Monday, February 21, 2011

Venus in Furs

Venus in Furs may be my new favorite eurotrash/erotic/jazz-horror film.  What is a EEJ-H?  Watch just about anything by Jess Franco and you will find out.  I have not seen many Jess Franco films, but the ones I have seen I love.  They are hip man, groovy.  They have a smokin' vibe, real smooth.  Watching his films is kind of like listening to Les Baxter: really cool although you can't quite explain why.

 Venus in Furs, best I can tell, is about a Jazz musician named Jimmy, who plays a mean horn and looks like he may one day star on T.J. Hooker.  The film begins in Istanbul, home of many great Jazz artists.  Jimmy has buried his horn on the beach-- he doesn't know why.  Luckily he remembers where he buried it and soon he is playing some sweet music.  Unfortunately, a dead woman washing up on the beach interrupts his session.  He knows her, but how?  Right, he saw her raped and killed the night before by Klaus Kinski.  Yes, this is that type of film.

Jimmy moves to Rio and hooks up with the incredibly hot Barbara McNair, who plays Rita, a Jazz singer.  When Jimmy is not having sex with Rita, he wanders around Carnival, which seems to happen every day.  One day he spots Wanda, the woman who washed up on the beach.  Is she a ghost?  Well, Jimmy soon beds her so she must not be a ghost, but what is her deal?  And why do the people involved in her rape (who all also happen to be in Rio except for Klaus) keep getting killed?  And why in one scene is her hair short and in another it is long, then short again? 

Venus is Furs is the type of film Christopher Nolan would have made had he been working in the Sixties and doing lots and lots of LSD.  It is a total mind-trip and you think it is making sense and then you realize it really doesn't.  The film is really about one man's obsession with a woman he couldn't have.  I think.  It is also a bit like The Sixth Sense.  I don't want to spoil it for you, but the ending is exactly the same.  Its like a film M.Night Shyamalan would have made if he was making films in the Sixties, doing lots and lots of LSD, and was talented.

Long live Jazz Horror!  Enjoy the theme song. 


Will Errickson said...

I haven't seen many Franco films either but this is definitely about the best one I have seen. Great vintage-y vibe!

Erich Kuersten said...

Damn right this film is awesome, though I'm not quite as taken with McNair as you -- she's a little too dragalicious for me, I do love the music and her theme song... and everything else, and yes, the movie reeks of LSD!