Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 21st, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1999 (Red Silk), Spain / USA, 2005 (Snakewoman)
Director: Jesus Franco
Writer: Jesus Franco, Kevin Collins (Red Silk), Jesus Franco, Lina Romay (Snakewoman)
Cast: Lina Romay, Christie Levin, Paul Lapidus, Anna Stern, Ron Franciscus, Carlos Braun, Exequiel Caldas, Guillermo Agranati, Domiziano Arcangeli, Laura Levin (Red Silk), Carmen Montes, Fata Morgana, Christie Levin, Exequiel Caldas, Lina Romay, Antonio Mayans, Luco Amadori III, Fabio Batistuta, Nat Adzibor(Snakewoman)
DVD released: December 7th, 2010
Approximate running times: 73 minutes (Red Silk), 98 Minutes (Snakewoman)
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Stereo English
DVD Release: SRS Cinema
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $9.95
Red Silk: The plot revolves around a pair of flirty female private eyes. Who are willing to do anything and anyone. In between jobs they hang out naked sunbathing in their pool or lounge around their luxurious pad wearing very little. With these ladies it appears that clothing is optional. Also being detectives is not their only gig. They also have a racy night club show which involves they making out with a dildo.
The main case for the female detective is to try to take down a prominent citizen, who likes to abduct women and keep them prisoner. What starts off as your typical case of blackmail. Quickly turns deadly when someone who works the prominent citizen turns on his boss.
The plot has a few entertaining twists along the way that help keeps things moving along. With the biggest surprise being left for the film’s finale. Content wise Red Silk is owes a lot to Jess Franco’s Red Lips films (Two Undercover Angels and Kiss Me Monster). And just like those two films, Red Silk plays things for laughs. Humor aside this would not be a Jess Franco film is we’re not an ample amount of nudity. And this film’s delivers and then some in this regard. With its two leads Lina Romay and Christie Levin spending most of their screen time in their birthday suits. Surprisingly their most memorable moment has them fully clothed (in disguise). When they go to meet the prominent citizen, who is being blackmailed. When all is said and done. Despite its shortcomings Red Silk is an enjoyable enough farce that comes closer than the majority of his other One Shot Productions to recapturing the style and mood of Jess Franco’s more revered films.
Snakewoman: A company that is interested in acquiring the rights to a cult movie icons estate. So they send a representative, who is given the task of persuading the heirs to sell the rights to the cult movie icons estate. What appears to be a routine task. Quickly becomes difficult when the eccentric heirs reveal their intentions regarding the estate.
After several missteps and haphazard attempts at trying to recreate the style and mood for which his most memorable films are known for. Jess Franco for his twelfth and to date last collaboration with One Shot Productions. He would return familiar territory with Snakewoman.
Content wise this film would draw inspiration from films like Vampyros Lesbos and Female Vampire. The plot is fairly straight forward. A sufficient amount of time is spent establishing who everyone is and their motivations. The one area where the majority of Jess Franco’s One Shot Productions suffer is pacing. Thankfully there are no glaring problems with Snakewoman in this area. At just under 100 minutes things move along at a reasonable pace. Visually the film shows a marked improvement over Jess Franco more recent output. Another area where this film is a return to form from Jess Franco are its sexual set pieces.
The main character, who is portrayed by Carmen Montes has a snake tattooed that coils around her body. Also she spends the majority of her screen time prancing around naked. Her performance is the role of the mysterious heir to a cult movie Icons estate is this film’s greatest asset. Another performance of note is the other leading lady Fata Morgana, in the role of Carla a representative for the company interested in acquiring the rights to the cult movie’s Icons estate. When and is said done, Snakewoman is easily Jess Franco’s best films since the late 1980′s.
Red Silk and Snakewoman are both presented in their original 1.33:1 full frame aspect ratios. These two productions were both shot on video. When compared to the other One Shot Productions that were also released on DVD from SRS Cinema. These are easily two of the stronger transfers. With the slight edge going to Snakewoman. It should be noted that are some mild instances of combing present.
Red Silk comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. The audio mix for Red Silk has some mild instances of distortion and there is noticeable background noise that varies in degree throughout. Snakewoman comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in Spanish. Also included with Snakewoman are non removable English subtitles. The audio mix for Snakewoman fares better as dialog comes through clearly and background noise is kept to a minimum.
This release comes with a static menu that has two options, Red Silk and Snakewoman. There is no extra content. Overall another affordable double feature from SRS Cinema, who pairs together two of the stronger films to emerge for Jess Franco’s collaboration with One Shot Productions.