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What, you may ask, do Ricardo Palacios and Antonio Molino Rojo, have in common? Easy: they’re both Spaghetti Western veterans from Spain who later ventured into the softcore genre, as actors and indeed as directors (Molino Rojo went by the pseudonym Red Mills, which is more or less a translation of his surnames). A graduate in both acting and directing, Palacios directed much TV but only two theatrical features, the erotic film under comment here and the Spanish Civil War comedy Biba la banda!
His first film as director, made for Jos Luis Merino, was originally to have been titled Sumisin (Submission), quite in keeping with the films contents, but it finally wound up with its present name (literally meaning my @#%$ is the best), which the director hated. The script (written in two days by Palacios, who later directed it in two weeks) is an S/M affair. Its heroine, Elisa (Lina Romay) is first seen in a reformatory, where she discovers that her female lover and co-inmate Carmen is actually in cahoots with a sadistic wardress (Vernica Arechavalata, one of the pioneers in Spanish hardcore) with designs on her. Escaping from the institution, she wanders around the streets of Madrid until she is adopted by the wealthy Carlos (Emilio Linder). More or less safely ensconced in his mansion (Im a virgin Thats not an incurable illness), Elisa is indirectly enticed by having a copy of Story of O planted near her and being allowed to witness Carlos ways with his submissive servant Gloria (stripper Elena lvarez). Seeing that she will not spontaneously submit to his intentions, he decides to dismiss her from the house with the gift of a sum of money, but she refuses the offer. In exchange for remaining with him, shell have to act as his sexual slave, in which capacity she relegates Gloria to a secondary post. Although frequently placed in situations of pain and humiliation, and frequently hating them, Elisa finds herself psychologically unable to take advantage of the chances she has to escape from Carloss domination. At one point, she is offered up to be raped by the brutish caretaker of his lands (Actor unknown to me, but the deep, growling voice seems to have been dubbed in by Palacios himself) and once she has become completely accustomed to this regime, in a very cruel twist ending, she discovers that the depths of humiliation had not yet been plumbed.
What distinguishes this unpretentious effort from others of its ilk is a feeling for structure and rhythm that is only broken at the climax, with the somewhat tedious orgy scene. There is no feeling that the sex scenes could be permuted and there is an underlying logic: the final twist manages to be both unexpected and controlled from the very beginning. As a writer-director, Palacios is discreet, direct and clean, less interested in pictorial effect than in pacing, flow, emphasis and a sense of how long or short scenes should be. Its urban Madrid setting might militate against the credibility of the basic premise, whereas another Spanish film with a similar theme, Isabel Muls Depravacin, wisely confined itself to rural, isolated trappings. Muls film, furthermore, was much handsomer, but rather turgid and ill-timed in comparison with Palacioss. And much less convincing in its heros elitist ramblings. Likewise, a comparison with Franco (himself frequently preoccupied with similar themes), who has a better sense of atmosphere, even when the locations are uninspiring, but cant always be trusted for delivering an organised product.
The cast would seem to have been dubbed by professional voice artists (of which Palacios is one) but their physical acting is good, except for the somewhat bland lvarez. The role of Carlos was originally to have been played by Jess Francos leading man Antonio Mayans, but I doubt he would have had the chilly quality Emilio Linder brings to the character. A secondary role is played by another Franco regular, Carmen Carrin. Other roles are well-cast: Linders lecherous best friend (who looks a little like Luciano Pigozzi), the angelical-looking Carmen and the dark, bizarre-looking Arechavaleta.
As for Lina Romay, she was cast by Palacios ‘…at an audition at which I realised that the other contenders were far more limited than she was for this type of role. I might have chosen a cuter, daintier girl than Lina, but Im not sorry for having chosen her. In any case, the 30-year-old, already slightly heavy Romay does come across as rather cute and innocent, with a tendency to walk around as if she had flat feet. I didnt quite expect her to do what she does here. Her reaction shots are among the best thing in the film.’
Thanks to the film’s success, plans were made for another sex film (this time a comedy with political overtones) made by Palacios and again starring Romay and Linder, but it failed to take off.
Palacios, by the way, acted in an S/M scene in the mainstream film Los das del cometa (made by Luis Ario in 1989), and with Maribel Verd (b.1970), no less, but the scene did not make it to the final cut.