Wednesday, June 20, 2018

R.I.P.: Janine Reynaud, Part II – 1969-2000


Wednesday, 13 Aug 1930 - Tuesday, 30 Jan 2018


Last month Boot Hill announced the death of cult actress Janine Reynaud, a surprise to us here at A Wasted Life because we had assumed that she went to make bad films in the sky decades ago. But no, instead she passed away at the age of 87 on 30 January 2018 without notice or fanfare. How, we wonder, could that be? (Probably because when she went into retirement in 1978, she really retired.) 
True, she was no great actress, and in appearance was somewhat reminiscent of Amanda Lear but with worse skin, but especially as of 1968 she did make a variety of films worth watching, even if they haven't all aged that well. And that's why, though she is long gone, we here at A Wasted Life have decided on this belated career review. 
Let's take a look at the movies of this former high fashion model who decided to become an actor…


Go here for Part I: 1965-68


Red Lips aka Two Undercover Angels
(1969, writ. & dir. Jess Franco [12 May 1930 – 2 April 2013])


"Oh, such a dirty deal! And I was just at the hairdresser!" 

Original title: Rote Lippen, Sadisterotica. Co-written by Luis Revenga, fact we mention only 'cause he has a groovy last name. Followed promptly by a sequel, Kiss Me Monster (1969), with virtually the exact same cast.

"While Two Undercover Angels preceded Kiss Me Monster into theatrical release, the order in which the films are watched is unimportant. In fact, neither film actually introduced the 'Red Lips.' 1960's Labios Rojos [also writ. & dir. by Jess Franco] featured two female super-sleuths by the names of Christina (Isana Medel) and Lola (Ana Castor), who are generally accepted as the prototypes of Diana and Regina. However, this black-and-white item was never released in America, and no print is available for comparison to the better-known 1967 entries. […] The extremely irregular 'Red Lips' series continued with 1974's Les Emmerdeuses (with Lina Romay [25 June 1954 – 15 Feb 2012] and Pamela Stanford as 'Pina and Tina') and 1978's Opalo de Fuego (scene, with Romay and Nadine Pascal as 'Cecile and Brigitte') — but the two 1967 entries will remain definitive for most viewers. [Image Journal]"
Trailer to
Red Lips / Two Undercover Angels:
The plot to Two Undercover Angels: "When a group of models go missing and the authorities come up with no clues, the red lipstick duo Diana (Janine Reynaud) and Regina (Rosanna Yanni of Malenka [1969 / trailer]) are assigned to the case. They duo soon discover who is behind these mysterious abductions; he is a man named Klaus Triller (Adrian Hoven [18 May 1922 – 28 April 1981]). Why has he kidnapped these women and what does he plan to do with them? [10K Bullets]"
"The two Red Lips movies are Jess Franco at his most light-hearted. They're comic book-style romps, all very tongue-in-cheek and rather silly, but fun. […] The plot [to Two Undercover Angels] doesn't hang together all that well, but it doesn't really matter. Franco captures a comic book ambience pretty well (although he did the same thing much more effectively in The Girl from Rio [1969 / trailer], made at about the same time). The movie has a Pop Art kind of look, which fits in well with the themes of murder and art. Janine Reynaud and Rosanna Yanni are fun as the intrepid female private detectives. [Cult Movie Reviews]"



Kiss Me, Monster
(1969, writ. & dir. Jess Franco [12 May 1930 – 2 April 2013])

Janine Reynaud returns as Diana in the sequel to Red Lips aka Two Undercover Angels, once again alongside the far more delectable Rosanna Yanni as Regina.
 
Regina: "I just want to know what's going on."
Diana: "You don't need to know!"


The plot of Kiss Me, Monster: "After completing their latest mission Diana (Janine Reynaud) and Regina (Rosanna Yanni of Terrence Young's The Amazons aka War Goddess [1973 / French trailer]) are awoken one evening when they hear someone knocking on their door one stormy night. The man at the door dies because of a knife in his back before he can tell the girls the message he was sent to tell them. It doesn't take long before the girls soon discover that something is not right on the island of Abilene. Will the girls get to the bottom of things in Abilene or have they finally met their match? [10K Bullets]" 

"Kiss Me, Monster doesn't really have any monsters in it. There's a few dumb clones, but no monsters. There is a kind of spy story running underneath here somewhere, but […] the story doesn't really matter at all. This film is for Franco fans, and people who like swinging sixties cinema no matter how vacuous it is. [Permission to Kill]"
Trailer to
Kiss Me, Monster:
"Kiss Me, Monster is Jess Franco strictly in fun mode. This 1969 movie is a send-up of spy movies, seasoned with a healthy dash of psychedelia. The plot is obscure to say the least, but it doesn't matter. What matters is that it includes all the elements necessary for a movie like this — a mysterious secret society, a mad scientist and a secret formula. The movie also includes not one but two glamorous girl secret agents. Although they're really not that keen on being secret agents — they're hoping to break into show business. Being a Jess Franco film, there are also slightly weirder ingredients, like a sisterhood of whip-wielding 'queer virgins' and a method of sending secret messages by windmill. At least I think that's what they were doing with the windmill. The dubbing on the Redemption VHS edition is atrocious, but that actually adds to the fun. Janine Reynaud and Rosanna Yanni are delightful as Diana and Regina, the two intrepid female spies. Their performances add just the right extra touches of camp to the movie. Definitely not a movie to take seriously, and clearly not intended to be taken seriously, but a lot of fun. [Cult Movie Reviews]"
 


How Short Is the Time for Love
(1970, dir. Pier A. Caminnecci)

