her recently deceased father's will. The castle of course is not empty at all but inhabited by Christina's weird family - including her eccentric uncle Howard (Howard Vernon), her aunt Abigail (Rosa Palomar), their mute butler Basilio (Jess Franco), the bitchy Carmenze (Britt Nichols), blind Linda (Anne Libert), & Herminia, who has been dieing for many years now, but when she sees Christina, she immeditately dies for real.

However, after her death things start to get really out of hand, when Christina finds dead animals in her bed, but after only a few minutes they are gone without trace, she sees Carmenze drinking blood from Linda, who willingly lets it happen, learns that aunt Abigail & Basilio are in the habit of occasionally taking people apart - limb by limb, has to find out that noone will believe her that there are people living in the castle, & finally sees her dead father, hanging from a tree, but otherwise pretty lifelike & even talking to her.

It all culminates in Christina being raped by uncle Howard, with most of the family helping,, & Linda, the only one in the family who has showed sympathy with her, being killed by Basilio. In the end, Christina becomes the (naked) centerpiece in a weird ritual when ...

... when she is found in the woods near the castle, & seems to be totally out of it, & the doctor can nly state she is delirious, after her father's suicide & the days in the empty, haunted castle ... but Christina's mind is still with her weird family, & she now joins them at the other side of life & goes into the water with them.

 

Christina, princesse de l'érotisme marks a triumph of atmosphere over narration, as director Jess Franco uses his story only as a feeble coathanger to push its lead character (& the audience) into the weird, nonsensical, surreal, erotic & erratic world of the nightmare, in which reason as we know it does no longer exist. Of course, in this context Jess Franco's eccentric cinematic language - consisting of weird camera angles, depictions of weird details, many a zom-in & zoom-out - makes perfect sense & blends in nicely with the proceedings.

How little his efforts were appreciated though can be seen by the fact that the film was in the early 1980's spiced up with some zombie-scenes, repackaged & sold as a zombie movie (which, following the success of George Romero's Dawn of the Dead & Lucio Fulci's Zombi 2 were extremely popular back then).

 

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
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

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