Aug 10, 2020

The Other Side of the Mirror (1973)

Had no idea that the great Emma Cohen was in a Jesús Franco film; clearly a must-see.  The story involves a woman (Cohen) who is commanded by her dead sister to kill her lovers.

 Ana (Emma Cohen) speaks with her soon-to-be mother-in-law.

 Her father is played by Franco regular, Howard Vernon.

Arturo (Wal Davis) is her fiance.

Marie (Lina Romay), Ana's sister.

Marie kills herself.

Ana, trying on her wedding dress, finds her dead sister.

 Ana is too shaken up by the suicide and breaks it off with Arturo.

Time passes and she falls in with cool-guy Bill (Robert Woods).  

 In a mirror, Ana sees her dead sister, who commands her to kill Bill. 

 She stabs him in broad daylight in the park.

Okay, let's pause and discuss Emma Cohen's nudity in this film.  Cohen, former Big Bird for Spanish TV, and subsequently famous starlet in Spain, provided her share of nudity - but it was always fairly tame - just a topless scene or two. Somehow, Jesús Franco manages to get this girl to be fully naked for several scenes in this film - like long, well-lit scenes.  Except for perhaps perhaps Cuentos eróticos (1980), this is her most explicit nudity in her filmography.

 She talks on the phone about who-cares-what.

Ana moves on to another lover, Miguel  (Ramiro Oliveros).

 The mirror commands Ana to stab him to death too.

Ana can't take it anymore and slits her wrists.

Jesús Franco is famous for zooming in on actresses' bush; I never thought I'd see the day where he does his zoom shtick on Emma Cohen.



Franco regular Alice Arno shows up in the story.

 The next twenty minutes are incomprehensibly boring as she falls for yet anther doomed lover.

 More nudity from Cohen as she stabs the next guy at the mirror's command.

Marie, in the mirror, smiles back.

It doesn't end well for Ana.  THE END

The film has a couple positive things going for it: First is the aforementioned Emma Cohen nudity which is just insane.  Second, the first half is a genuinely haunting story.  Between the grimy feel and the ghoulish evens that play out, this could have been a classic... but then it shits the bed.  Not long after the bathtub suicide scene, when Alice Arno gets brought into the story, it gets impossibly dull.  It completely loses the "horror" vibe and just lapses into a total yawnfest that isn't recovered until the last few minutes.  

No comments:

Post a Comment