Franco Friday #48 - How to Seduce a Virgin
Wow, we are dangerously close to the end of this thing. I know you've heard this from me before but I really, really feel like I am ready for something new. There definitely needs to be a long time and a vast space between me and Jess Franco's films. The thing is, I am full of dread every time I start a Franco title and that's just not right. Instead of taking another break, I'm going to fight my way through and be done with it. I have chosen 8 more Jess Franco films (including this one) to round this out. So #55 will be my final Franco Friday. Okay, enough business, how about some pleasure?
How to Seduce a Virgin
AKA Plaisir a Trois
Directed by Jess Franco
Starring Alice Arno, Robert Woods, Howard Vernon, Tania Busselier, Alfred Baillou, Lina Romay
Alice Arno plays Martine Bressac, a woman who just got out of the loony bin. For the record, she should have turned right around and walked right back in. In terms of sanity, Martine is an undercooked blueberry muffin. Although it's never made entirely clear if it the reason she was locked up or not: Martine has a vision (or a memory) of slashing a naked man in his genital region (implied) with a straight razor. One thing is for sure, Martine is a sexual predator/serial killer of the highest order. She has a museum of statues made out of beautiful women in her basement.
Since good things come in threes, Martine has two accomplices. The first is her husband Charles (played by Robert Woods). He helps Martine select her victims with his camera and a slideshow! The second is her mute little friend Adele (Lina Romay) whose skills include: moaning like a subnormal, running interference, and performing various somnambulistic sex slave tasks. These evil weirdos set their siights on Cecile (Tania Busselier), the teenage daughter of their neighbors. While the girl's parents are away, Martine and her cronies take care of Cecille by getting her drunk and taking her to sex parties. Predictably, things take an even darker turn when Martine becomes jealous of the attention that Charles is lavishing on Cecille.
I really dig the score for this flick. It has all the funky bass lines, kooky keyboards, fuzz guitars, sorrowful flutes, and jaunty xylophones that you could ever ask for. Is it the only thing I like about How to Seduce a Virgin? Fuckin' almost! The biggest problem are the sex scenes. I know, I know, I sound like a broken record. But seriously, these aren't even good sex scenes. Either Franco was bored, his cast unwilling to play along, or he had some weird producers' criteria of what not to show. There is a threesome where we only see Alice Arno's bare butt and the rest is gyrating and moaning in the darkness for around 3 minutes. I feel humiliolated. That's humiliated and violated. I will admit that Alice Arno is 110% gorgeous in this. Woo! So hot.
This isn't the worst of Franco but it is frustrating because it does have some style and the feeling of dread is palpable. I just wish that the duder had kicked this one into second gear a few more times. The best character is Malou, played by the unusual and dwarfish actor, Alfred Baillou. He is Martine's gardener and he is seriously demented. Supposedly, he saw a bishop fall to his death and the memory of that moment drove him insane. It's a weird little detail that adds to the quirkiness of this rather dull skin flick but I'm afraid that it's too little, too late. There are some twists (okay, maybe one) and some kink (yawn!) but there are much better Franco flicks out there.
"Oh Charles, that little slut really looks like a lecherous bitch!"