Original title, probably: Wie kurz ist die Zeit zu lieben, or perhaps Comme il est court le temps d'aimer — it was, after all, a Franco-German production. Janine Reynaud plays both Fabienne and Isabelle; two roles, obviously enough. Music by Jerry van Rooyen (31 Dec 1928 – 14 Sept 2009). Though Pier A. Caminnecci (25 July 1941 – 30 Dec 2013), who plays Manuel Ramedes in the movie, is credited as the director, voices out there claim that Michel Lemoine (30 Sept 1922 – 27 July 2013) assisted; aside from co-starring, Lemoine is also listed as scriptwriter.
We don't know the exact dates of when, but somewhere along the line, perhaps before this film or after, sleaze-actor/director Michel Lemoine and Janine Reynaud became husband and wife, though in all likelihood they had a somewhat open marriage. Between 1965 and 1978, the two worked on a total of 14 movies together.
When scripting How Short Is the Time for Love, Lemoine, who plays the character Franz in the movie, was supposedly assisted by the film's credited assistant director, the extremely productive "adult film" director/producer Jean-François Davy (Clockwork Banana [1973 / excellent soundtrack).]  In a 2002 interview, Jess Franco disavowed any involvement with the film and said, "Caminneci wollte mich als Regisseur, aber ich wollte nicht. Er drehte den Film dann selber, ich hatte nichts damit zu tun."
Music to the film,
set to scenes not from the film:
Almost no one who has seen the movie seems to find it worth writing about online, other than some guy named Joe Walker, who reveals little about the plot but that How Short Is the Time for Love is an ultra rare [more like forgotten] film from Aquila Film, the production company of Adrian Hoven and Pier A. Caminnecci. A race-track-set love story of slight morbidity and easy sleaze, it didn't initially find a distributor once completed. Lead lady and "femme fatale" Janine Reynaud plays a dual role alongside the striking face of South African Hans Meyer and, in her only film, Eva Hoffmann. The movie was synched in Berlin and has off-screen commentary. 


Blindman
(1971, dir. Ferdinando Baldi  [19 May 1917 – 12 Nov 2007]) 

"I want my fifty women."*
Blindman (Tony Anthony) 

* At least his doesn't ask for 72 virgins with "large, round breasts which are not inclined to hang, appetizing vaginas…."
"In Blindman, Baldi manages to hit on everything that you could possibly want from an exploitation film, with the exception of a car chase. [Video Junkie]" 
Trailer to
Blindman:
Original title: Il pistolero cieco. Janine Reynaud has a tiny appearance playing a prostitute (or possibly one of the brides) in this, her first and only appearance in a Spaghetti Western. (And the only reason why Boot Hill even nebtioned her death.) The movie, inspired by the famous Japanese character Zatoichi (a blind samurai) — go here for the final dance sequence of our favorite version of the tale, Zatoichi (2003 / trailer) — is a cult fave and not just due to the sizable appearance of Ringo Starr. Italian director Ferdinando Baldi directed almost 40 movies in his life, including the 3-D fave Comin' at Ya! (1981 / trailer), basically a remake of Blindman, and the sci-fi flick Ten Zan: The Ultimate Mission (1988 / full movie), mildly infamous for being financed by and filmed in North Korea, but using western actors (Frank Zagarino!) and the English language. (There are claims out there that Ten Zan is Donald "Dottard" Trump's favorite movie after The Triumpf of Will [1935 / long clip].) The "original story" of Blindman, however, is credited to the movie's lead actor (and producer), Tony Anthony, who plays the titular Blindman.
Ringo Starr also wrote and recorded a song for this film, entitled Blindman, but it wasn't used. It can be found on the B-side of his single, Back Off Boogaloo. 
Ringo Starr's
Blindman:
Plot: "Blindman (Tony Anthony) is a blind gunfighter who rides a seeing-eye horse, Boss. He is contracted to provide safe transport for fifty European mail-order brides — who have asked miners in Lost Creek, Texas, for their hands in marriage — for $50,000, but his business partner, Skunk (Renato Romano of Dorian Gray [1970 / trailer]), betrays him by allowing Domingo (Lloyd Battista), a Mexican bandit, to kidnap the women for his own purposes. Blindman heads into Mexico in pursuit, where he discovers that Domingo and his sister, Sweet Mama (Magda Konopka of Satanik [1968 / Italo trailer]), are using the women as a lure for an Army General (Raf Baldassarre [17 Jan 1932 – 17 Jan 1995], of The Great Silence [1968]), who they intend to hold for ransom. With the aid of Pilar (Agneta Eckemyr, seen below on an old cover of Playboy), the unwitting object of Domingo's brother Candy's (Ringo Starr of Son of Dracula [1974 / trailer]) affections, 'El General', Boss and many, many sticks of dynamite, our anti-hero stops at nothing to get even with Domingo and his siblings, and deliver on his contract. [tanglefreak98 @ imdb]"
The positive opinion: "Well-done Spaghetti and likely Tony Anthony's best effort in a Western. Oh, the plot is far from masterful, but Ferdinando Baldi serves up a Spaghetti that seems fresh and original. By 1971, that was no normal feat. You won't find many Spaghetti scenes more bizarre than the one in which the fifty mail-order brides, in white robes, are desperately running through the sand trying to escape Domingo's men as they ride down on them. Or Domingo coldly killing those who appear likely to escape. The film offers up some memorable lines, some lovely ladies, and some other memorable scenes. And one of the most brutal final showdowns you'll find. Before that, there's a wrestling match between Sweet Mama and the Blindman that's quite unique too. If there's a false note, it's the performance of Raf Baldassarre as the Mexican general who seems to laugh at everything, trying to lend a touch of comedy that really isn't needed and doesn't come off as very funny. [Once Upon A Time In A Western]"
The negative opinion: "Unbelievably stupid 'comic' spaghetti western that screams, gouges, yells, and shoots its jokes out. Anthony, one of the more unappealing lesser Italian stars, spends most of his time making a fool out of himself and then looking at the camera to let the audience know that he knows he's been very foolish. A complete waste of time, except for those who want to see Starr participate in one of the dumbest career moves in history. Let's hope that his role in this film wasn't a contributing factor in the breakup of the Beatles. [TV Guide]"


Frustration
(1971, dir. José Bénazéraf [8 Jan 1922 – 1 Dec 2012])

Written by "the French Tinto Brass", José Bénazéraf, and Janine Reynaud's husband, Michel Lemoine; Reynaud and Lemoine are also two of the three main actors of the movie. Aka: The Chambermaid's Secret, The Chambermaid's Dream, Frustrated Woman and other names — quite a number of AKAs, considering how obscure the movie seems to be.

Among other things, this psychological erotic movie is also noteworthy for an early, un-credited appearance of future Jess Franco and sleaze-film actress Pamela Stanford, and for the fact that the third lead of the movie, Elizabeth Teissier, "would eventually become the most heavily publicized mistress in France, to that country's president François Mitterrand".

