Monday, August 8, 2016

Knee Deep in "Dr. Wong's Virtual Hell" (1998)

Without Uncle Jess Franco, and also without shamefully sophomoric teenage utility belt creations, there would be no EUROTRASH UTILITY BELT. And now we have the troof put out there, we have to proclaim DR WONG'S VIRTUAL HELL is a DELIGHT of a late period Franco flic.

Filmed in a few seedy hotels in sunny Torremolinos and with comic book bubbles for some dialogue (echoing something of Kiss Me, Kill Me), Franco's own oddball musical scoring, weird color film dying, curvaceous natural women, occult musings and lots and lots of lesbo sex, Houston, we have a winner.
Franco is the cruel evil genius Dr. James Wong, who's daughter (played by the Franco stalwart Lina Romay) Tsai Ming and Loba (the female wolf seductively played by Analia Ivars) have hatched a sinister plan to kidnap the 18 year old daughter of some pop star for 1 million dollars (which later becomes 2 million for no reason).

Muy elegante! As for the kidnapped victim, somehow Dr.Wong is able to take over the father's hotel room TV to broadcast her dire situation. (There is also this god of harlots thing that appears to be made of bread.)

Franco has Howard Vernon play Johnny CAGLIOSTRO who through his visionary practices knows that his friend in the material world, Detective Nelly Smith (also played by Lina R.) will need his talismanic help to stop the machinations of Dr. Wong et al.

As foul as you can get, uncle frank. 

Like a nice sandwich with little bread and lots of meat, the actual Virtual Hell has virtually minimal set-up until the viewer gets absolutely bombarded by 47 straight minutes of psychedelic erotic film. Franco's musical backdrop reinforces a wild journey from burlesque dancing replete with a dive piano rag until a Numbers Station kicks in with dark feedback bouncing around your noggin. He throws a nice little blues jam alongside continuous - "very front of the mic"- orgasmic ladies. Well done, sir. Now we should talk about those VR goggles the onlookers are wearing...

 things are getting a

 And so it goes for what might make the movie overall seem as an excuse for Franco watch Romay and Ivars Get It On but the guy was like 100 years old when he made it, so mad props. And if you think all the licking, slurping and stand-up scissoring was indulgent, well, yes that's the point.

It also reminds me of the type of surreal fetish stuff one could pick up at Charles Gatewood's table at various underground cons. The kind of stuff that makes you wonder if you should be owning this, uhm, er, art. RIP, buddy.

Dr. Wong's Virtual Hell wasn't Franco's most famous work but the amount of winners he produced from Vampyros Lesbos (another crucial link in how this blog came to be) to Venus in Furs to She Killed in Ecstasy to Mansion of the Living Dead this piece of deviant cinema should be included among the greatest hits for its sheer fun. Often times, production levels leave something to be desired however movies that have an addled singular vision of non-hollywood perversion is what we approve of here on EUROTRASH UTILITY BELT. Thanks again, Jess.

No comments: