Jess Franco and Lina Romay: Husband and Wife Auteurs

There have been many great film auteurs in cinema history but, when you  read the dictionary definition of what an auteur is, a strong case could be made for the husband and wife team of Jess Franco and Lina Romay. Together, over a 40 year period, they forged themselves on well over 100 films.

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Their first film of note together was the one they are best known for, The Bare Breasted Countess. An R-rated version titled The Female Vampire was released on VHS and became the introduction to Franco’s films and Romay’s work as an actress. There were several versions shot of the with various degrees of hardcore inserts installed.

Unlike most actress, even the ones in the Euro sex film genre, Lina Romay had no qualms about performing in hardcore scenes, nor, for that matter did Franco have any about shooting her doing the scenes, even after they became a live in couple. That aspect never seemed to matter to them. They were a normal couple.

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Together, Franco and Romay would build an extensive filmography on very little money. They would divide their time shuttling between Germany, Spain and France, most of their films were the products co-productions between the various countries. As the 70s wore on, Franco and Romay turned more and more to hardcore porn to pay the bills.

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As the 80s drug on, the last bit of quality would abandon Franco and his films and what was left was direct to video efforts with very little quality involved.

Revenge of the Alligator Ladies (as Jess Franco)
 2012Al Pereira vs. the Alligator Ladies (as Jess Franco)
 2012La cripta de las condenadas: Parte II (as Jess Franco)
 2012La cripta de las condenadas (as Jess Franco)
 2010Paula-Paula (Video) (as Jess Franco)
 2008A Bad Day at the Cemetery (as Jess Franco)
 2008A Bad Day at the Cemetery II (as Jess Franco)
 2007Lascivia
 2006Montes de Venus
 2005Snakewoman (as Jess Franco)
 2005Jess Franco’s Passion (Video)
 2002Killer Barbys vs. Dracula (as Jess Franco)
 2002Incubus (Video)
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 2001Vampire Junction (as Jess Franco)
 2000Blind Target (as Jess Franco)
 2000Helter Skelter (as Clifford Brown Jr.)
 1999Broken Dolls (as Jess Franco)
 1999Dr. Wong’s Virtual Hell (as Jess Franco)
 1999Red Silk (Video) (as Clifford Brown Jr.)
 1999Vampire Blues (Video) (as Jess Franco)
 1998Lust for Frankenstein (Video)
 1998Mari-Cookie and the Killer Tarantula (Video) (as Jess Franco)
 1997Tender Flesh (as Jess Franco)
 1996Vampire Killer Barbys (as Jess Franco)
 1993Jungle of Fear (Video)
 1988Dark Mission: Evil Flowers (as Jess Franco)
 1987Slave of Crime (as James Lee Johnson)
 1987Faceless (as Jess Franco)
 1987Falo Crest (as Lennie Hayden)
 1987Phollastía (as Betty Carter)
 1987Las chicas del tanga (as Rosa Almirall, unconfirmed)
 1986Sida, la peste del siglo XX (as Clifford Brown)
 1986Las chuponas (uncredited)
 1986Alone Against Terror (as Clifford Brown)
 1986Entre pitos anda el juego (uncredited)
 1986El mirón y la exhibicionista (as Lulu Laverne)
 1986El ojete de Lulú (as Candy Coster)
 1986Las tribulaciones de un Buda Bizco (as Jess Franco)
 1985El chupete de Lulú (as Lulú Laverne)
 1985Un pito para tres (uncredited)
 1985Dirty Game in Casablanca (as Jess Franco)
 1985Bangkok, cita con la muerte (as Clifford Brown)
 1985La esclava blanca (as Clifford Brown)
 1985Viaje a Bangkok, ataúd incluido (as Jess Franco)
 1984Una rajita para dos (as Rosa María Almirall)
 1984Lilian (la virgen pervertida) (as Clifford Brawn)
 1984¿Cuánto cobra un espía? (as Jess Franco)
 1984Night of 1,000 Sexes (as Jess Franco)
 1984Historia sexual de O (as Jess Franco)
 1984Camino solitario (as Jess Franco)
 1983Macumba sexual (as Jess Franco)
 1983Diamonds of Kilimandjaro (as C. Plaut in English version, as C. Plaut in English version)
 1983Cecilia (uncredited)
 1983La noche de los sexos abiertos (as Jess Franco)
 1983Botas negras, látigo de cuero (as Jess Franco)
 1983Blood on My Shoes (as Clifford Brown)
 1983Claire (as Clifford Brown)
