Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Alejandra Grepi & co in "La Leyenda de la Doncella" [1994 Spain]

Juan Pinzás' fantasy thriller "La Leyenda de la Doncella" [Eng. Title: The Hornet] is set in a remote village in the Galician region of Spain, somewhere around the early part of the twentieth century when superstition was rife and village folk practised witchcraft, among other things.

The title alludes to dead people returning as hornets to their respective relatives' homes. Along with human sacrifices and love potions, this is a bizarre tale of two poor families treated more or less as slaves by their landlord, and his eventual comeuppance. The story is treated like a folk legend passed through generations, with tales within the tale, and as with many legends, containing portions that go into lurid detail. For me at least, this makes the story more authentic, as is likely to be told and retold at different stages. It is a fascinating story nevertheless, but could have been better without some sporadic continuity errors. It is still a decently made and interesting film. I remember paying a little fortune for this rare DVD a few years ago - now I don't even see it advertised. If you can find it, Recommended Viewing.

Compilation: Alejandra Grepi, Gloria Muñoz, Marcela Walerstein, and Anabel Alonso
The scenes were enhanced from my grainy letterboxed DVD, and the end result is marginally better.

Alejandra Grepi, Anabel Alonso, Gloria Muñoz and Marcela Walerstein in La Leyenda da la Doncella

Scene Guide:
  • Marcela is a chambermaid in Don Rosendo's mansion. Even though she's married, Marcela strives to please her landlord. She strips and awaits Rosendo's groping hands while her husband waits outside. Marcela is played by veteran actress Alejandra Grepi. She hasn't appeared in feature films for a while, but for those who wish to see a different Alejandra Grepi, several years younger, I have a Greek film on DVD which I hope to review afresh at a later date.
  • No nudity - Florinda is Rosendo's sister-in-law, and Rosendo doesn't seem to respect his own brother. Florinda is played by another veteran actress, Anabel Alonso. You'll see more of her here when I get to post an Almodovar film later on.
  • Claudina is the resident milkmaid. Rosendo, the nasty piece of work that he is, wouldn't let her as well work in peace in this unpleasant scene. Claudina is played by Gloria Muñoz. She puts up with him so that he would stay away from her daughter Rosalia.
  • Meanwhile young Rosalia is in love - in this scene, they sneak into the bedroom while their master's family and guests party downstairs. When they're disturbed they escape through the window, helped by a deaf-mute man - the so called village idiot, but who perhaps knows more than all the others. One of the party guests, a priest thinks it is the wine that's making him see things when he notices the naked couple climbing down the window. Rosalia is played by Marcela Walerstein.
  • No nudity - Rosendo rapes Rosalia in yet another unpleasant scene, an act for which he'd pay the ultimate price.
  • But for Rosalia, life goes on, she frolics with her beau in the woods, Adam and Eve style. A reality check happens when two Civil Guards on the look-out for a murderer bump into them.


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