26th Mar2015

‘Weisse Haut auf schwarzen Schenkeln’ Blu-ray Review (Ascot Elite)

by Mondo Squallido

Stars: Kali Hansa, Pilar Coll, Diotta Fatou, Eric Falk, Sigad Sharaf, Roman Huber | Written and Directed by Erwin C. Dietrich, Jess Franco

Weisse Haut auf schwarzen Schenkeln opens up on the Mondo Erotico set. You know, the obscenely small and narrow black room with the white fluffy bed. It’s here we meet Marga, an exotic erotic dancer played by Diotta Fatou (Die Sklavinnen). She’s in the middle of one of her stage shows. In the audience we meet Robert, a wealthy middle-aged man played by Roman Huber (Das Frauenhaus). He enjoys the show so much that when Marga has finished her little dance, he decides to take her back to somewhere private. The pair get down to business and instead of enjoying that wonderful post sex cigarette, Marga does the next best thing and throws herself out of the window. Yep, bitches be crazy! The next day Robert is arrested for the attempted murder and it’s down to his wife Lola, played by Pilar Coll (Mondo Erotico), to prove his innocence. She does this by tracking down the nightclub and meeting the owner and Marga’s lover Lena, played by Kali Hansa (Countess Perverse). Lena seduces Lola and takes her back to her place. The pair eventually make love and form a relationship. Lola hasn’t given up her quest yet however? She loves and adores her pig husband. Lena finds a diary belonging to Marga and reads it to Lena. We find out about the rather depressing and troubled life of Marta, including her relationship with Victor, a sleazy and manipulative psychologist / hypnotist type played by Franco’s go to hunk, Erik Falk (Ilsa The Mad Butcher). Will the diary hold the answer to this strange situation? Will Robert be set free? What dark secrets will be revealed?

Overall, I’m sorry to say that Weisse Haut auf schwarzen Schenkeln was a rather dull film. Although a solid enough story, there’s nothing really engaging at all with this one. There are some nice moments every now and then including a rather unnerving S&M dream sequence and a genuinely funny off-screen appearance from a man from Mars (you have to watch to truly understand). Those moments are completely overshadowed by long, drawn out attempts at eroticism and clumsy erotic dancing (you may get a laugh out of those scenes). Fatou has no onscreen presence at all and it pretty much looks like she had no clue what she was doing except receiving a paycheck. The scenes involving Falk, although largely unrelated to the actual story are the highlights of the film just for the sheer absurdity. Aesthetically, this rather unimpressive. Lazy set design (clearly utilising not even a handful of locations) and horrendously out of focus cinematography make this is a visually unappealing film. Not even the female cast can make up for that because aside from Coll, there’s literally no talent on show that’s pleasing on the eye. Sure, that’s probably a pig-headed thing to say, but even though this essentially a melodrama, Franco is still trying to titillate the audience with his signature close up shots and taste for good old-fashioned lesbianism. It misses the mark completely as a piece of erotica and drama. As much as I love Jess Franco (even for his downfalls), I really have to chalk this down as one of his worst. It’s little wonder that Dietrich has now finally credited the film back to Franco.

The restoration is hit and miss. Some scenes look fantastic, but a lot the blacks in the film (especially the nightclub setting) can be very blocky with clear distortion. Weisse Haut auf schwarzen Schenkeln is a cheap film anyway, so I won’t whine too much. The sound is fairly solid throughout so that’s not an issue. I would say that if you’re going to pick this film up, don’t be worried about HAVING to buy this on Blu-Ray because the film doesn’t benefit from it too much. If you can save yourself a bit money, opt for the DVD release. On the disc itself the only language options available are a German dub (presented in both DTS-HD 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0) and English subtitles. In terms of extras you a selection of trailers including the original theatrical trailer for the film, a photo gallery, Jess Franco audio interview (Spanish with German subtitles) and the same Erik Falk featurette that appears on Mondo Erotico’s release. Overall, as much as I didn’t really enjoy the film, I have to give major credit to both Ascot Elite and Illusions UNLTD for presenting the die-hard Francophiles a little-seen gem that was initially credited to producer Erwin C. Dietrich. That’s the only demographic I can really recommend this film and release to. Newcomers to the world of Jess Franco will be majorly unimpressed.

Weisse Haut auf schwarzen Schenkeln is available on DVD and Blu-Ray from Ascot Elite Home Entertainment and Illusions UNLTD.

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