Beyond Naschy #35 - SHE KILLED IN ECSTASY (1971)

November 27, 2021

Troy and I (finally) return with a new episode!

This time we dive back into the Franco pool of cool and look longingly at the luminous Soledad Miranda. SHE KILLED IN ECSTASY (1971) was the final collaboration between the young actress and Jess Franco before her untimely passing. While it is generally not considered their best film together it contains many scenes that display the brilliance that they could achieve. Soledad’s skills are on full display in her role as a vengeful wife extracting blood from the people who hounded her husband into suicide. As the story plays out, she runs the gamut of human emotions from deep concern and grief-stricken to seductively aloof and finally filled with violent rage. Her performance is mesmerizing and is carried out so well that she could have embodied her character without dialog and still communicated every nuance necessary to engage the viewer. She was a powerhouse screen presence and her loss is only more deeply felt when watching her in this film.

We dig into why we enjoy this film as much as we do with much attention paid to the strength of the central performance. We point to reoccurring plot elements within Franco’s work and his love of a certain visual metaphor involving boats at sea. We discuss the movie’s odd choice to rush past the possible mad scientist idea at the beginning to get to the righteous vengeance at the heart of things. We try to define what makes Soledad such a memorable screen actress even as this film refuses to even give her character a first name. Each of the murders is dissected as we try to understand what Franco might have had in mind as his story gains force, climaxing in a fascinating sequence in which the director is himself the victim. It certainly raises some questions about Jess’ sexual desires and points toward what might have been included in future unrealized projects.

We hope you enjoy the episode and if you have any comments is the show’s address. Thank you for listening and we’ll be back soon. I promise!

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