12 December 2003 | dwingrove
Franco Lite! Franco Fun!
This is an appalling movie by most people's standards, but I totally loved it. A must for anyone with a weakness for camp 60s psychedelia (of the Barbarella/Modesty Blaise/Diabolik variety) this Jess Franco film regales us with the further adventures of the 'Red Lips' gals - Diana (Janine Reynaud) and Regina (Rossana Yanni) who last brightened our lives in the still-more-outrageous Sadisterotica.
Two sexy undercover agents on the trail of a mad doctor and his race of Frankenstein-style monster hunks, Reynaud and Yanni strut about in deliriously over-the-top high-fashion outfits. Bicker back and forth like Edina and Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous. Reduce any unfortunate male who crosses their path to a pool of helpless mush. Oh, and they even find time to perform a transvestite nightclub act on saxophones. Now that's what I call style!
As for the 'plot'(if there is any) I've seen this movie twice and still can't fathom it. Something about a tropical island, animatronic muscle men, whip-wielding lesbians, feathered cabaret outfits, effete and sinister scientists and a mystical secret sect who sit around in black Ku Klux Klan hoods and crimson robes and struggle (vainly, it turns out) to explain what is going on. The continuity is even more abysmal than in most of Franco's oeuvre - so much so that the girls seem to be driving a different car in every shot!
Yet as an introduction to this mad genius and his deranged and surreal style of movie-making, you could do a lot worse than Kiss Me Monster. At least in the version I saw, there's almost none of the lurid blood and sex that was standard in Franco's later work. The one truly nasty moment here is a brief-but-gruesome surgery scene. Otherwise, it's all good, clean, campy, psychedelic fun. Everyone on and offscreen seems be in a drug-induced haze. Well, it WAS the 60s after all!