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By Doug Brunell | July 20, 2004

Sub Rosa Studios saw fit to release the uncut American version of this film on DVD three years after it was made. A bad move? No. It’s a Jess Franco film, which means viewers are in for quite an experience no matter the film’s age.

Watching “Vampire Junction” is like seeing an erotic acid trip play out on your television with Massacre doing the soundtrack. The story is incidental, the dubbing is downright bizarre, and the special effects are almost nil. (Special mention must also be made of the vampires’ fangs. They are the worst I’ve ever seen. I swear I even saw one bend when it came into contact with a fairly stiff nipple.) While all of that sounds terrible, the film really does have something to offer.

There is a plot here that involves a woman named Mados (Lina Romey) who is traveling to Fallas, New Mexico (really a location in Spain) to interview a surgeon (Steve Barrymore). While there, she encounters a gaggle of vampires who have held the town hostage, but her presence gives the sheriff (Paul Lapidus) the guts to kill them … or at least he attempts to kill them. Keep in mind, however, that the story really doesn’t matter much. This is supposed to play like a nightmare, and it does.

The lighting and colors Franco uses in this film give the entire production a dream-like quality similar to a low rent, more sadistic
Tim Burton. Couple that with vampires who shave women’s vaginas before sucking blood from them, poor dubbing and a very experimental soundtrack, and it makes for a truly disorienting and sexual experience. In fact, it’s almost like watching one of Tim Lake’s more arty porn films.

Jess Franco has earned a reputation as a “master of erotic horror.” “Vampire Junction” definitely has its moments of erotica, but the horror aspect is very much in question. Vampires just aren’t very scary to begin with, though Franco seems to have the sexual aspects of them down pat where other directors have failed, and there isn’t enough character development to make viewers even care about what happens. You shouldn’t watch this film to be scared, though. You should watch it to be hypnotized. It’s an experiment in erotic art that uses elements of what some people fear. Thinking it is anything else will leave viewers thoroughly dissatisfied.

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