 1983En busca del dragón dorado (as James P. Johnson)
 1982Oasis of the Zombies (as A.M. Frank)
 1982El huésped de la niebla (Short documentary) (uncredited)
 1982Emmanuelle Exposed (as Clifford Brown)
 1981Lola 2000
 1981The Story of Linda (as Jack Griffin)
 1981Hellhole Women (as Jess Franco)
 1981Sex Is Crazy (as Jesse Franco)
 1980Devil Hunter (as Clifford Brown)
 1980White Cannibal Queen (as Jess Franco)
 1979Jailhouse Wardress (original footage, uncredited)
 1979Justine and the Whip (as Dave Tough)
 1978Cocktail spécial (as Clifford Brown)
 1978Tropical Inferno (as Jess Franco)
 1978East of Berlin (as Anton Martin Frank)
 1977Call of the Blonde Goddess (as Jess Franco)
 1977Love Camp (as Jess Franco)
 1977Sexy Sisters (as Jess Franco)
 1977Das Frauenhaus (as Jess Franco)
 1977Shining Sex (as Dan L. Simon)
 1977Kiss Me Killer (as Roland Marceignac)
 1977Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun (as Jess Franco)
 1976In 80 Betten um die Welt (uncredited)
 1976Jack the Ripper (as Jess Franco)
 1976Girls in the Night Traffic (uncredited)
 1976Weiße Haut und schwarze Schenkel (as Dave Tough)
 1976Les emmerdeuses (as Clifford Brown)
 1976Barbed Wire Dolls (as Jess Franco)
 1976Midnight Party (as James Gardner in French version, as James Gardner in French version)
 1976Golden Jail (as Adolf M. Frank)
 1975L’éventreur de Notre-Dame (as James P. Johnson)
 1975Les chatouilleuses (as Clifford Brown)
 1975But Who Raped Linda? (as J.P. Johnson, Rick Deconinck in Italy)
 1975Le jouisseur (as Clifford Brown)
 1975Female Vampire (as J.P. Johnson)
 1975The Mark of Zorro (uncredited)
 1975Women Behind Bars (as A.M. Frank)
 1974The Perverse Countess (as Clifford Brown)
 1974Lorna the Exorcist (as Clifford Brown)
 1974Celestine, Maid at Your Service (as Clifford Brown)
 1974Plaisir à trois (as Clifford Brown)
 1974The Lustful Amazons (as Clifford Brown)
 1974Lovers of Devil’s Island (as Jesus Franco)
 1973Les gloutonnes (as Clifford Brown)
 1973A Virgin Among the Living Dead (as Jess Franco)
 1973Eugénie (as Jess Franco)
 1973The Demons (as Clifford Brown)
 1973Tendre et perverse Emanuelle (as J.P. Johnson)
 1972Les ebranlées (as Clifford Brown)
 1972Dr. M schlägt zu (as Jess Frank)
 1972La fille de Dracula (as Jess Franco)
 1972Robinson and His Tempestuous Slaves (as Frank Hollmann)
 1972Der Todesrächer von Soho (as Jess Frank)
 1972Les cauchemars naissent la nuit (as Jess Franco)
 1972Jungfrauen-Report (as Jess Frank)
 1971Sie tötete in Ekstase (as Frank Hollmann)
 1971X312 – Flight to Hell (as Jess Frank)
 1971Vampyros Lesbos (as Franco Manera)
 1971The Devil Came from Akasava (as Jess Frank)
 1970Juliette (Short)
 1970Count Dracula (as Jesse Franco)
 1970Eugenie (as Jess Franco)
 1970The Bloody Judge (as J. Frank Manera)
 1969Venus in Furs (as Jess Franco)
 1969Marquis de Sade’s Justine (as Jess Franco)
 1969Rio 70 (as Jess Franco)
 196999 Women (as Jess Franco)
 1968The Blood of Fu Manchu (as Jess Franco)
 1968Succubus (as Jess Franco)
 1967Lucky, el intrépido (as Jess Franco)
 1966The Diabolical Dr. Z (as J. Franco)
 1966Cartes sur table (as J. Franco)
 1965La isla del tesoro (Short)
 1964The Mistresses of Dr. Jekyll (as Jess Franck)
 1963Jaguar
 1962La mano de un hombre muerto (as Jess Frank)
 1960El destierro del Cid (Documentary short)
 1959Las playas vacías (Documentary short)
 1959Oro español (Documentary short)
 1957El árbol de España (Documentary short)
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Cinema in the Buff #100. The Silence/The Rite/Hour of the Wolf

The common denominator with these three films is, of course, they were directed by  legendary film director Ingmar Bergman. He mined the depths of relationships and explored raw emotions unflinchingly with his camera. Bergman would explore the sexual side of people as a cause for their deviance.

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In The Rite, Bergman explores the  themes of power, control and impotency. A censor has called into question a theater act and deemed it vulgar. The actors fight his ruling and a very sexual power struggle ensues. The censor has designs for the actress of the group but is too meek to act on them but not too to not fantasize about dominating her.

