Double Feature #28:Joëlle Coeur

Jeunes Filles Impudiques (1973)/ Les Démoniaques (1974)

Tonight's features star actress Joëlle Coeur. I know she isn't exactly a household name, but maybe she should be.  Coeur definitely brings a much-needed sexy mojo to often-tedious French flicks.  Both of these films are directed by Jean Rollin - so you know the Euro-Sleaze is in full effect - and Coeur elevates both of these into something highly watchable.  Enjoy.

Jeunes Filles Impudiques (1973)

The title roughly translates to "Shameless Young Girls", but was released in the US as Schoolgirl Hitchhikers and High School Hitchhikers.

Joëlle Coeur plays Monica, a hitchhiker, who with her friend Jackie, finds a deserted old mansion while out hiking.  The two decide to camp here for the night.

Monica narrates the first half film (as if she's telling a story from the past), which sounds fine, but I assure you, it is not.  She explains every little thing that they do when it is perfectly evident without it.  Narration isn't necessary with a plot this thin; narration of every scene is insane.

Jackie is played by Gilda Arancio who played in a goodly amount of sexploitation starting in 1971, then mysteriously ending in 1981. She had an impressive ten year run; among her credits: The Man with the Severed Head (1973), Female Vampire (1975), Convoy of Women (1977), and Zombie Lake (1981).

The girls get to their requisite lesbian lovemaking (and we are treated to a break from the narration).  Little do they realize, a "petty thief" named Fred (Willy Braque) is using this dilapidated old mansion as a hideout.

Monica can't sleep, so she wanders downstairs in the night and runs into ol' Fred.  Rather than run and scream, bold Monica decides to bed down with the scrawny crook. Later, Jackie joins in.  

Yes, it's all kind of gross, and Fred is an emaciated trainwreck, but it's the 70s, and it's Europe.  This sort of thing happened in abandoned mansions.

The next day, the girls head back into the woods.  Fred is visited by a queen bitch, Béatrice (Marie Hélène Règne) who wants the stolen jewels from Fred.  But skeletal Fred doesn't know what happened to the loot... it must have been the girls!

Rodent-like Fred and Béatrice's henchman abduct Monica and Jackie.  Béatrice goes medieval on Jackie in an effort to get her jewels.  

Meanwhile, Monica is in another room guarded by Béatrice's henchman.  Using her womanly wiles, she seduces the henchman then knocks his ass out cold. Then, she escapes to a police station which is apparently not that far away.

Detective Harry (Pierre Julien) and his hot secretary (Reine Thirion) lose no time and rush to the abandoned villa. 

Now, why does Det. Harry's secretary come with him, and why does she brandish a firearm?  My advice is to not ask questions and just enjoy the ride.

The most poorly choreographed gunfight in cinematic history ensues, but finally the criminals have the upper hand.  Béatrice and Fred take Monica, and leave useless Jackie with Detective Harry and his foxy secretary.

Béatrice and Bony Fred try to torture the information out of Monica, but it's to no avail.  She won't talk.  When they realize they're not going to get anything out of her, they return to the French Baroque manor.

Detective Harry is clearly the worst law enforcement officer on the planet.  He camps out at the manor with his hot secretary and the still-traumatized, recently-tortured Jackie.  They're midway through breakfast when Béatrice and Cadaverous Fred arrive.

Underfed Fred takes the secretary upstairs and has his way with her, while the worst detective on earth is tied up by Béatrice. 

Badass Monica escapes and handles things.  Freakishly Bony Frank and Béatrice are brought to justice, and the two girls are free to carry on with their lesbian affair.  

So, who actually had the jewels, you ask?  Turns out, it was some guy.  Yep.  Just some guy we haven't met yet.  The less said about this the better. (sigh)

But, let's not lose sight that it's a film starring megafox Joëlle Coeur, so we shouldn't complain too much.

As you can see, the title of the film is a bit off the mark, as there is no hitch-hiking, and the two girls aren't exactly shameless, nor are they high school age.  Bad title aside, the film serves as a decent piece of Eurosleaze.  It feels almost like a porno - but with all the porn cut out.  Sure, there's a fair amount of naked chicks, but harcore this is not.  

If I were at the drive-in around 1973 and this played at a midnight showing, I'd be a happy man.  So, in my book, this film's a winner.

Les Démoniaques (1974)

I watched this movie before and hated it.  The film seemed like an artsy-fartsy French film, redeemed only by its copious nudity.  But, I figured I'd give it another try with an open mind this time... and I will say my opinion improved the second time around.

