Devil’s Kiss (1975)

Open up! The Devil is comin’ at ya with a big, wet (French) kiss!

The French. You just can’t stop ’em. Every time I turn around, a new vintage trash-horror film en Francais opens up and pleads, “Please. Watch me.” I cannot refuse. From Devil Story to Revenge Of The Living Dead Girls, French trash is like nothing else on this planet. It’s often compelling, always ridiculous, and blatantly uninhibited. Upon a chance discovery, one-time director Georges Gigo’s Devil’s Kiss was, quite naturally, instantly cool. After watching, the chemistry diminished, but my level of tolerance had increased. Just a bit.

Claire Grandier and her companion, The Professor, move in to The Duke’s castle. It’s not clear why they do this, or who these people are. But hey, they’re French! Once there, Claire and company perform a seance, watch a psych-funk dance-fashion show, ride horses, and talk a lot. In other words, they have a very good day. Then, Claire, The Prof, and a little person rob a grave and create a Frankenstein zombie. He’s blue. He strangles people. There’s some lick-heavy sex, a little full frontal nudity, no blood, Satanic revenge, and some headgear from A Clockwork Orange.

The semi-stylish Devil’s Kiss runs for 93 minutes. You could watch it for 372 minutes and still end up with the same conclusions. It’s pretty slow. And it makes very little sense. As psychic-vampire/main character Claire Grandier notes, “Boredom is contagious.” She’s right. However, just as Tic-Tacs can protect you from The Stank Breaf, so to can Devil’s Kiss protect you from the boredom. You just have to let it.

Crickets. Nighttime dew. Humidity. These are the atmospheric building blocks that make Devil’s Kiss slink above its downfalls. Like a mellow brunch between Jess Franco and Sam Sherman, this film surrounds its many minutes of conversation with damp clouds, absurd sights, and cheap thrills. It’s a pleasant, exotic companion for twiddling the midnight hours away. Naturally, sleep will consume you — that’s only fitting, as Devil’s Kiss patterns itself after a dream. Therefore, inducing sleep is the utmost compliment.

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