The most common plot description found everywhere online: "A sexually frustrated woman, Adélaïde (Reynaud), living with her sister Agnes (Teissier, of The Bloody Rose [1970 / trailer]) and the latter's husband, Michel (Lemoine), is tormented by bizarre nightmares and violent erotic fantasies."  One or two online descriptions claim the women are actually a lady and her chambermaid.
Trailer to
The Bloody Rose:
"The dull atmosphere of an isolated house in winter is convincing: there is almost no sound, very few music, the dialogs are muted... It is almost a silent movie. Visually it is a color movie, and the color is used with some aesthetic ambition. Considered as an exploitation filmmaker, Benazeraf was ambitious, fascinated by the Austrian school of psychoanalysis, and he tried to put his ideas on film. In a way he was a Nouvelle Vague director, without the puritanism of his respectable colleagues, and with tits. "[chrismass61 @ rate your music]"
Indeed, when it comes to José Bénazéraf, Women in Prison says: "José Bénazéraf's (Bordel SS [1978] and Adolescence pervertie [1974 / French trailer]) career began in the early sixties with sexy thrillers that established his reputation as a man to watch. Once upon a time he was the darling of the critics, his name a trademark for provocative and classy cinema. The New York Herald Tribune said he was 'as important as Godard and Resnais', and Henris Langlois, founder of the famous Cinematheque, announced that 'his films are like rivers carrying stones that are absolute gems'. But that was then, and now he's pretty much forgotten. His downfall came fast and can be traced to that period in the mid-seventies when censorship loosened, giving him the freedom to do exactly what he wanted, which meant move deeper into the taboo territory of eroticism… Frustration is one of his strongest films… as with Bunuel's Belle De Jour (1967 / trailer), which it resembles in some ways, there is no easy distinction made between fantasy and reality in Frustration."
Going by what jadavix says at the imdb, this film is everything Franco's better-known Succubus (1968, see Part I) is not, including unknown: "Jose Benazeraf's Frustration is a superior example of a sexploitation film which is well-enough made to classify as an arthouse flick. The film's portrayal of the interior erotic life of a sexually repressed woman, whose fantasies turn increasingly disturbing, is handled better than anyone would have expected from a supposedly sleazy Euro exploitation flick. Even the nudity, of which there is much, is handled in a tasteful and non-exploitative way. Benazeraf's direction of the fantasy scenes, above all, is superlative. The cinematography in these scenes is subtle yet mesmerising. It is beyond me how Benazeraf isn't better known; perhaps this was his only decent movie: it certainly seems to be his best known. His tag as 'The French Tinto Brass' is ridiculous. Brass never had this much skill."
Somewhere along the line, Frustration has a VHS release entitled The Chambermaid's Dream, which makes the film look decidedly sexual. As VHS Collector points out, "Most of the Private Screenings titles are early 70's erotica films from Sweden. Nearly all of the women used on the cover art have nothing to do with the film itself." Indeed, the model below has more in common with Christy Canyon than any of the women in the movie.




Käpt'n Rauhbein aus St. Pauli
(1971, writ. & dir. Rolf Olsen [26 Dec 1919 – 3 April 1998])

Aka Nurses for Sale and, in Canada, as Captain Typhoon. Music by the great Gert Wilden (15 April 1917 – 10 Sept 2015). Supposedly Janine Reynaud appears un-credited in a blink-and-you-miss-her appearance as the "woman in cabin of yacht". 
Gert Wilden's music to
Käpt'n Rauhbein aus St. Pauli:
We looked at this movie in our R.I.P. Career Review of Heinz Reinke (28 May 1925 – 13 July 2011), where, back in 2011, we wrote: "The infernal trio — [Rolf] Olsen, [Curd] Jürgens and [Heinz] Reincke — just can't get enough of them St. Pauli girls! Add twenty minutes of exploitive padding* for the US version, and you have Nurses for Sale. (The literal translation of the [original] title would be 'Captain Roughneck from St. Pauli'.) The Vault of Bunchless says it didn't make it to the US until 1977 and points out the truth about the US poster: 'Not very well executed, this poster nonetheless shows off some of the classic elements that make an exploitation movie poster work [...]. Even if the movie sucked, the poster's a whole lot of fun.' Capt. Rauhbein (Jürgens) arrives in Hamburg to see his liquor cargo poured into the water by customs and the medical cargo stolen, for which he and his mate go to jail. They escape and go back to South America, where a bunch of nurses have been kidnapped by rebels.... Jürgens saves the day. Claimed by some viewers to be a not very funny comedy."
* Shot by Al Adamson (25 July 1929 – 2 Aug 1995), whose "life came to a brutal and untimely end at age 66 when he was murdered by live-in contractor Fred Fulford on August 2, 1995." (Go here for Fred Fulford's contact info.)
Curd Jürgens sings in
Käpt'n Rauhbein aus St. Pauli:
Since our R.I.P. look at Reinck's career six years ago, One Sheet Index has put online a fuller plot description of the Olsen & Adamson version of the movie: "A medical team is engaged to bring aid to a remote jungle area. In this group are several nurses from a big city hospital, whose wild reputations have preceded them on this trip. Once the team reaches the jungle, they are savagely attacked by a violent group of men who hold the nurses for ransom. The nurses are forced to endure all kinds of cruel torments and give in to the men in return for favors and possible escape. The captors do not allow the girls to go free and with the aid of a tough old ship's captain, the girls stage a break during which the kidnappers are brutally defeated. […] In Nurses for Sale Jürgens plays the part of a tough old ship's captain with a reputation for operating on both sides of the law. The supporting cast is filled with several attractive new female stars in the roles of the nurses who are held for sale at the highest prices. The film's surprising ending is both sensual and violent."
 
In regard to the German director of Käpt'n Rauhbein aus St. Pauli: "Rolf Olsen is one of the great unsung heroes of the German exploitation film industry, a name long and unjustly overlooked, if not forgotten. An actor, writer and director, by the time he retired in 1990 (he died in '98) he had a truly remarkable oeuvre of projects behind him. (One of the lesser projects that he participated in was Mädchen für die Mambo Bar [1959], in which he only acted.)"
You should check Olsen's directorial projects out, maybe starting with Bloody Friday (1972 / trailer) or his shockumentary, Shocking Asia (1976 / edited trailer), directed as "Emerson Fox"….
Radio advertisement for
Nurses for Sale:


The Case of the Scorpion's Tail
(1971, dir. Sergio Martino)

Original title: La coda dello scorpione. Janine Reynaud plays Lara Florakis in this mystery thriller (as in: giallo) by Italian exploitation master Sergio Martino, the director of Slave of the Cannibal God (1978) and so much more.
 