In The Silence, two sisters travel home by train with the younger sister’s young son in tow. Another power struggle is the theme yet again and, again, the relationship between the sister’s is a bit eschewed. Bergman teases his audience by hinting ever so subtly about a lesbian relationship  between the two.

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One sister is young and restless and the other is older and tired. Yet, it is very obvious that they fill each others needs in a way they do not comprehend. While Gunnel Lindblom’s character’s son (Bergman?)  tries to make sense of the world and form his own identity in a very feminine culture.

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In Hour of the Wolf, Bergman stalwart Max von Sydow plays a thinly veiled version of the director. Von Sydow is an artist who is losing his grip with reality. He suspects a cult is behind the torment. Hour of the Wolf was Bergman at his most abstract and darkest. Ingrid Thulin plays the mysterious woman who messes with the psychosis of the artist.00k0k_3g5Al0yy9ji_600x450

Bergman was at a very low point in his life and the film very much reflected that. Thulin, an accomplished actress, embodied the women in Bergman’s life and the distrust he had for them.

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Lady Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren has transcended every label imaginable. A graduate of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Mirren’s poshness has never been held against her. She is both loved and revered for her acting and her chummy personality. Make no mistake about it, Mirren is a lady but she isn’t going to let that get in the way of a good time.

Helen Mirren Calendar Girls

Helen Mirren Calendar Girls by Buena Vista Pictures

Mirren, real name Helen Lydia Mironoff, started her acting career with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1967. Two years later, she co-starred opposite James Mason in Michael Powell’s film  Age of Consent, which was based on a novel of the same  name by Norman Lindsay.

Helen Mirren’s balls out approach to acting won her many fans and admirers. She was sexy without trying or being overly fussy about her appearance. Mirren’s work ethic has never been in doubt. She has worked continually in film, TV  and on the stage for nearly 5 decades now.

Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren Calendar Girls by Buena Vista Pictures

Mirren would up the nudity quotient three years later in the 1972 Ken Russell film Savage Messiah. Again, she would play an artist’s model and appear in the buff . The film is based on the life of French sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brezka. Mirren would portray society girl Gosh Boyle and outdo herself in the skin department.

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Helen Mirren would not only find success on the stage and in film but on TV as well in the British show Prime Suspect.  As Detective Jane Tennison, Mirren would find an even bigger audience and success. In 1999, she would win both a Golden Globe and and an  Emmy for her portrayal of Ayn Rand in the Showtime film The Passion of Ayn Rand.

Helen Mirren as Ayn Rand

Helen Mirren in The Passion of Ayn Rand. Courtesy of Showtime

One more film of note to talk about and that is the 1989 Peter Greenaway film The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and her Lover. Made in 1989 by the controversial art house director, the film’s subject matter caused it to court an X-rating, though it was ultimately released unrated. In the film, Mirren plays Georgina the abused wife of Michael Gambon’s character Albert Spica.

Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover by Miramax

The film would be Mirren’s breakout in the United States.

 

Shannon Whirry Direct to Video Queen

In the early 90s, the VHS market was in high gear. Video stores actually still existed and the demand for movies was high. Out of this was born the direct to video movie. Anyone worth their weight as a bad movie expert will know that the queen of the direct to video market was the amply endowed Shannon Whirry.

Shannon Whirry

Shannon Whirry Animal Instinct

Her movies played like rehashed old Hollywood noir films. Often, Whirry played the femme fatale, seducing weak willed, stupid men. It goes without saying the films were more than a bit sexist but there was little point being offended. These films weren’t trying to be socially redeeming.

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Shannon Whirry was born November 7, 1964 in Green Lake, Wi. Whirry started in the erotic B-movie industry. Her large breasts, and willingness to put them on display help Whirry get a leg up on her competition.

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Shannon Whirry Filmography –

  • Out for Justice (1991), Terry Malloy
  • Animal Instincts (1992), Joanna Cole

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  • Sliver (1993), Woman Looking in Mirror (uncredited)
  • Body of Influence (1993) (V), Laura/Lana

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  • Mirror Images II (1994) (V), Carrie/Terrie
  • Animal Instincts 2 (1994), Joanna Cole
  • Lady in Waiting (1994), Lori
  • Private Obsession (1995), Emmanuelle Griffith

