Jess Franco's unreleased film from 1983 demonstrates his versatility as a director. In the middle of a period where his projects were increasingly sexually graphic and light on story comes 'Bahia Blanca', which could easily be the feature-length pilot episode of a soap opera. Unlike most of his films from this period, much attention is made to character. People are introduced and we are immediately familiarised with their personal back-story. The slow burning drama unfolds in some stunningly idyllic locations, beautifully filmed. There is very little of Franco's trademark wild camera sweeps; instead, we are allowed to linger on this paradise as the characters continue their day to day lives. Lina Romay plays Maria, slow-witted and unglamorous, no makeup but still lovely, who hears all. By comparison, landlady Alida (Eva León), initially bewigged and bright of lip-stick, could initially have strolled in from a more garish, gratuitous Franco production. Antonio Mayans plays the rakish 'hairy one', Commissioner Carlos, boisterous and always looking for a good time, but superficial and insincere. There's also good looking swine Andy (José Llamas), Analia Ivars as the wronged Silvia Maderos and old sage El Miserias (Jess Franco). Mild sex and violence, a surprise pregnancy, paternal revelations and at the centre of it all, murder in paradise - it's all cracking off on this idyllic island. I really enjoyed this change of pace from Franco - perhaps the lack of release for the project disinclined him from pursing this chattier, character-driven style. A great shame. My score is 8 out of 10.
Drama / Thriller
Drama / Thriller
Pocho Martin's body is found dead on the shore of a fishing village. According to the forensic Ramiro, Pocho has been assassinated, which alerts the Commissioner Carlos.
September 11, 2020