Plot: "Lisa Baumer (Ida Gali), makes love to her lover and in the sky above in an airplane with her husband Kurt Baumer (Fulvio Mingozzi of Kill and Pray [1967]) an explosive detonates killing everyone on board. A phone call awakens her with the bad news as she lay in bed with her lover. She is informed that her husband unknown to her had taken out a life insurance policy for $1,000,000 that named Lisa as his beneficiary. In order to collect on the policy she must fly to Athens for the release of the funds. In Athens after Lisa has collected her money she runs into some trouble when Lara Florakis (Janine Reynaud), Kurt's mistress wants a piece of the pie. Lisa is murdered by a blacked-gloved killer in her hotel room and he makes off with her money. Insurance detective Peter Lynch (George Hilton of Sam Cooper's Gold [1966]), helps Cleo Dupont (Anita Strinberg of Who Saw Her Die? [1972]), who photographed Lisa's murder as they set out to solve Lisa's murder."

Italian trailer to
The Case of the Scorpion's Tail:
The paragraph above is from 10K Bullets, which later adds: "Janine Reynard death scene is my favorite murder set piece in a Sergio Martino film as her face pressed against a window looks contorted and grotesque." A thought echoed by Satanic Pandemonium, which says "Keep an eye out for the thoroughly strange-looking, yet voluptuous Jess Franco-regular Janine Reynaud. Surely one of the least attractive giallo ladies, she has a spectacular death scene where she has her throat slashed from behind as she's facing a window, which gets coated in bright red arterial spray."
"It's 45 minutes in … and most of the IMDB cast is already dead! […] You know how Bruce Banner always has on purple slacks and you wonder, 'Who wears purple slacks?' Peter does. […] If you're into late 60's/early 70's patterns and fashions, you may fall in love with this movie. […] Somewhere, Fulci was smiling. […] I'm rather glad this wasn't the first of Martino's giallo movies that I watched. It's very by the numbers where his other films seemed to try new stylistic touches. It's not a waste of your time, but in a world where we get so little of it, you may be better off watching something else. [B&S About Movies]"

Soundtrack to
The Case of the Scorpion's Tail:
Au contrar, says DVD Drive-In: "The Case of the Scorpion's Tail is another well-mounted thriller in the hands of Sergio Martino, despite some laughable special effects that include a toy airplane exploding in place of the real thing, and a painfully fake prosthetic dummy of a woman's body being slashed. While arguably not as successful as The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh (1971 / trailer), this still benefits from an intelligent, unpredictable script (which, like Psycho [1960 / trailer] switches heroines much to the viewer's surprise) and some good character performances, namely by Hilton and the charming Swedish bombshell Anita Strindberg, who goes topless several times to show off her surgically enhanced assets (see below, looking very plastic in A Lizard in a Woman's Skin [1973 / trailer]). The murders are surprisingly brutal, with one victim getting his eye gashed out with a piece of a broken bottle. The blaring score by Bruno Nicolai is a true highlight and ranks with the best ones that Ennio Morricone did for similar Italian thrillers of the period."


Je suis une nymphomane
(1971, dir. Max Pécas [25 April 1925 – 10 Feb 2003])
The original title, Je suis une nymphomane, literally translates into I Am a Nymphomaniac, which is a title found on at least one DVD release. Other examples of the movie's numerous English-language titles include Forbidden Passion, Libido, The Sensuous Teenager, and The Urge to Love.
The decidedly non-teenager Janine Reynaud plays Murielle in this, the second movie she made with director Max Pécas (see: "The Black Hand" [1968] in Part I). It would seem "from Denmark" promised more at the time than "from France".
Max Pécas co-wrote this one with fellow forgotten sleazemonger Claude Mulot (21 Aug 1942 – 13 Oct 1986), director of The Bloody Rose (1970 / trailer), one of many unofficial remakes of the classic Eyes Without a Face (1960 / trailer). "[Claude] Mulot accidentally drowned at the early age of 44 while his screenplay On se calme et on boit frais à Saint-Tropez (French trailer) was being shot by Max Pécas in Saint-Tropez in 1986." Again, Reynard's husband Michel Lemoine is onscreen at her side. 
Eurotika – I am a Nymphomaniac:
The Erotic Films of Max Pecas:
The plot: "Carole (Sandra Julien) is unhappy with her family and her life and doesn't like sex. But after she falls down a staircase,* she discovers that she has a body and becomes addicted to sex. She hates what she's become, but is compelled to have sex with anyone that will comply. Her parents put her out and her work soon takes her to France where things start escalating out of control, because Paris is the city of all vices. [imdb]"
* Interestingly enough, no two reviews can agree whether she falls down steps or falls down an elevator shaft. But immaterial of whether a staircase or shaft, were the key event that drives this movie in any way based on reality, heterosexual men across the world would be pushing women down stairwells or elevator shafts.
Je Suis une Nymphomane "is a strange French story that sees Carole (Sandra Julien), a young, frigid provincial woman who becomes a self-declared nymphomaniac after she falls down a lift shaft (huh?). Her parents throw her out and she travels to Paris where she falls in with a group of libertines [including Reynard & Lemoine] and struggles with her depressing desires for sex. It is difficult to know whether director and co-writer Max Pécas (along with Claude Mulot) are making a serious film or whether it is a simple soft-core romp. It seems to veer in tone on a regular basis and the director seems to view it as a comedy — which may be lost in the English translation and the odd voice over. Taking it as a piece of straight-forward sexploitation, however, it works reasonably well. It is nicely shot with plenty of sensual soft focus sex, all billowing curtains and lightning storms. Sandra Julien is excellent in the lead role — beautiful and entertaining in everything she does. Janine Reynaud is also good, but some of the other cast is fairly wooden. Although it is difficult to completely define exactly what Je Suis une Nymphomane is and what it is trying to say, it is still and entertaining piece of French eroticism. [Calum Iain MacIver @ Letterboxd]"
Scenes from
Je suis une nymphomane:
At the imdb, barnabie sees the flick as being a serious exploration of the topic: "Nymphomaniac [is] surprisingly quite good in its issue, and is definitely not a comedy as tagged in some reviews. A young girl becomes addicted to sex after an accident. Carole […] hates what she's become, but is compelled to have sex with anyone that will comply. Her work soon takes her to France where things start escalating out of control. After a suicide attempt she is helped by a priest (Yves Vincent [5 Aug 1921 – 6 Jan 2016]) and her doctor, and is diagnosed as having psychological problems and that her illness is curable. Although the movie featured soft-core gratuitous sex scenes (soft-core by today's standards), attention is bought to a rare illness that isn't always recognized as an illness. Some decent acting from Sandra Julien (some of the other characters seemed a little wooden) and an interesting storyline, I enjoyed this movie quite a lot and gave Nymphomaniac 7 out of ten."
Sandra Julien (born Sandra Calaputti), the wife of French actor Pierre Julien (Children's Play aka Un jeu d'enfants [2001 / music] and Jean Rollin's typically Rollin-like Schoolgirl Hitchhikers aka Jeunes filles impudiques [1973 / trailer]), began her short five-year career in French (s)exploitation films as the lead actress in Jean Rollin's Le Frisson des Vampires  aka The Shiver of the Vampires (1970 / trailer) and ended it with the unknown western Les Filles du Golden Saloon aka The Girls of the Golden Saloon (1975 / music). She followed up her turn as a nympho the following year, 1972, in Max Pécas's equally serious (?) study (?) of frigidity entitled Je suis frigide... pourquoi? — translation: I Am Frigid... Why? — which Radley Metzger brought to the US as Let Me Love You (full movie). French poster below.



