Downtown - Die nackten Puppen der Unterwelt Sept 25, 2020 10:45:59 GMT -5
Post by StevePulaski on Sept 25, 2020 10:45:59 GMT -5
Downtown - Die nackten Puppen der Unterwelt (1975)
Directed by: Jesús Franco
Directed by: Jesús Franco
Jesús Franco and Lina Romay.
NOTE: A special thanks to loyal friend/reader Dennis P., who kindly sent me this along with several other films to review.
Jesús Franco's Downtown - Die nackten Puppen der Unterwelt would've been a more appropriate starting point for me in moseying through Franco's filmography, as opposed to Al Pereira vs. the Alligator Ladies. However, it's not much more satisfying than that particular effort. For the unmatched affinity Franco has with the female anatomy, he doesn't have the same attention-to-detail when tasked with constructing an engaging plot around extended sex sequences. Something I never thought I'd say when I finally dabbled into Franco's films: I find more enjoyment in whatever Cinemax decides to air after 1 A.M.
Set in Puerto Rico, Franco builds the story around Al Pereira (whom he plays himself), a washed up private detective and recurring character in a handful of his flicks. Something of a rebound, in more ways than one, comes his way in the form of the elusive Cynthia (Lina Romay), who assumes her husband is cheating on her and requests Pereira's services to catch him in the act. Her husband is a businessman/politician, which makes things doubly difficult alone, but Pereira finds himself gradually more roped into the situation as Cynthia slowly reveals herself to have an appetite for voyeurism and meddling. When her husband is found dead, Pereira is an immediate target, thrust into a murderous affair with muddy details. Before long, he's motivated by lust and a desire to prove his innocence — a confounding mindset for any man ruled more by his small head than his big one.
Franco's style is that of an erotic thriller, with the scuzzy setting of working class Puerto Rico as a backdrop. He appears to favor these grungy locales as his settings, which in turn make the sex scenes feel illicit; a form of dirty business in a carnal world. Lina Romay, a sex symbol of her time, is not a half bad performer boasting slithery sensibilities with a character whose primary description of "shady" still doesn't do her justice. Alongside Franco is where she demonstrates some of her finest scenes, as the two have a down-and-out chemistry that compliments one another nicely.
Alas, Downtown - Die nackten Puppen der Unterwelt still failed to impress me. Franco loves making the most linear narratives somewhat inaccessible, either through listless sequences or by including far too many underdeveloped characters. The end result is another disappointingly feeble — albeit watchable — softcore romp.
Starring: Jesús Franco, Lina Romay, Paul Muller, and Monica Swimm. Directed by: Jesús Franco.