... If alien anthropologists came to earth to study us in our natural habitat during the late sixties/early seventies, what would their version of a Discovery Channel Special look like?
Well wonder no more! As it turns out, a director named Jess Franco answered that question in 1971 with the release of his Vampyros Lesbos.
Vampyros Lesbos starts out much like the Disney Nature films of that era, except this time, human beings are the lemmings being driven over the cliff to make some sort of nefarious artistic point.
The film begins with the camera pointing at the sun rising over a ship at sea. Or it could be of the setting sun. We [the viewer] don't know because we are not told what direction we're facing. An alien anthropologist starts narrating something, probably something like "As the sun rises (or sets) over the Mediterranean, the Vampyro Lesbo rises from her lair to dress and then consume her prey."
Most of the time, the camera just tells the story with the alien anthropologist narrator probably interjecting expository information as he/it feels is needed for his/its intended audience. While the subject of this documentary seems to primarily be the vampyros lesbos, every so often other inhabitants of this great planet of ours is discussed/shown, including that mightiest of birds of prey: the mighty kite.
From the human point of view, the movie is highly disturbing. It has the paper-thin plot, as one might expect, as well as the explicit nudity/erotic scenes to propel that paper-thin plot along. But all the while the thought nags: What if it isn't nature show, but a cooking show? Is our beloved earth the equivalent of an intergalactic four-star restaurant or just another fast-food drive-thru?
The DVD has a nice picture quality but is thin on the extras. The movie is in German with English subtitles and there's a trailer that is in German with no subtitles. The thing I would like most as an extra for this kind of film would be a commentary track by a Jess Franco super fan and/or a short bio on the key players or some sort of trivia.
But overall, I feel this is a very good buy and I will probably be thinking about this film weeks from now. Or, at least days.