Human Cobras
(1971, dir. Bitto Albertini [14 July 1924 – 22 Feb 1999])
Original title: L'Uomo Più Velenoso del Cobra. Bitto Albertini uses the pseudonym Albert J. Walkner for this not-quite-a-giallo mystery thriller starring Erica Blanc but featuring Janine Reynard as Clara. Clara dies, strangled with a cord while the hero takes a shower.

Bitto Albertini (as "Albert Thomas") made Laura Gemser famous by casting her in Black Emanuelle (1974 / main theme / trailer), whom he replaced with Shulamith Lasri by the time he got around to his fiasco Black Emanuelle 2 (1976 / full movie in Italian). He ended his directorial career doing mondo documentaries like Naked and Cruel aka Nudo e crudele (1984 / full shockumentary) and Mondo senza veli aka Naked and Cruel 2 aka World without Veils or Mondo Fresh.
Stelvio Cipriani's music to
L'Uomo Più Velenoso del Cobra:
The plot: "Gangster in exile Tony Garden (George Ardisson [31 Dec 1931 – 11 Dec 2014] of The Long Hair of Death [1964 / trailer] and so much more) leaves Stockholm for New York on learning his twin brother John was murdered. Reunited with his late brother's sexy widow, Leslie (Erica Blanc of Kill Baby Kill [1966 / trailer], The Devil's Nightmare [1971 / trailer], and so much more), Tony punches his way through old underworld contacts to uncover who was responsible. All the while shadowed by a mysterious razor-wielding stranger who murders anyone that gets too chatty. A clue scrawled with the victim's own blood eventually lures John and Leslie from New York to Nairobi in Kenya in search of answers from John's flamboyant business partner George MacGreaves (Alberto de Mendoza [21 Jan 1923 – 12 Dec 2011] of Horror Express [1972 / full movie] and so much more). However, the homicidal stranger follows them there. [The Spinning Image]"
Along the way, John and Leslie take time off to shoot some elephants. Definitely not cool.
"For some reason unbeknownst to me, Human Cobras has been labeled as a giallo by many outlets, […]. Nothing could be further from the truth though, and to be quite honest I'm not sure what genre the film really belongs in. For the first half, while there are no cops involved, it most closely resembles a gritty, albeit weak, poliziotteschi, but by mid-film when the group are in Africa, things almost take on a tone reminiscent of an old Universal serial. Sadly, even with all of these elements that make it standout, there isn't a lot going on in Human Cobras that makes it worth recommending. […] The biggest sin Human Cobras lays claim to however is its terribly underdeveloped and cliché-ridden story, which offers little in the way of answers about most everything. [Infini-Tropolis]"

Opening credits:
Cinezilla, on the other hand, says: "I'm glad that I gave the movie a shot, especially with my aversion towards Albertini in mind, because while I thought it would be a great movie to nod in and out of on the couch, it caught me off guard me by being an entertaining little piece that engaged me, lured me in, and had me thinking along the wrong lines on a few occasions. Something that doesn't happen all too often, but gives me a kick when it does."


Les désaxées
(1972, writ. & dir. Michel Lemoine)

Aka Marianne Bouquet and Pleasure and Desire. Janine Reynaud plays Francis in this movie written and directed by her husband, who also plays the part of Michel. The titular Marianne is played by Claudia Coste, whose brief career was one of extensive onscreen nudity. 
Main theme to
Les désaxées:
The English-language version released as Marianne Bouquet is a hardcore version with pulsating and ejaculating inserts and added scenes with Eileen Welles and John Seeman (of Hardgore [1974]). The original was, of course, softcore — unlike Michel Lemoine's own 1983 remake of this movie, Ardeurs perverses aka Hot Bodies, which was 100% original hardcore and starred the mighty member of French porn stallion Gabriel Pontello (a poster of one Pontello's other movies is directly below).
Plot to Marianne Bouquet: "She Needed Him... But She Couldn't Wait. Marianne, the beautiful wife of Michael, loves her husband very much, but Michael cannot resist the lure of illicit sex. His sexual escapades are seemingly endless. Marianne's faithfulness has its limits and when she meets and beds the handsome Philip (François Cannone), she must make a decision... to wait for the man she married to return to her or start her life anew with someone else. [Classic Porn]"
Janine Reynaud hits on a girl in
Les désaxées:
"Typical 70s erotica, when sex was seen as liberation and experience. It is soft (in 1972 censorship was there ...), the music […] is groovy, the dialogs try to be highly literate (and generate some giggles), sets and costumes are from their time, and, last but not least, actresses are beautiful. Michel Lemoine (an exploitation actor with crazy cat eyes) directs and acts in it, with his wife, Janine Reynaud. As always in the films from that time, under the liberated message lies a more conventional one: free sex is great, but true love and fidelity greater. [chrismass61 @ rate your music]"
Janine Reynaud dancing in
Les désaxées:
"Les désaxées is however a stunningly photographed erotic drama about a philosophical philanderer named Michel (intriguingly played by the enigmatic Lemoine himself) who drags his not altogether willing wife Marianne (exquisite brunette Claudia Coste who would subsequently fade into a life of bit-part obscurity) into a series of carnal affairs with members of both sexes, with ultimately tragic results. Statuesque Janine Reynaud […] has never been displayed to greater advantage as she performs the most memorable frivolous feats as horny fashion model Francis, so named because her parents wanted a boy! She becomes Michel's amorous accomplice when the uptight Marianne bows out, ruining a perfectly good match when she too expresses desire for love and monogamy […]! While the movie may appear dated with excessive attention paid to then fashionable furniture and accouterments, the elaborate erotic encounters still pack a passionate punch […]. Literally fleshing out the cast are several long forgotten skin starlets of this pioneering period, several of whom would turn up in the filmmaker's following films [...]. Lemoine loosely remade this story in a hardcore version […]. The original remains his best overall achievement though, coy though it may seem in the age of unlimited Internet porn, an unabashedly melodramatic carnal classic well worth revisiting. [Dries Vermeulen @ imdb]


