news of Lina Romay's death at the tragically young age of 57 has certainly had an impact on those who appreciate "genre" cinema. Facebook and various blogs/sites have been filled with thoughts, remembrances and reflections from writers, directors, historians, critics and fans alike about the passing of the charismatic charmer. (Just try watching her cabaret dance scene in 1976's JACK THE RIPPER with Klaus Kinski and not end up with a smile on your face.)
I won't pretend that I was a huge fan of Romay or even Jess Franco's. My feelings about Franco's work tend to run hot and cold and I've only seen a small sampling of the man's massive cinematic output, but I always had a soft spot in my heart for him thanks to what appeared to be a genuine appreciation for my boy Klaus. (I'll have to dig around for the great Shock Xpress interview in which he talks about making EL CONDE DRACULA with the German Olivier.)
As for Franco and Romay, theirs appeared to be a unique and inspiring relationship, thriving even after the two had passed their creative peaks. Not only was Romay the director's muse and partner, but also a creative collaborator who led more than one mourner to remark that the two had become like one over the course of their relationship. Frankly, one couldn't watch the footage of Franco receiving his lifetime achievement award a year or so ago without seeing the love, devotion and pride in Romay's eyes.
For a true fan's perspective be sure to check out our good buddy and longtime Franco/Romay buff David Zuzelo's appreciation at his Tomb It May Concern blog.