Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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Horrible, full of bloopers, errors and scenes that don't even make sense.
Täysin käsittämätöntä sontaa. Just bring me the head of Jesus Franco.
There's a clear plot in this exploratory low budget, low eroticism drama which packs in a fair few names from European cinema of the time. It's not a very strong story but proves watchable.
Early women-in-prison film is typical. Female prisoners in South America (where else?) rebel against a stern warden. Not as brutal as many later offerings of the genre.
See the X-rated version.
Directed by Jess Franco, whose brand of low-budget horror was always able to attract respectable actors. But, sometimes he just made low-budget, sleazy trash, that also attracted a name or two, and this is one of those films. It's badly edited and even more badly dubbed as well. Set in a woman's prison on an unnamed island, it begins when new inmate Marie (Maria Rohm) arrives at the prison and is stripped of her name and is given the number 99, the prison is ran by the sadistic lesbian warden Thelma Diaz (Mercedes McCambridge) and the leering, perverse Governor Santos (Herbert Lom) and submits the female prisoners to torture, rape and lesbianism. However, the Ministry of Justice has Diaz replaced by the kindly and more diplomatic Leonie Caroll (Maria Schell) who disagrees strongly with Diaz and Santos' methods of torture and abuse, and even begins with trying to seek parole for Marie, but when that goes nowhere fast, Marie along with Natalie (Luciana Paluzzi) and Zoie (Rosalba Neri) escape, with prison guards and male prisoners in hot pursuit. This sort of thing was done much better in Black Mama, White Mama (1973), this is just dull and plodding, and the sexuality, when it comes, is just sickening and softcore at best. Franco's work was cheap and nasty at best, and this is the nastiest of them all.
Exploitation legend Jesus Franco made eight films in '69. This was his most famous that year. It paved the way for his preoccupation with prison films. Also keep in mind, this was '69 so censorship was JUST beginning to become lax. The bottom line is smut sells. It was a big success and ironically it's not that explicit. Apparently, Fritz Lang was a big fan. The movie is absolutely terrible but what do you expect? At one point, Franco gets a couple girls to kill a giant snake for real. That's about the most extreme scene you're going to get. Otherwise, it's a boring and sad mess. (I particularly feel sorry for the Greek audiences who watched the "softer version" with the extended Zoe flashback. Sigh) Fans should definitely check out Franco's interview on the DVD. Easily the highlight.
interesting prison/sexploitation movie mccambridge busts out her butch butch guard.
The last of The Horror channel's season of Franco films, is certainly watchable, but not all that great. As with 'The Bloody Judge' it scores points for great performances from it's notable stars - In this case Herbert Lom & Mercedes McCambridge- aside from that though it's not as trippy or well made as 'Venus in Furs' and it's core purpose appears to be to be a bit sleazy - which is fine.