EL FRANCONOMICON / I'M IN A JESS FRANCO STATE OF MIND

Robert Monell & Alex Mendíbil Blog Alliance

LES GRANDES EMMERDEUSES (Clifford Brown, 1974)

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es Grandes Emmerdeuses
1974 82 MINUTES European Trash Cinema (U.S. import) DIRECTED BY CLIFFORD BROWN (JESUS FRANCO; Produced by Robert de Nesle-C.F.F.P>Paris; Screenplay by David Khunne; DP: Etienne Rosenfeld; Louis Soulanes; Music: Andre Benichou [Robert Viger?]; P: Ramon Ardid. 82m Eastmancolor;

ABOVE: Bach-rock composer-guitarist Andre Benichou; who also scored Jess Franco’s LORNA, THE EXORCIST (1974); THE OBSCENE MIRROR (1973); EXORCISME (1974); among other titles.

WITH: LINA ROMAY (Pina) PAMELA SANFORD [Monique Delaunay] (Tina), Willy Braque [Guy Peraud] (Insurance agent), Raymond Hardy [ Ramon Ardid] (Agent Perez), Monica Swinn (Kashfi), Lise Franval [Lisa Ferrera] (Martine), Richard de Conninck (Interpol Agent 0069), Fred Williams, Susuki (Radeck’s female friend), Jess Franco(Martin)

(a.k.a. LES EMMERDEUSES; LES PETITES VICIEUSES FONT; LES GRANDES EMMERDEUSES aka Sexy a Go-Go)

A couple of air-headed diamond smugglers, Pina (Lina Romay) and Tina (Pamela Stanford),  travel to Portugal to fence the jewels (guess where they hide the gems), as two Interpol agents track them. The women are captured by a criminal gang also on the trail of the diamonds. The women manage to elude their pursuers through the use of the oldest trick in the book: sex. A much more sexually explicit “Red Lips” style crime adventure than such titles as the 1960 LABIOS ROJOS or ROTE LIPPEN/ El caso de las dos bellezas (1967) [TWO UNDERCOVER ANGELS], this has never had a HQ video* or any DVD release of which I am aware.Les emmerdeuses.jpg

ABOVE: Lina Romay as Pina,  one of our charming diamond smugglers, in LES GRANDES EMMERDEUSES/LES EMMERDEUSES.

This minor spy/sex comedy-adventure starts as an almost-hardcore romp with the camera locked in close-up on our heroines’ pudenda, as they talk directly to the audience and explain how they eluded ruthless international criminals and got away with a stash of diamonds. This kind of interactive cinema, a sexual come-on for the raincoat crowd, also can be found in Franco’s MIDNIGHT PARTY (1975), which opens with Lina Romay stimulating herself and the audience as she directly addresses them.

The film is amusing, mainly due to the charms of Lina Romay and Pamela Standford, who really  seem to be enjoying teasing the camera/audience. It’s a lot of harmless fun in a Eurospy masque. Franco also hams it up with his telezoom lens, which is as overactive as ever, zooming in on everything from jets passing overhead to more intimate places. Romay spends most the time nude (except for black gloves pulled up to her elbows), while Stanford dons an outrageous wrap-around cat mask and leopard skin tights in order to distract the enemy.

The Eurospy element is confined to the presence of, bumbling police agents,  played by Franco regulars Bigotini and Ramón Ardid, who both look like they had a ball during the shoot. There’s a mad scientist subplot (featuring a Doctor Radeck. Who else?) and even a kind of Frankenstein creature who must be dealt with (cf THE EROTIC RITES OF FRANKENSTEIN-1972, which, in comparison, looks like it was set, and made, in 1872!),

Franco recycles some of the score from his sexy peplum LES GLOUTONNES (1973). Curiously enough, the music is credited to Robert Viger in that film, while here Andre Benichou is listed as the composer. The same haunting piano theme in LES GRANDES EMMERDEUSES can also be heard in several other Franco titles from that period, including the opening credit sequence in LE MIROIR OBSCENE (1974). It is repeated as a guitar-driven acid rock theme throughout the film.*  Some of the director’s freewheeling camera antics recall certain 16mm experimental features of the 1960s New York Underground (Jack Smith, Andy Warhol).

[Additional comments to my original 1999 published review:
Seeing this over 15 years later made me appreciate Franco’s sheer creativity in the face of dire poverty all the more. It looks like this was shot in Super 8mm, or maybe just regular 8mm! I highly doubt there was a formal script and most of it takes place in cheap looking hotel rooms (hmmm… where I have seen those rooms before?).

There’s even a “monster” who shows up in this. The “thing” is created by yet another evil “Radeck” who uses it to threaten our heroines. It’s really just a very ugly guy (I hesitate to use the word “actor”).

Jess Franco, who may or may not be playing Dr. Radeck {hey, it’s in French and there’s a lot of talk and utter confusion throughout! NOTE: It’s heavy-set hood Victor Mendes}, looks really spaced out or hyped up on something, pacing around yet another sleazy hotel room somewhere in Portugal or the South of France.

Willy Braque (Guy Peraud), a familiar face from a number of Jean Rollin films (DEMONIACS; LIPS OF BLOOD), is even stranger looking than Jess Franco! This guy looks like he hasn’t had a decent meal in his life. In other words, he’s perfectly credible as the “connection” Kashfi.

Don’t expect to see this on R1 DVD anytime soon. But you never know…

And over ten years on I still can’t get over Pamela Stanford’s cat mask….]

*Thanks to the BACH CANTATA WEBSITE for crediting my musical research on this film’s score on my Jess Franco blog http://www.robertmonell.blogspot.com. It’s becoming a rare pleasure to be fully credited for Internet writing in our age of impatient Social Media hijacking, if not piracy. So, I tip my hat to them.

Andre Benichou (Electric Guitar, Arranger) – Short Biography

Source: Robert Monell Blog (2007); IMDB Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (July 2008)

 

André Bénichou: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works
Bach-Benichou: PT – Works | PT- Recordings

 

Links to other Sites

I’M IN A JESS FRANCO STATE OF MIND: The Sounds of Andre Benichou (Robert Monell)

My favorite alternate title of this is SEXY A GO-GO. Shot in Portugal.

(C) 2000; Updated 3/19, 2016 by Robert Monell

 

 

 

 

Written by Robert Monell

19 marzo 2016 a 8:38 PM

3 comentarios

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  1. Reblogueó esto en kinodetoury comentado:
    An excellent article by Robert Monell on an obscure Jess Franco title starring Lina Romay and Pamela Stanford.

    alexbakshaev

    21 marzo 2016 at 10:12 AM

  2. Thanks Alex. Fun film

    Robert Monell

    26 marzo 2016 at 3:55 AM

  3. Thanks!

    Robert Monell

    26 marzo 2016 at 4:21 AM


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