The Felines
 (1972, writ. & dir. Daniel Daërt)
Original title: Les félines. Also known as, according to some websites, as Caged Desires and The Cats. The art for the poster above is by Nancy Villagran, one of the better porn film posters artists of the seventies. (Here's her poster for Hot Teenage Assets [1979] — and more examples at Westgate Gallery.) Anyone know what happened to her?
Plot: "Oliver (Jacques Insermini) has a wife and a mistress (Pauline Larrieu of Bananes mécaniques [1973 / soundtrack below]) — quell surprise!! Maude (Janine Reynaud), his wife, decides to let him have his fun as long as she can control them. She brings Florence (Nathalie Zeiger of Successive Slidings of Pleasure aka Glissements progressifs du plaisir [1974 / trailer] and Seven Women for Satan aka Les week-ends maléfiques du Comte Zaroff [1976 / trailer]), a very attractive 18 year old, to live with them and to seduce Oliver. The plan works, and Oliver soon gives up his mistress for the younger Florence. As the plot develops, Florence not only captivates and controls Oliver, but Maude as well. [UniFrance]"
Soundtrack to
Bananes mécaniques (1973):
Despite its advertising campaign in the US as the first French porno to hit the US uncut, the movie was once again an arty softcore film that had hardcore sex inserts added for its US release.
The working wiener of the movie is that of Eric Edwards (Rialto Report interview from 2013), while the female receptacles include Nancy Dare of Zebedy Colt's (20 Dec 1929 – 29 May 2004) Unwilling Lovers (1977 / 2.47 minutes) and his The Devil Inside Her (1977 / full X-rated movie), as well as two notable Golden Age projects, the repulsive Sex Wish (1976 / edited trailer), starring Harry Reems, and Through the Looking Glass (1976 / scene) and Darby Lloyd Rains (of Dark Dream [1971 / softcore trailer], with Harry Reems, Voices of Desire [1972 / full X-rated movie] and Naked Came the Stranger [1975 / non-X trailer]).
 


Erotic Confessions of a Bed
(1973, writ. & dir. Michel Lemoine)

Original title: Les confidences érotiques d'un lit trop accueillant. Janine Reynaud in another movie written and directed by her husband, this time a sex comedy in which she appears playing Maurice's mistress.
Credits and music:
Plot: Dominique (Olga Georges-Picot [6 Jan 1940 – 19 June 1997]) runs into Jean-Louis (Michel Le Royer), her former boyfriend, and invites him to come have a drink at home. Her round bed piques his curiosity and Dominique tells him the history of her bed, one of stories of love and sex.
Released in 1973, Les confidences érotiques d'un lit trop accueillant"a naughty little comedy" — plays out as almost like an anthology film. Think "Love, French Style" instead of Love American Style (1969-74 / song).
Fat asshole (Jacques Insermini)
slaps Reynaud around:
"The Lemoine household must have been going through a rough patch at the time, as the director cast his spouse and all-time class act Janine Reynaud in what must surely rank as the least glamorous role of her career, appearing with her magnificent red mane done up in curlers at the hairdresser's and solidly slapped around by future hardcore stud Jacques Insermini, her husband from Felines! Just past 40 at the time and still a world-class beauty with screen presence to spare, she suffers the additional narrative indignity of having to battle for her portly lover's favors with Marie-Hélène Règne (Schoolgirl Hitchhikers aka Jeunes filles impudiques [1973 / trailer), a little blond upstart half her age! Creamy Martine Azencot and her incredible rack [seen below from Michel Lemoine's Les week-ends maléfiques du Comte Zaroff aka Seven Women for Satan (1976 / trailer)], burnt on this reviewer's retina since their twin appearances in Lemoine's best film Les Desaxees (1972 / see above), again leave an indelible impression in a tasteful group grope, Mikey taking full advantage of his perpetrator's privileges by putting himself at the center, squeezing them tickets like a man possessed (!) set to the strains of Wagner's Tannhaüser. Ah, nothing like a bit of culture to get the juices flowing! [Dries Vermeulen @ imdb]"
More credits and music:
Olga Georges-Picot, seen below on an old cover of Adam, flourished briefly as a Euro sex symbol and had notable roles in movies as diverse as Woody Allen's Love and Death (1975 / trailer) and Basil Dearden's The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970 / trailer).
A sufferer of severe depression spells, on Thursday, 19 June 1997, in Paris, France, Olga Georges-Picot killed herself by jumping from the 5th floor of an apartment building. Splat.




