Wednesday, February 15, 2012

53. LILIAN (LILIAN, LA VIRGEN PERVERTIDA, 1984)

Very often, Jess Franco's films repeat earlier storylines in new configurations. In this film -- which had the dubious historic honor of being the first hardcore sex film released in Spain -- we have a reprise of the Sadean story in which an innocent 17-year-old girl (Katia Bienert) is lured to palatial surroundings to be corrupted by an older amoral couple, here played by Lina Romay (under her hardcore alias "Candy Coster") and Emilio Linder (a scenario previously used in such films as EUGENIE... THE STORY OF HER JOURNEY INTO PERVERSION, PLAISIR A TROIS and GEMIDOS DE PLACER), as well as a reprise of the deathbed confession scenario previously seen in EUGENIE DE SADE (again with Franco himself serving as the Father Confessor), and on top of all this, the film reveals itself -- a little more than halfway through -- to be another of Franco's mysteries featuring his detective hero, Al Pereira (like ATTACK OF THE ROBOTS and DOWNTOWN) - a character named in tribute to the Hollywood art director, Hal Pereira.

This film doesn't quite run 75 minutes and, my guess, close to 10 of those minutes is spent in the snares of narrative-halting penetration, slurping and fingering. It's a shame because the film's first half is very promising, with committed dramatic performances from Franco (uncredited), Antonio Mayans (who plays Pereira, acting as "Robert Foster") and Bienert, who plays the innocent led to the brink of death by the heroin injections used to control her. (Bienert did not participate in the hardcore sequences, which is blatantly obvious.) Franco's frequent composer Daniel White (credited under his occasional music alias of "Pablo Villa") appears in the role of a corrupt police chief. The production diffuses the power of everything it so carefully sets up with a protracted third act stage show in which "Candy Coster" whips and fellates a nude José Llamas before being orally pleasured by two other women, while a young adult audience responds with all the merriment of a college crowd enjoying a stand-up comic... which they probably were, at the time they were filmed.

I presume there was an earlier director's cut of this, which didn't include all the graphic sex; that film would have been something worth seeing. This version is too, for Franco fans, though what it amounts to is disappointing. The direction is credited to "Clifford Brawn."

Viewed on DVD-R, but a Spanish-language import (now OOP) exists.  

2 comments:

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  2. It was not so much the first Spanish hardcore film as the first white-market Spanish hardcore film. Back in the teens, a number of silent porn films were made clandestinely to be viewed privately by King Alphonse XIII. They were shot in Barcelona's Barrio Chino and featured ugly prostitutes and desperate winos as actors. Much later, in the 1970s, and after General Franco's death, a number of porn films were made straight for the grey-market of Super 8 rental movies. Ricard Reguant and Jordi Gigó made PORNO GIRLS (one of Gigó's few films on standard gauge was the horror film THE DEVIL'S KISS). Several loops and shorts were also made semi-underground. Ignasi P. Ferré also made LA CAÑA... EN LA CASTAÑA, a hardcore porn half-feature spoken entirely in verse. It's not until 1983 that the legal situation of porn was clarified and Spanish porn movies started to be made above-ground.

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