With Arrowdrome’s release of the obscure little slice of the trashy Eurociné-released Spanish zombie film The Devil’s Kiss (available to order here), what better time to blow away those cobwebs and get stuck into some juicy info about the film.

The 1970s saw a boom in exploitation horror cinema all across the world, in particular that of the zombie genre after the phenomenal success of George A. Romero’s 1968 Night Of The Living Dead. Such undead titles that followed included the incredibly atmospheric Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things, Deathdream (a personal favourite), Messiah Of Evil, Let’s Scare Jessica To Death and David Cronenberg’s sex-obsessed  Shivers. Spain also saw a rise in the zombie genre too, with horror icon Paul Naschy being one of the first Spanards to benefit with the 1972 film Horror Rises From The Tomb and Vengeance of the Zombies in ’73. Soon Spain too was infected with the living dead virus and spewed out a few more rotten zombie films including the American co-produced The Swamp Of The Ravens and the instantly recognisable and zombie-fan-favourites, Amando de Ossorio’s Blind Dead series.

Then in 1975, a little film crept out from under the grave and reared its ugly trashy head  into drive-in and grindhouse cinemas. A little known movie known as La Perversa Caricia de Satán, or in the English speaking world, The Devil’s Kiss. This obscure exploitation gem tells the story of the Countess Claire Grandier and a Proffesor Gruber who attempt to raise the a corpse from its infinite slumber to act out their devilish plans. Since it’s initial release the film has often fallen down the back of cinema’s metaphorical sofa,  a place it feels strangely at home with among the grub and muck; a trashy cult gem that has constantly remained obscure and undiscovered.

The director of this film, Jordi Gigó seemed to have quite a knack for creating titles that ultimately ended up in the ‘obscure’ and ‘little known treasure’ piles of film. His filmography is unsurprisingly very short indeed with only 4 films to his directing credit: The Devil’s Kiss, the poetically titled Porno Girls, the comedy El Jovencito Drácula and the practically unseen L’espectre de Justine. So let’s have a little celebration of the not-so-famous career of Mr Gigó!

The Devil Kiss' original artwork

Released in 1975,  Jordi Gigó not only directed The Devil’s Kiss but also wrote it and even had a minor role in the film. So if anyones to blame for such a trashy slice of cinema, well it’s him! Financed by Andros Films Española, who only produced one other film after this (the obscure short Cartells d’un Poble en Guerra), The Devil’s Kiss stars a few of Eurocinema’s ‘greats’. In the lead role of the Countess we have a certain Silvia Solar (or any of her other 4 spellings of her name!) who, with her powerful face, landed the roles in many favourite exploitation films including the yetisploitation Night Of The Howling Beast, Cannibal Terror , Danger Deathray! , Umberto Lenzi’s giallo Eyeball and Arrowdrome’s The Man With The Severed Head as well as several other films. Solar passed away May of this year with an interesting reputation as one of the Queens of Eurotrash. They say that a great monster can make a great horror film. While thats true with A Nightmare On Elm Street, Friday The 13th and Alien, the unshapely dim-witted zombie in this film just adds to the movie’s charm. Moisés Augusto Rocha plays the monster  adding to his mostly uncredited filmography of freaky roles.  From Cutting Heads to Van Helsing’s slave in Count Dracula, The Devil’s Kiss marked the end of Rocha’s career.

Next up for Gigó was the 1975 film Exorcismo which he co-wrote. This was basically the Spanish exploitation cash-in on William Freidkin’s The Exorcist, staring Paul Naschy as the Father. Gigó was at his best here, writing such thought provoking and meaningful dialogue as ‘Get lost! Retract! All you here are nothing but stupid asses’. Ah, Shakespeare would be proud. Whilst not the greatest film ever made, this was perhaps Gigó’s most successful and carried on The Devil’s Kiss‘s Satanic theme. Check out the below trailer for more info on this one.

1984 VHS cover of Porno Girls

Soon ol’ Jordi could feel deep inside him an urge to create something beautiful, something moving, something unequivically awesome that would stand the test of time and be studied for decades after as an example of true art. He created Porno Girls. Time has not been kind to the little-known Porno Girls and the film has suffered many changes, in fact the date ’1977′ is just an estimate! Under the sodymn of George Lewis, Jordi Gigó’s film is an example of European hardcore cinema and is a rather peculiar one at that. Split into two 50 minute sections; Amores Profundos (roughly translating to Deep Love) and Trampa Para Una Call-Girl (meaning Trap For A Call Girl). The first segment ends in a life-threatening climax (pun intended) urging viewers to watch/buy the second half. Before it’s 1984 VHS release, the film circulated underground on Super-8, and so 50 minutes was a lot more portable than a film of a full-length running time. This film is particularly interesting as, despite General Franco’s death in ’75, hardcore pornographic films were still illegal….or rather, semi-illegal. Whilst XXX cinemas were banned, sex shows were perfectly legal and as such several filmmakers exploited this little loop hole. Of course, it wasn’t until the 1980s that legistration changed that allowed Spanish filmmakers to openly make films of this nature and so this is the time in which Porno Girls surfaced, creating a lot of confusion about the films official release.

1977 also saw the release of Jordi Gigó’s (co-directed with Carlos Benpar) vampire film El Jovencito Drácula (roughly translated as Dracula: The Young Man). This film was a comical take on the Dracula story we’re all familiar with and used absurd comedy to tell it. The film stared Victor Israel, a ‘favourite’ of Spanish horror who had appeared in Horror Express and 1972′ Blazing Guns. This film has too since fallen into obscurity.

So, that’s it for a little info on one of cinema’s many unspoken directors, Jordi Gigó. Be sure to watch Arrowdrome’s new release of The Devil’s Kiss for a chance to watch one of his obscure, virtually undiscoveredand very niche films.

The Devil’s Kiss is out now on DVD for only £5.99.


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