Sep 28, 2021

Downtown (1975)


(Original Title: Downtown - Die nackten Puppen der Unterwelt) A Jesús Franco film about little more than crotch shots. I mean there's a story here somewhere, but, yeah, it's pretty much just Franco zooming in "downtown" on his leading leadies.

Cynthia (Lina Romay) is a stripper/nightclub singer in Puerto Rico.

Definitely surprising when Lina Romay starts belting out a tune.

Cynthia goes to a private investigator to hire him to take pictures of a man named Ramos - she claims to be his wife.

Al Pereira (Jesús Franco) finds this to be an easy job.

He sneaks into Ramos' residence...

He snaps pictures of Ramos and a woman. The identity of the woman is conveniently out of view.

Pereira returns to Cynthia, who happens to be getting dressed. 

Pereira presents her with the pictures as promised.

Okay, at this point I am obliged to inform you of something Franco does throughout this film - which is zoom in on the women's pussies - I mean, anatomically close.  Franco is kinda known for doing this, but I suspect this is the film where he really earned the reputation for the trademark bush-zoom. It's totally distracting; I have not a clue what the fuck these characters are even talking about when the camera is basically climbing up Romay's vagina. Insane.

Cynthia's next show.

Pereira and his bartender girlfriend Peggy (Peggy Markoff)  are in attendance.

Cynthia again is just singing her heart out.

Peggy and Pereira don't seem too impressed.

Back at the apartment, Peggy takes a bath.

Peggy overhears a troubling conversation Pereira is having...

He learns that Ramos has been found dead.

Since Pereira was the last person to see Ramos alive, he's called into the police station to meet with Inspector Mendoza (Paul Muller) and his assistant (Ronald Weiss). 

When the police accompany him to Ramos' estate, Pereira is shocked to find the widow Olga Ramos (Monica Swinn) not the woman he was expecting. 

Cynthia and Lola are lovers.

Again with the zoom-in

Trying to get to the bottom of Ramos' murder, Pereira returns to Cynthia.

Romay spends over half her screen time providing crotch shots.

She wakes up Lola.

There's a lot of dialog in this film, but you quickly learn that none of it matters.  It's just white noise.

Blah, blah, blah (vagina zoom-in) blah, blah, blah...

Cynthia invites Pereira into the bedroom to meet Lola.

Like, when people are talking in this film, this is what you see.... it's insane - most of the dialog in the film is provided by women with their legs spread towards the camera. 

Here and there we check in on Peggy and the Ramos' murder - but it's irrelevant and fleeting.

Through a one-way mirror, Pereira photographs the girls' encounter with a client.

Afterwards - they're tired.

Pereira leaves and Lola approaches Cynthia. 

Finally realizing he's been double-crossed by the Cynthia - and Lola was the girl with Ramos - He knows what he's got to do. Pereira says goodbye to Peggy.  .

Peggy begs him not to do this.  But Pereira is committed to confronting Cynthia for being setup.

Peggy collapses, crying.

Pereira arrives at the girls' residence.

Gun in hand, he confronts Cynthia.

Lola hits him over the head, knocking him out.

Lola and Cynthia realize the gig is up and they escape.

Inspector Mendoza and his assistant are camped outside. They helplessly watch the girls' car drive off and find Pereira knocked out in the apartment.  What good are they? THE END

A really fun drinking game would be taking a shot every time there's a vaginal zoom-in. As much as I'm all for bush close-ups, this got to be damn near comical.  I also don't exaggerate when I say that most of the important dialog in the film is delivered by a woman whose legs are spread at the camera.  It becomes painfully obvious that none of the conversations matter, so why bother?  I can say Romay looks great, and is as uninhibited as ever.



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. fukkin' typo.
    franco is a very specific sort of genius.