New inmate Marie arrives at an island prison in the women's sector and receives the number 99. The inmates are controlled by the sadistic lesbian warden Thelma Diaz and Governor Santos and ... See full summary »
New inmate Marie arrives at an island prison in the women's sector and receives the number 99. The inmates are controlled by the sadistic lesbian warden Thelma Diaz and Governor Santos and submitted to torture, rape and lesbianism. When the Minister of Justice replaces Diaz by Leonie Caroll, Marie believes that her life will improve and her case will be reopened. However, Marie is disappointed with the new warden and decides to escape with two other inmates. But their runaway scheme fails and the three women are chased not only by the guards, but also by male prisoners that have not seen women for many years. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Italian censorship visa # 53649 delivered on 10-4-1969. See more »
Where are they taking us?
To the island, over there.
What's eating you? Looking forward to your holidays? Three years the judge said, didn't he? I know the medicine you need, and they don't stock it over there. Home sweet home for all three of us. The Spaniards built it and christened it, Castillo de la Muerte.
"Castle of Death".
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Given Jess Franco's penchant for uber-strange, dream-like, over-sexed affairs, this comes off as one of his tamest and most main stream movies...as main stream as WIP flicks can be that is.
The film follows follows a familiar pattern. A group of girls are brought to an inescapable fortress/prison were they are to serve out their sentence. The lead girl (played by the lovely Maria Schell) may or may not be innocent, regardless she decides she does not wish to remain in the inhospitable place any longer than she has to and an escape attempt forms.
As would be expected, the prison is host to assorted debauchery and sadism on the part of the prison staff. Prisoners are mistreated, dehumanized, etc. Compared to most any other WIP flick out there, this one is pretty clean content wise. Some clothed cat fights, limited nudity and one harsh (though thankfully brief) rape scene are the most the film offers in terms of exploitation.
Technically speaking, I would argue that this is Franco's most accomplished film. Light, color, sound are all good; even his use of camera angles exceeds what would normally be expected of him. The acting is all around what would be expected from this sort of affair, with the notable exception of Herbert Lom, who manages to be both a creep and oddly likable. A major down point is the script, which is so cut-n-dry that it never does a whole lot of anything.
An actually good Franco movie that may be too tame for his more fetish fans, but certainly worth a look.
(Note: This review is based on the regular edition of the film and not the badly re-edited hardcore version) 7/10
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