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Askew Review 15

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(Sub Rosa) 1998. Erotic horror/comedy. 85 minutes. Rated 17+ for nudity, sexual content. Written and Directed by Jess Franco. In Spain, an aging, unattractive stripper (Lina Romay) entices all those who watch with her hypnotizing performance. After lulling an admirer into a drug like induced trance, she takes them home for a little extra fun. Of course, little does the admirer know, that the aging, unattractive stripper turns into a killer tarantula and sexually annihilates her victims before enslaving or killing them. As people start to disappear, the town sheriff (Michael Bauer) is hot on the case…all while wearing a thong and topless. Also entangled is a woman (Linnea Quigley) searching for her missing daughter (Amber Newman).
                God this was a nutty flic. First things first. Amber Newman is an absolute babe. Secondly, one of my all time loves, Linnea Quigley, isn’t what she use to be, but boy oh boy..she still does it for me. She doesn’t get naked (but she does in the nude commentary… see below) here, but she does wear a nice, teasing bikini. She still looks great, but she has put some meat on her thighs. Doesn’t matter, I would still kill for her. I was face to face with this dreamboat about ten years ago, and as usual, I froze and said absolutely nothing to her. She looked at me, smiled, and then looked at me like I was a retard after I just stared at her. Loser. Lina Romay is just gross, but she nicely pulls off this odd character. It is downright hilarious when she turns into the tarantula. Think of a rubbery Halloween spider with Lina’s face super-imposed onto it. You’ll die laughing. Reminded me of The Fly (the original). There is lots of nudity and explicit shots (the best being an amazing shot of Amber Newman, good God), but the sex is more suggestive than shown. I’ve read that this movie is a collection of spoofs goofing on some of Jess’s past work. Not sure if that’s true though. The DVD includes US and European versions (the Euro version is even nuttier than the US), a making of feature with nude commentary by Linnea Quigley, a truly disturbing short film called “Les Psycholettes” (Spanish short about a group of Lesbians who ride shitty mopeds and like to cut men’s penises off and wear them as necklaces), isolated soundtrack, trailers, and some other stuff. Hey, if you know Jess Franco, you’ll enjoy this. If you do not know Jess, you will be left scratching your head. I must say, this is perhaps the oddest DVD I’ve ever watched. Everything is way out there…– Denis Sheehan



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