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  • The Granny (1995), Kelly Gargoli
  • Dangerous Prey (1995), Robin
  • Ringer (fr) (1996), Kristin/Tracy
  • Playback (1996), Karen Stone
  • Exit (1996), Diane
  • Retroactive (1997), Rayanne
  • Omega Doom (1997), Zed
  • Fatal Pursuit (1998), Jill
  • The Prophet’s Game (1999), Barb
  • Lying in Wait (2000), Lois
  • Me, Myself & Irene (2000), Beautiful Mom
  • Active Stealth (2000) (V), Gina Murphy
  • Mach 2 (2001), Shannon Carpenter
  • Mike Hammer: Song Bird (2003) (V), Velda (Mike Hammer‘s secretary)
  • Jolene (2008), Teacher
  • Longshot (2008), Lydia
  • Middle Men (2009), Screaming Mother

 

Tina Krause

New York born Tina Krause stumbled into movies and exploitation films by pure chance. Rewind back to 1994. Bill Clinton was president, the country was going through an economic boom and Tina was attending a horror convention in New Jersey where she caught the eye of a small production company called WAVE that produces low grade retro horror films that were made popular in the late 196os and 1970s.

Photo by Alternative Cinema

Photo by Alternative Cinema

The scripts were generally written by  fans, at least as long as they could finance them. They were not that good but the acting was sometimes decent and. Tina has played a number of off the wall characters and has, for the most part, accounted for herself quite well. Of course, the movies had but one purpose.

Image Factory 2000

Tina Krause in Silver Mummy

Apparently, cinema has bred a whole entire subculture on the east coast that runs the gambit from legitimate cinema all the way to fetish material. Tina has dabbled in all of it. Everything from horror to comedy, fetish to bondage and nude model. Despite being  in mostly substandard fare, Ms. Krause has a devoted and loyal fan base.

Photo by AlternativeCinema

Tina Krause in Duct Tape Killer

Born July 29, 1970, Tina still finds regular work and has became an underground cinematic icon. Like friend and fellow Scream Queen, Debbie Rochon, Tina finds herself approaching middle age in a young person’s industry. She has amazed her fans time and again with both her knock out body, beautiful looks and surprising amount. The future is still in Tins Krause’s hands.

Photo - Alternative Cinema

Tina Krause in Cannibal Doctor

Tina Krause’s Filmography

Photo by Factory 2000

Tina Krause Factory 2000

  • Sorority Slaughter (1994)
  • Rana, Queen of the Amazon (1994)
  • Rana and the Vengeance of Ilsa von Todd (1994)
  • Female Mercenaries on Zombie Island (1995)
  • Sorority Slaughter 2 (1996)
  • Danger in Blue (1996)
  • Curse of the Swamp Creature 2 (1997)
  • Bloodletting (1997)
  • The Hypnotic Murders (1998)
  • Psycho Sisters (1998)
  • Dead Students Society (1998)
  • The Vampire’s Seduction (1998)

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  • Evil Streets (1998)
  • Scary Sexy Disaster Movie (1999)
  • Eaten Alive: A Tasteful Revenge (1999)

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  • Crimson Nights (1999)
  • Cannibal Doctor (1999)
  • Misty’s Secret (2000)
  • Dinner for Two (2000)
  • Danger in Blue 2 (2000)
  • Crimson Nights: Vampire’s Seduction 2 (2000)
  • International Necktie Strangler (2000) (as Mia Copia)
  • Strawberry Estates (2001)
  • Shoot the Girls (2001) (as Mia Copia)
  • Blood For the Muse (2001)
  • Hayride Slaughter (2001)
  • Witchouse 3: Demon Fire (2001)
  • The Vegas Showgirl Strangler (2002)
  • Revenge of the Necktie Strangler (2002)
  • An Erotic Vampire in Paris (2002) (as Mia Copia)
  • Machines of Love and Hate (2003)
  • Vampire Vixens (2003) (as Mia Copia)
  • Zombiegeddon (2003)
  • Silver Mummy (2004)
Photo - Alternative Cinema

Tina Krause in Duct Tape Killer

  • And Then They Were Dead (2004)
  • Bikini Girls on Dinosaur Planet (2005) (as Mia Copia)
  • Penny Dreadful (2005)
  • Thirsting (2006)
  • Cross the Line (2007)
  • Blood Oath (2007)
  • Catching the Fever (2008)
  • Survive! (2009)
  • Cross the Line (2010)
  • Feeding Frenzy (2010)
  • She Wolf Rising (2010)
  • Scrooge in the Hood (2011)
  • When Death Calls (2011)
  • The O.C. Club (2012)
  • The Fappening (2015)

 

 

 

 

 

The Films of Lina Romay

Lina Romay might never have been if not for a car accident. She was not in the car accident herself. Soledad Miranda, the first of director Jess Franco’s starlets, was killed in 1970 at the age  27 in the accident and Franco was left to find a new muse.

In stepped Rosa María Almirall Martínez. She would become Franco’s muse and star in a few hundred of Franco’s films. Romay would borrow her name from the 1940s jazz singer/actress.