Al Pereira vs. the alligator ladies review.

It is not really needed to understand spanish to enjoy ”Al pereira vs. the alligator ladies”. The movie is mostly a visual, chaotic experience. It is clearly a movie where references to earlier movies by Jess Franco are quite clear. But, in this case they are not obvious and irritating which for my part was the case with ”Snake woman”. Antonio Mayans gives a good performance and the alligator ladies perform what you come to expect from Franco in the later years – there is quite a lot of nude dancing and some masturbation which reminds of ”Doriana Gray” – but thankfully not as disturbing. It is a movie which has a comedic quality but also some shots that are slow, atmospheric and brings some memories of ”Necronomicon”, ””Venus in furs” and the scenes of dancing in the streets is a comedic version of events from De Sade-inspired movies. The movie also informs us of a coming revenge of the alligator ladies. Now, there surely is a lot of unused footage that can be used in future films if only rights can be settled. There are a number of unfinished Franco films or just alternate takes which could be used… I would like to have seen how Franco would have handled a western (the cast I am thinking about there is Antonio Mayans, Lina Romay and Howard Vernon among other Franco regulars). Also, it would have been interesting how Franco could have used the new version of 3D format with a focus on zoom effects and mirrors. But I digress.

Paula-Paula by Jess Franco

So, this movie was almost the swansong of Jesus Franco. He managed to do some more movies though, the last completed being ”Al Pereira vs. the alligator ladies”.

I will now write about the so-called ”Audio-visual experience” which is Paula-Paula.

Paula-Paula turned out to be the last completed work of Lina Romay who has a role of some sort of police investigator or something like that. She asks questions and carries a gun.

This movie is a bit than more of an hour long, and I suppose you can claim that it´s audio-visual. In a sense. It does have some interesting use of mirrors and backdrops. You can clearly see that backdrops are being used. It´s basically golden-coloured huge pieces of what seems to be paper put up. You can clearly see the camera lights here and there. I also think that the poster of ”The awful dr Orloff” can be seen in a mirror.

This movie seems so much longer than an hour. It´s extremly slow and boring. One could say that the lesbian sex-scene that takes up most of the running time is not really needed. Then again, it does take up most of the running time so cutting it out or making it shorter would make less of a movie. And in it´s defence, Lina Romay´s character asks the main character if she and the other woman were lovers. So I do suppose it serves a purpose.

The movie has some moments, mostly interesting uses of mirror. If you like jazz there is a chance you might like it. To me, it´s the kind of jazz that really annoys me. And there has been Franco movies with jazz I have enjoyed.

This really is a rather bad experience though. A long lesbian sex scene and some dancing and some nice uses of mirror effects. I do suppose it can be considered artistic as it has no real plot. The movie claims to be inspired by Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde but I can´t really see how it makes use of that story at all. And Franco has used the story of Jekyll and Hyde as a good base in other movies. This really only feels like a long, boring waste of time.

And yes, I still really want to see ”Al Pereira vs. the alligator ladies”. It´s available on blue-ray and DVD. I am thinking about getting it along with ”The awful dr Orloff” which is also available on DVD. So, Jesus Franco in 1962 plus 2012 later this fall or winter. Again, I really want to see more films by this man. Good thing he managed to make 200 of them.