Sunday, 24 August 2008

Two Undercover Angels (1969)

The two Red Lips movies are Jess Franco at his most light-hearted. They’re comic book-style romps, all very tongue-in-cheek and rather silly, but fun. Two Undercover Angels (Rote Lippen, Sadisterotica) sees two glamorous girl private eyes investigating a series of disappearances of young women, which have some connection to a kinky artist.

The plot doesn’t hang together all that well, but it doesn’t really matter. Franco captures a comic book ambience pretty well (although he did the same thing much more effectively in The Girl from Rio, made at about the same time). The movie has a Pop Art kind of look, which fits in well with the themes of murder and art. Janine Reynaud and Rosanna Yanni are fun as the intrepid female private detectives.

Franco gets to work in a couple of his trademark surreal and erotic cabaret act scenes involving exotic female performers, and they’re the highlight of the movie. There are some other nice visual touches. The English dubbing is atrocious, although in some ways that just adds a bit more surreal atmosphere.

The folow-up, Kiss Me, Monster, is much crazier and for that reason more successful (Franco always being at his best when the weirdness level is at its height).

The Anchor Bay Region 2 DVD is a bit disappointing. The picture quality is OK but not as good as on some of the other superb Jess Franco DVDs that Anchor Bay have released. There are no extras apart from a few trailers. Definitely not in the top rank of Franco’s movies, but fun in a Swinging 60s kind of way if you’re in the mood.

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