Sunday, June 29, 2014


Faceless Directed By Jess Franco, starring Telly Savalas (1987).

If you've read enough of this blog then you may be able to tell, I don't like Jess Franco (you might say I suffer from Franco-phobia). I mean he produces some major boring shit and it's a miracle if I can stay awake through any of his films. My distaste for his work started with Vampyros Lesbos (1971), I thought there may be something wrong, there's that ultra groovy score, hot lesbian babes, so why am I so bored out of my mind? An inner struggle began that led me to believe I had probably started out with the wrong entry into the Jess Franco mythos. So I attempted to watch The Awful Dr. Orloff with similar sleep inducing results, but I finally hit paydirt with The Bloody Judge, Skunkape over-sold Bloody Moon (which I half liked) and Portuguese Nun (which was an excellent film). There's so much output in the Franco cannon that even a jaded narrow minded snob like me is bound to find a lucky egg in the chicken vending machine!


    It took me 5 tries before I was able to stomach Faceless, I would eventually succumb to a Franco induced fit of narcolepsy--his movies have that effect on me. I'm still not sure if I really enjoyed this very erotic French version of The Bold and The Beautiful with Telly Savalas and Caroline Munro, but it sure was entertaining and smothered in a copious layer of sleaze!
   It opens with the cheesiest George Michael ripoff stylings of Vincenzo Thoma, his abysmal tune "Destination Nowhere" is played so much throughout the film that it makes you want to go under the knife for a lobotomy.

OK Liz Renay I hope you enjoy your new face

   Helmut Berger (Beast with a Gun, Salon Kitty) is the mad surgeon "Orloff" archetype, Dr. Flamand. Franco has remade his own Orloff film so many times it's hard to tell if he's stealing from himself or Georges Franju's Eyes Without A Face. While in a parking garage, Frank (Berger), his wife (Christiane Jean) and Nathalie (played by the stunningly attractive Jean Rollin regular and former porn star Brigette Lahaie) get attacked by a disfigured former patient. Acid is thrown at the doctor but it narrowly misses him and splashes onto his wife's quickly dissolving face! This becomes the major plot device of Faceless, which involves a musclebound brow-less henchman carrying a high powered brain drill, kidnappings and former Nazi's goose stepping in to help the wacky Doctor's wife achieve a full blown face transplant.

Do you know if this office has a bathroom?

   Telly Savalas's fashion model daughter played by Caroline Munro is captured by Flamand's helper Nathalie, who lures the sexy drug-fiend into her limo with cocaine. Munro ends up in a rubber room and gets raped by Gordon (Gerard Zalcberg), a brainless lunkhead with no eyebrows. One patient at the clinic gets a hypo shoved into her eyeball, I was scratching my head as to how they achieved that effect, it looked very realistic!

She was like that when I got here

Chris Michum (who has his father's exact werewolf hairline and forehead) is sent on the case to track down Telly's daughter. I'm always glad to see Robert Michum's sons appear in the most decked out euro-trash, Chris's brother was even in Amir Shirvan's Hollywood Cop
   Howard Vernon makes a cameo appearance like he does in every Franco film, playing--who else--but Dr. Orloff! He tips them off to a Nazi surgeon who will perform the operation. There are some hidden nods to art-house fare sluicing around in this pile of flashy grime. The Nazi surgeon is played by the Anton Diffring from the 1960 classic Circus Of Horrors, which is a deliberate bit of inspired casting!

They pay me in Bologna sandwiches and Coffee off the craft services table

   It all ends on a sour note as all the Aryan surgeons rip through innocent facial tissue and toss the used female corpses away like Der Weinerschnitzel wrappers.
   We've reviewed another film, Mansion Of The Doomed that basically reinvents the Eyes With Out a Face plotline. I won't say I liked that one more than this, but at least the criminals were given their just desserts! The ending in Faceless is pretty hardcore and very cynical, all the guilty surgeons toast to their own success and get to celebrate! The people that attempt to shutdown the Nazis ultimately fail and Franco leaves it open ended, but don't look for Faceless 2: The Search for more Cocaine anytime soon!
   The Shriek Show Dvd looks flawless and vibrant compared to the third generation dupe I had to suffer through in the 90's. This film was meant to be seen with all its high glossiness intact. I enjoyed it for what it was this time, a trashy slick piece of entertaining schlock.


He's a sleep farter, it's a major problem

Once you date Joe Spinell, you're ruined for life 

the illegitimate son of Jason Alexander and Lou Ferrigno

Scrape up these meat trimmings and sell them to Arby's 


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