Jess Franco is one of the most polarizing filmmakers in the world. You either love him or hate him, there is no in-between. Myself, I love the guy. I will admit however, that the material that he has put out ever since Sadomania forward has been inferior to everything that came before, which includes real classics like The Awful Dr. Orlof, 99 Women, Female Vampire, Succubus, Diabolical Doctor Z, Venus in Furs, and his masterpiece, Vampyros Lesbos. Here I have decided to take a look at his latest film, the 2005 production Snakewoman.
Fata Morgana plays Carla, an attractive reporter going to the estate of a 30’s actress (Carmen Montes) with intentions of buying the negatives and history of her films and career. But when she gets there, we see that the actress, who should be in her eighties, looks like she’s in her twenties. It turns out she is a seductive vampire, the snakewoman of the title, who soon puts Carla under a spell.
I wasn’t expecting much of this film, other than a lot of sex scenes, but I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed this. It’s a remake of Franco’s own Vampyros Lesbos, sharing a lot of the same themes and characters. Soledad Miranda, in the original, played a burlesque performer who was also the vampire queen. Here the snakewoman is an actress, although Carmen Montes is a very beautiful woman, she doesn’t have the bewitching effect Soledad had. Both movies have reporters who fall under their spell, both movies have sympathetic doctors, both movies have and both movies have a sidekick named Morfo. Snakewoman has a very erotic and dreamlike quality that kept it interesting for me, and it was cool to see Lina Romay again in a movie, although thankfully she doesn’t get naked here (that shit was good in the 70’s tho). Still, the movie has one main flaw, and it’s that it lasts too long. The sex scenes are explicit, but take too much time and it’s mostly softcore. It’s not the best movie to start with if you want to get into Franco, but for Franco fans, it’s a treat.