The dance of "Miss Death": Estella Blain seduces a mannequin in The Diabolical Doctor Z [Miss Muerte] (dir Jess Franco, 1965).
Guy Mairesse and Ana Castor.
I haven't seen Franco's later, more narratologically deconstructed work yet, but this tight little Eurotrash homage to classic Universal horror as filtered through the French New Wave certainly piques my interest. Estella Blain's "Miss Death," with her curare-dipped nails, is a gorgeous unwilling executioner--a sort of precursor to the lurid La Femme Nikita conceit of the sex-object-drafted-as-assassin. Witty historical cinematic allusions abound, from Feuillade and Whale to Bresson and Franju. The shrill jazz score by Daniel White (who also plays a police inspector) is perfectly matched to the film's shuddering expressionist visuals.
Labels: Jess Franco