Thursday, January 15, 2015

Devil's Kiss, Frankenstein meets Satan

In a Biblical sense, no one fictional character is more satanic than Dr. Frankenstein.  In a Biblical sense, the torment of Hell, apart from fiery metaphors, is man's separation from God.  In Mary Shelley's classic novel, Dr. Frankenstein sets out to prove God is obsolete, and man is capable of assuming the role of "Creator."  So today we look at 1976's "Devil's Kiss" (aka "La Pervesa Caricia de Satan"), a film written and directed by Jordi Gigo.  From Spain, this work resembles a Frankenstein story, but mixes in generous amounts of devil worship.  Like all of the horror yarns from Spain, that we have examined, this one also mixes scares and eroticism.
The Duke de Haussemant (Jose Nieto) has summoned Claire (Silvia Solar) to his castle as entertainment for his party.  Claire speaks with the dearly departed through seances, and the Duke wishes to chat with his deceased brother.  Claire blames the Duke for her husband's suicide and her current poverty, and has vengeance in mind in accepting the invite.  Our median bring a guest of her own, Professor Gruber (Oliver Mathot).  Gruber is a master of telepathy, and together with him, Claire has plotted a twisted scheme.  The party starts off with an avant garde fashion show with many French models, who we'll eventually see undressing.  Then the fun begins, Claire contacts the Duke's dead brother (see photo above).  So impressed with Claire, the Duke invites her and the professor to stay at his estate as they perfect their art...provided they, in turn, teach the black arts to him.  Oh yes...Loretta (Evelyne Scott).  This buxom lass is the Duke's French maid, equipped with a naughty French maid outfit...which fits her personality.  Loretta's character sets a record in cinematic history for stripping off all her clothes (..this action repeats itself, it seems, every six minutes).
Don't get too attached to Loretta (pictured above) as a fate worse than death is reserved for this poor schmuck.  Securing a laboratory in the Duke's basement, Claire and Gruber go to work.  Needing help, Claire seduces a mute dwarf (...don't ask), and make him their Igor.  Then the three rob a grave of a strongman who had his head crushed.  Gruber puts the corpse's head back together and resurrects him with a serum he invented.  Then Claire conjures up satanic forces to make the zombie a killer. Under Gruber's telepathic powers, the zombie is set loose in the Duke's castle to secure the vengeance sought by Claire.  As with any experiment that brings the dead back to life, complications arise bringing some unexpected consequences. As the bodies pile up, and Loretta's stripteases continue, Claire and Gruber realize their grand plan isn't without consequences.
Are Gruber and Claire destined to assume the same fate that Victor Frankenstein suffered?  Is Loretta's fate a metaphor for the treatment of the proletariat in western Europe by the Bourgeois? Like the films from the "Tombs of the Blind Dead" series, full figured damsels running from evil beings is a staple of this movie.  Available on Netflix, for scares and arousal, see "Devil's Kiss."

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