The film begins a lot like Gilligan's Island and The Love Boat, with the cast's head introduced in a circular frame.  Joëlle Coeur is introduced as Tina, a "cruel animal" who helps the nasty Le Capitaine lure ships to their destruction then plunder the wreckage.

The shipwreckers from L to R: Le Bosco (Willy Braque - who you may recognize from the previous film), Paul (Paul Bisciglia), Tina (Joëlle Coeur) and Le Capitaine (John Rico).  

Tonight, they're busy plundering their latest wreck, when a couple unexpected survivors appear from the ocean...

Patricia Hermenier and Lieva Lone
A couple blonde waifs who believe they've been saved.  They believed wrong.  Le Bosco and Paul immediately get to raping and killing while Tina and Le Capitaine have sex.  It's a highly surreal scene and horrifying as well - both are trademarks of Director Jean Rollin.

Later that evening at a rowdy seaside pub, Le Capitaine starts to see the ghosts of the two victims. Le Bosco and Paul think he's going mad with guilt, but there are reports coming in from the villagers of ghostly sightings of two démoniaques.  Could it be true?

The four shipwreckers return to the scene of the crime and find the two girls alive and well and hiding in the hull of an old shipwreck.  Le Bosco decides to burn the girls to death by throwing in his lantern... but Tina is pulled into the flames by the girls!

Tina is rescued by Le Capitaine, but the girls escape.  Le Bosco points out that they are headed to the cursed ruins.  They'll have to let them go for tonight and continue their pursuit another day - no one dares go to that cursed place.

The next morning, at the haunted ruins...

What the f**k? A clown at the ruins?  This is why I have issues with Jean Rollin's films.  I get it - he's French.  These surrealistic flourishes are allegories and whatnot, but it totally ruins it for me nonetheless.  Cringeworthy.

Anyway, the clown brings the girls (now in spiffy new clothes) to a guy that looks like Rasputin, the guardian and keeper of these ruins, L'exorciste Chadron (Ben Zimet).

The girls are mute, but they write on the ground that they want revenge on their attackers.  Chadron explains that they can have their revenge - but only if they unleash a demon who haunts these grounds.

Meanwhile, Le Capitaine is continuing to freak out. Like Macbeth levels of freak-out; however, Lady Macbeth-Tina is having no such worries.

Tina says:

Good for them if they are alive.  I will kill them like wicked creatures.  I want to strangle them.  I want to feel their bones breaking between my fingers.  I want to overpower them, drink their blood and wounds. I'll smash them with my heels and you'll be there to see it.  There will be nothing left of them.  Nothing!  Nothing!

The girls mate with the devil and he imbues them with his power.  But, they must enact their revenge before sunrise, because their power will be gone morning.

They appear at the pub and all the shipwreckers, pirates, and lowlife drunkards scatter like scared mice.  Le Bosco tries to stab one of them, but they are seemingly invincible.

Tina follows the girls to the cursed ruins.  Their superpowers enable them to fling statues at Tina... and they would've killed her too, were it not for that godforsaken clown.

Yep.  That stupid clown is critically wounded; so the devil has to take back the girls' powers to heal her.  So, the girls are back to be being powerless.

Well, that's a bummer.  They were powerful démoniaques for like five minutes.  Stupid clown ruins everything.

Spoiler alert: Everybody dies.  The shipwreckers tie the girls up to broken ship's remains, rape then kill them... then each die by bludgeoning or drowning (I'll spare you the details).

I suppose this all means something, but I'm too bored to figure it out.  It makes for a intriguing watch nonetheless - it's just weird enough, with just enough T&A to hold my attention.  It's not likely to make a top ten list, but it delivers the Euro-sleaze with artistic flair, and that I can appreciate.


  1. That first film, "Jeunes Filles Impudiques (1973)", has at least 3 or 4 different other titles with varying degrees of sameness, yet not the same. In one version, the girls are housesitting for one of their cousins. In another, they stumble upon the house in the woods as part of a wacky Euro comedy, etc... More than once have I stumbled upon this film on some online movie site thru my Roku, only to discover it's the essentially the same movie, just re-edited to be a horror film, or teen comedy, or mystery, etc... They got a lot of mileage out of that footage!

    1. I recently saw that film and the girls NEVER "hitchhike."
      Boy was I disappointed.
      Now I know why.
      Thanks CLM

  2. The second movie reminds me of one of the old Bud Dry commercials. It had two confused guys watching a foreign film where a crying woman said her lover left her "to linger by the sad clown of life." The VO said "Why are foreign films, sssooo foreign."