The Bitches
(1973, writ. & dir. Michel Lemoine)
Original title, Les chiennes; aka, Le Manoir aux louves. Janine Reynaud plays one of the lead roles, that of Viriane, a bored and wealthy bourgeois. Based on a novel by the Belgium author Jean Breton (16 Sept 1930 – 16 Sept 2006). The title, like the well-drawn poster illustration, wonderfully misogynistic. The aka title of the "Manor of the Wolves" (Le Manoir aux louves) somehow makes the film sound so much more interesting…

First seven minutes of
The Bitches:
The plot, as found all over the web: "A wealthy bourgeois (Reynaud), bored on her immense property, to pass the time engages a gigolo (Michel Lemoine) to answer all her wishes, from the most unfulfilled to the most hidden ... But when the man takes an interest in the sister (Nathalie Zeiger of Successive Slidings of Pleasure aka Glissements progressifs du plaisir [1974 / trailer] and Seven Women for Satan aka Les week-ends maléfiques du Comte Zaroff [1976 / trailer]) of his boss, the latter becomes very jealous."
Once again, Dries Vermeulen at the imdb seems to be the only English-speaking person who's seen the film and thought it worth writing about: "Les chiennes represents […] Michel Lemoine's most ambitious undertaking in the gradually unfolding Continental skin-flick trade. […] Its lukewarm critical and commercial response caused him to temporarily abandon involved narrative structures in favor of the genre's more familiar, loosely knitted vignette format […], until his return to form with the jaw-dropping Les week-ends maléfiques du Comte Zaroff [aka Seven Women for Satan (1976 / trailer)]. As the movie meat market demanded ever more explicit fare, Lemoine moved with the times, assuming the porn name of 'Michel Leblanc' for a series of above average hardcore titles, many of them starring Polish Marilyn Monroe lookalike Olinka Hardiman […].
Music Video to Facing the Night (Zak B remix),
featuring Olinka Hardiman excerpts:
"A well-liked B movie actor throughout the '50s and '60s […], Lemoine's decision to cast himself in the male lead was probably not as narcissistic as it might seem. Still, filling the role of macho adventurer Eric, who takes a job as male 'companion' […] in order to fund his next worldwide expedition, makes him extremely vulnerable to not altogether unjustified howls of derision. Summoned to the mansion of a prospective client, the mysterious and notoriously hard to please Viriane […], he's initially dismissed with little fanfare until he creeps into her bedroom at night to, well, 'convince' her of his abilities by strapping her to the four-poster with matching scarlet scarves and thoroughly ravishing her. […]
"A series of kinky parlor games ensues with a collection of story-book archetypes revolving around the central couple, like the disfigured gamekeeper Pierre (wild-haired Yves Marouani), who Viriane admits was a former lover for the course of one summer, and adoring girl servant Lisbeth (breathtakingly beautiful, exotic Latana Decaux, who sadly seems to have fallen below radar after this single shot at sex stardom), who jumps at Viriane's slightest for a chance to share her well-frequented bed. Complications arise however when Viriane's kid sister, the apparently innocent though equally perfidious Tessa (scrumptious Nathalie Zeiger […]), comes home to visit from boarding school. […] Tessa soon decides her sibling's hired hand should take her maidenhead, an offer he finds impossible to pass up. Predictably, tragedy strikes as this tale's evil queen unleashes her all-consuming wrath, with a cruelly ironic twist.
"For most of the film's running time, Lemoine manages an effectively otherworldly atmosphere, […] every dark nook and cranny of the castle and its fog-shrouded grounds [imbued] with a sense of impending doom, and composer Guy Bonnet […] providing myriad orchestral variations on a single hauntingly romantic theme. The acting's generally competent if a tad wooden, something of an inevitable consequence of the overblown dialog that was presumably lifted ad verbatim off the written page and might have choked more talented thespians than these. Lemoine at least largely looks the part, with Reynaud and Zeiger offering intriguingly contrasting versions of desirable yet deadly womanhood. […] Marie-Hélène Regne […] shares a most memorable threesome with the Lemoines in the stable, partly shot through the horse's legs! The director always seems to be on the look-out for ingenious ways to frame the sex, mirror-reflected images apparently a particular favorite, making the movie look decidedly dated, a curious relic of irretrievable times gone by."



Pénélope, folle de son corps
(1973, writ. & dir. Alain Magrou [1936 – 16 Dec 1997])

Janine Reynaud took time off from acting in her husband's movies to take on the title role of Pénélope in this forgotten — if not lost — art-house exploitation movie.
From the film,
in Italian:
The plot, as loosely translated from a French website by computer (so 100% fidelity is guaranteed): "On a normal island in the Glénans, Penelope (Reynaud) is waiting for her husband, Ulysses (Sean O'Neil), who's fishing off the coast of Dakar. To pass the time while he's gone, she willingly and unremorsefully gives her body to the four friends of her husband. However, one night where her lips are locked with those of the lighthouse keeper longer than usual, the lighthouse is not turned on in time and an English yacht, piloted by Typhaine (Philippe Gasté), shipwrecks. On board: two young British virgins, Eunie (Nyl Clottu) and Pamela (Cathy Reghin). Typhaine is seduced by Penelope, but it is the two passengers who discover love, one with a portly salty seaman, the other with a rabbit hunter. The return of Ulysses, sees the master of the island claiming his Penelope and the three travelers leaving…"

The movie is, obviously enough, very loosely inspired by the legendary Greek king of Ithaca, Ulysses aka Odysseus, the main character of Homer's epic poem the Odyssey. And "loosely" is indeed the word, for in the poem Penelope stands out for her fidelity to Odysseus during the 20 years he was absent, despite all the men after her hand (and muff, one assumes). Indeed, that is why the name Penelope is traditionally associated with marital fidelity.
 
Music to the movie:
The music, by the way, was composed by François de Roubaix (3 April 1939 – 22 Nov 1975), who also did the music to a much more famous movie well worth watching, if you have not yet seen it: Harry Kumel's classic Daughters of Darkness (1971 / trailer). 


Les petites saintes y touchent
(1974, writ. & dir. Michel Lemoine)
According to an online translation program, the original title translates into something like "The Normal Sacred Touch". Re-released in France as Jeunes filles en extase (as in: "Young Girls in Ecstasy").
Perhaps this movie shouldn't even be included in this career review, for Janine Reynaud is never even seen in it: she merely lends her voice at one point as that of Joan of Arc — a voice most likely replaced in the subsequent releases in the few countries the movie travelled to, like Germany and Italy. But the posters are too quaint to just completely ignore… 
 
In Germany it was marketed as one of the many "Report" films (e.g., "Schoolgirl Report", "Housewife Report", etc.), in this case The kleinen Scheinheiligen – Klösterschulerinnenreport — or, roughly, "The Little Goodie-Goodies – The Convent Girls School Report". A title that gives away the final joke of the movie. 
 
