Greetings, fellow fans! You know who you are and you realize that the internet is woefully short on the subject of one Lina Romay. To fix this I present the site to end all sites. If you're looking for facts and figures just go check out Lina's stats on www.imdb.com. For more in depth stuff though this will be the place to be. My plan is simple. Once a month I will add another review and a picture or two of the lovely Ms. Romay. To help make this work I am calling on the legion of Lina Romay fans around the world to make this the best site on the internet. If you want to review a flick, send some pics or just give a personal rememberance of Lina then send them to me at the email address at the bottom of the page. I figure that eventually we will have the world's biggest archive on the hottest woman working today.
FEMALE VAMPIRE (1979)
Lina Romay as Irina Karnstein
Probably one of Franco’s more bizarre films. Irina Karnstein is the last of a line of vampires who drain the life force from people during sex. Sigh! Only Franco could come up with this stuff! Lina has the titular role and is amazing as the Countess Irina. She carries a film with no dialogue and very little wardrobe. The opening shot of her coming through the fog dressed in nothing but knee high boots, a cape and a belt that really serves no purpose is legendary. For the purpose of the review I’m going with the hardcore version of the film even though I have the soft core version as well.
So, Lina is Irina and she has become inextricably linked to Baron Von Rathony played by Jack Taylor. There are scenes where the two are shown getting ready for their day and you know it isn’t going to be long before they get together, but since she is a creature of the night and he is a human, what are the chances of this union actually working?
Lina plays the part like she has been super charged with some kind of sexuality overload device. The screen almost crackles with sexual energy when she is on and that is a majority of the film. It is tragic to watch her play a being that is immortal and wishes for nothing but the peace that death can bring to her. Add to it the fact that she plays the entire part mute and this is a performance that deserves much more than it gets. I would like to see any of the high profile actresses of today play this part and do such an excellent job.
As for the film itself it can be a little dull. I blame the lullaby themed music by Daniel White. It is attempting to illustrate the languid life of a being of immortality and it works too well. It doesn’t take long before we’re bored out of our minds. Hard trick to do with hardcore porn. And it’s not really hardcore porn. It’s a Franco film with hardcore inserts. All the porn is in close up and the hair doesn’t match and the background is different.
In the end none of this matters because we are here to marvel at the actress Lina Romay. While the film may get a rating of C minus or less her performance is nothing but A+ material. Everything else she has done tends to pale in comparison to the bravura performance she gives here.
Alternate titles for the film are;
Bare Breasted Countess,
Comtesse aux seins nus, La,
Comtesse noire, La,
Sicarius - the Midnight Party,
The Black Countess,
The Last Thrill,
The Loves of Irina,
RED SILK (1999)
Lina Romay as Gina (as Lulu Laverne).
While Red Silk was made in 1999 it was just recently released under the Sub Rosa Blue imprint (www.b-movie.com). Red Silk tells the tale of two female private investigators who take on a routine smuggling operation. It soon spirals into a snare of arttheft, kidnapping, murder and blackmail. The two must use all their feminine wiles to escape intact.
Red Silk reminds me a lot of Two Undercover Angels with Janine Reynaud. I think it may be the same two characters from the previous film even though the names have changed. The dubbing for the film is crazy fun and way over the top. It is obvious that Franco was relying on the comedic talents of his two leads as well as their beauty. I have heard a lot of critics of Lina for being too old to do nude scenes. Nonsense! When will Americans realize that true beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Franco is the film maker and his object of desire is Lina Romay. Besides, the loady has been an exhibitionist for so long it wouldn't right for her not to be nude in a Franco film.
The film is hilarious. Lina's co star Christie Levin is a statuesque beauty that loves to stare right into the camera. For some this may seem odd, but in a Franco film she's right at home. It's interesting to note that Ms. Levin plays the part of Tina in this film. In her previous Franco film, Broken Dolls (another magnificent example of Franco's recent output) she plays the part of Gina. What's next? Katrina? Mina?
Back to Ms. Romay. She dominates the film being the more experienced actress and adds a funny, silly romp to her massive filmography. And she is lovely to watch in this erotic comedy. The film is available at www.b-movie.com for a measly fifteen bucks. Not enough you say? How about a 22 minute promo of Franco's next film Snakewoman based on a story by Nathaniel Hawthorne? And yes Lina is in that as well.
Lina Romay as Anne.
I decided on this film to start the career of Lina Romay for two reasons. One, I have a copy of two versions of the film and, two, Lina is one of the few constants in both versions. Her part changes very little. The film has been renamed so many times that it isn't funny, but we will be looking at three of it's incarnations. In THE SADIST OF NOTRE DAME the main character of Vogel is more of a madman. while he is always a religious zealot, in this one he just seems more on the edge. In EXORCISM he is more of a cool character, crazy, but able to hold conversations with people. In SADIST he rants much more. The third version I will admit to not seeing, but it's only true difference is the insertion of hardcore sequences. Similar to what he did with FEMALE VAMPIRE. Because of that I don't really need to see the film. I can imagine what it must be like.
So, into the various incarnations of this film we get the secretary, Anne. She works for the French smut magazine The Dagger And The Garter. She has sex with everyone she comes into contact with, excpet for Vogel. Her boss, the girls that she does fake black masses with. Yes, the magazine sponsors a fake black mass to excite it's rich clientele. Lina spends a lot of time on the rack or assisting in the tor4ture of other nubile girls. If you pay close attention you get a woman with highly contrasting attitudes. When she is just Anne, the secretary she is bouncy, smiling and full of life. Voracious in her sexual appetite, this is a gorgeous creature to behold. There is even one scene where she wears the balck cloak from FEMALE VAMPIRE. Sort of a tease towards her sexuality. But, when she takes place in the black masses she is silent, stoic and while naked and alluring it almost seems as if she has turned off her sexuality.
Of course, it doesn't take long before Vogel comes along and decides that she must be his. He will save her from her own devilitry and keep her pure and clean for himself. Unfortunately, by this time in any version of the film, Vogel has broken down and become a murderous fiend. You know that this dangerous man will do anything to have Anne's love. even if it means her demise.
While I have a certain affinity for THE SADIST OF NOTRE DAME, I must admit that my print of EXORCISM is much better. I have the extras filled DVD from Synapse Films and just the commentary alone is required listening for any true Franco fan. There's even an optional clothed sequence for the beginning of the film. Perhaps for milder markets, I'm not sure.
So, if you are a true Lina Romay fan and want to see her at the top of her game, I would recommend EXORCISM to start your journey. I think the DVD may be out of print, but you can get it on ebay for about ten dollars.
Lastly, here are all the various titles for this particular motion picture:
ŹŞ±ventreur de Notre-Dame, L',
Chains and Black Leather (Canada: English title),
Demoniac (USA: cut version),
Exorcism and Black Masses (USA: X-rated version),
Exorcisme et messes noires (Belgium: French title: racier version),
Exorcisms (USA: video title),
ExpŹ«±riences sexuelles au chŹ«¤teau des jouisseuses (France),
SŹ«ˇdico de Notre-Dame, El (Spain: dubbed version),
Sexorcismes (reissue title (X-rated version)),
The Ripper of Notre Dame,
The Sadist Of Notre Dame,
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