Exploitation Retrospect | The Journal of Junk Culture and Fringe Media
Red Silk (1999)
Cult Epics | Buy RED SILK at Amazon.com | Review by Crites

Red SilkGrindhouse blues play over softcore stills as the credits roll, and straightaway we're poolside with a pair of naked dykes setting up their evening John. Good start, good start... But this encounter is only barely laughable, whether you concentrate on the tubby Paglicacci-fancier, his two gruesome hos (for fucksake, these chicks look like Edie Falco and her mother!) or the fact that our sucker suddenly offers the hag-faced whores an important smuggling job.

Meeting the wenches at a café the next day John passes over a number of stolen artworks (stolen, judging by their quality, from the very hotel that houses the café) that are to be delivered to... some guy, someplace, or something. I'd save this for later, but I have to mention at this point that the ridiculously flat plot is made further incomprehensible by the fact that all of the dialogue appears to have been dubbed in – with badly faked foreign accents. Whether this is a goof or meant to make the picture seem more fancily European is beyond me, but it only amplifies the essential shittiness of the film and makes the shit-brained story all the harder to follow. Anyway, the two broads immediately start planning a double-cross, and somehow manage to get their new patron pinched by a detective who for some reason leaves the artwork in question in the hands of the whores.

Shortly thereafter they fuck over a fellow lowlife who was trying to help them out by blackmailing them, steal a car and get a hold of one of crime boss Roman's snuff films. Sneaking onto Roman's estate and finding him alone and unguarded, the wenches proceed to shake him down and call him "motherfrucker." Taking his bank cards they set off to collect his 'riches' as Roman gets a surprise from his trusty henchman Fargas, who has apparently fallen in love with his boss' latest would-be starlet. There's the worst fake-out in cinematic history and, finally, this is over.

'Cult' filmmaker Jess Franco here proves that whatever he had he's lost entirely, shaking out a truly useless piece of video that, well, just sucks on every level. And then invents new ones and keeps on climbing the ladder of suck. To paraphrase Homer Simpson, "I've seen flicks suck before, but that was the suckiest bunch of suck that ever sucked."

The distinctively cheap shot-on-video look has all of the production value and skill of amateur porn, just without the talent. The bad dubbing's been covered (but it never gets less annoying), as has the essential unattractiveness of the overly-sexually active performers. Interludes of the whores getting it on with each other stop and start randomly for no other reason than to provide unpleasant vignettes of filler space; these are apparently meant to be arousing but instead come off as grotesque. Dog-faced lesbians – Yow! Much as the plot itself, these 'erotic' scenes revolve solely around finding reasons to waste film. I mean video.

Stars Lulu Laverne (AKA Lina Romay), Christie Levin, Zeke Cohen, Paul Lapidus and Anna Stern. Extras include a "sneak peek" at Franco's SNAKEWOMAN, which promises to be every bit as vapid and disappointing as RED SILK, and a collection of trailers.


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