Les petites saintes y touchent is basically an anthology movie of diverse soft-core sex scenes featuring nubile that look indefinitely better than any of the men they bed (in movies like this, the men never bed the girls — that would ruin the male fantasy that makes such movies so attractive to their core audience: horny young men). And much like the anthology horror films of Amicus and Hammer, Les petites saintes y touchent opens with the gathering of those whose tales will be told: here, a bunch of hot young things, who, depending on what you read where, are either returning to school or taking the vows to enter the convent. And one by one their tales are told: "A sequence of perverse adventures", featuring a fake Englishman (Robert de Laroche), a sailor, a seducing female teacher (Aurore Benny), a girl (Maria Mancini) with three boys, and "a very simple lesson in which you learn that 2 x 2 is 4"… (Again, as the plot is derived from a computer translation, 100% fidelity is guaranteed.)
 
Two seconds of culture: "Get thee to a nunnery, go. Farewell. Or, if thou wilt needs marry, marry a fool, for wise men know well enough what monsters you make of them. To a nunnery, go, and quickly too." 
 
The music is by Guy Bonnet. "Bonnet was a modestly successful singer who actually represented his native country twice on the Eurovision Song Contest, in 1970 and 1983, ending up in 4th and 8th place respectively." He also wrote the French song performed by Isabelle Aubret in 1968.
Guy Bonnet performing at
the 1983 Eurovision Song Contest:


Rêves pornos
(1975, Max Pécas [25 April 1925 – 10 Feb 2003])
 
Aka Dictionnaire de l'érotisme, directed by "Octave Jackson". Often confused with Radley Metzger's 1964 movie The Dictionary of Sex, but the two do not seem to be the same film despite the similarities of the posters — a clue, perhaps, that Pécas was inspired by Metzger, who in turn was known to purchase and release Pécas's movies in the US. Whereas Metzger mined the movies of others to cut together his quasi-documentary, Pécas simply cut together scenes from his own movies. Indeed, according to eMovie Posters, "This film was created by editing the 1971 film Libido: The Urge to Love (aka Je suis une nymphomane & with Janine Reynaud — see further above), and the 1972 film Let Me Love You (aka Je suis frigide... pourquoi? — see poster below)."
And going by the VHS cover we found (seen further below), either he had already made some hardcore movies to use ("100% HARD"), or he or someone else added some inserts.
The imdb offers a "plot", which reads more like the framing device it is: "A young woman (Sylvia Bourdon) reads through a dictionary. Each time a certain word (orgy, caress, peeping-tom, lesbos, trio, suicide...) catches her eye, she thinks of what would happen if this word came to 'life'."
German-born Silvia Bourdon, "the ugliest woman in 70's French porn (who later went on to become the ugliest woman in early 80's Hollywood porn)", is also found in Jean Rollin's Suce-moi vampire aka Suck Me Vampire (1976) and his Lèvres de sang aka Lips of Blood (1975 / woodenstakes) — not all that surprising, seeing that the former is merely a porn version of the latter. According to Wikipedia, "Since 2008 she runs a company promoting French technological innovations in Saudi Arabia, India and Russia." (A sentence to make grammar fascists grind their teeth.) 



Tire pas sur mon collant
(1978, writ. & dir. Michel Lemoine)
Five years after Janine Reynaud's last "real" appearance in a movie (1973's Pénélope, folle de son corps), she worked as script supervisor and took on a normal part as Mme de Tourville in another sex comedy written and directed by her husband. She isn't mentioned on the poster. We couldn't find any aka-titles…
Somewhere along the line and probably after this movie, as Boot Hill pointed out, "Lemoine and she divorced and she married Herbert [F.] Hamilton from Texas and lived in Sugar Land, Texas, a suburb of Houston. Apparently Hamilton died or they divorced and Janine returned to France where she lived and died in Oradour-Saint-Genest."
Indeed, Hamilton & Reynaud married in Fort Bend County, Texas, U.S.A., according to Sorted by Name; per Ancient Faces, they married on August 16, 1984. Sugar Land, by the way, is the largest city within that county.
The possible plot of Tire pas sur mon collant: Joëlle (Vanessa Vaylord, also seen in The Tenant [1976 / trailer]) and Béatrice (Corinne Corson), two secretaries and good friends, live together in Montmartre. Due to a mix-up, they get invited to Marrakech, instead of their boss's daughter. For two weeks at their hotel, they entertain themselves by seducing young men...
Music to the movie was supplied by Hurricane FiFi, otherwise known as Rene Parker. And while we couldn't find any song online that we could definitely claim comes from the movie, we did find the Hurricane FiFi song below, complete with a naked and in-her-prime Brigitte Lahaie on the cover.
Disco down with
Hurricane FiFi:



Call Him Jess
(2000, dirs. Manel Mayol & Carles Prats)
 
Original title: Llámale Jess. A documentary on the great Jess Franco (12 May 1930 – 2 April 2013) written by Mayal & Prats and Joan Ferré. To say that Janine Reynaud participated in this documentary is an overstatement: she is merely one of the many actresses and actors — alongside Adrian Hoven (18 May 1922 – 28 April 1981), Klaus Kinski (18 Oct 1926 – 23 Nov 1991), Christopher Lee (27 May 1922 – 7 June 2015), Soledad Miranda (9 July 1943 – 18 Aug 1970), Ewa Strömberg (13 Jan 1940 – 24 Jan 2013), and so many more — found in the various clips taken from Franco's films that are edited into the film. The real talking heads of the project are Franco himself and Lina Romay (25 June 1954 – 15 Feb 2012).
Jesus (or Jess) Franco is one of the great names in B movies. With a number of pseudonyms (Clifford Brown, David Khunne, etc...) and a filmography including over 170 titles, it is extremely difficult to catalogue and categorize his work, despite the existence of many retrospectives and studies in both Europe and the United States. Jess began his career as an assistant director, the high point of which was working with Orson Welles (6 May 1915 – 10 Oct 1985), whom he admired greatly. Jess himself became well known in 1961 with The Awful Doctor Orloff (1962 / trailer), a horror film which instantly became a classic. […] From that moment his international career took off, his credits include The Diabolical Dr Z (1966 / trailer), Lucky the Inscrutable (1967 / opening credits), Count Dracula (1970 / subtitled trailer — see: R.I.P. Herbert Lom), Vampyros Lesbos (1971 / trailer) and Succubus (see Part I). […] In this documentary, arguably the most significant work about this director, Jess Franco speaks openly about his films, himself and his understanding of the world of cinema. He is, essentially, a director who defies conventional categorization […]." [FFC]"
Manfred Hübler & Siegfried Schwab's great music
is of course also found in Call Him Jess:

Janine Reynaud — May She Rest In Peace
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