First things first, I quite enjoyed "Sadomania". Despite its low budget, the film is visually impressive with some atmospheric cinematography by Juan Soler.
In terms of plot, it comes as no surprise to learn that the script was adapted from an unused "Ilsa" screenplay. There are many similarities between the "Ilsa" films and "Sadomania". Here, transsexual Ajita Wilson plays Magda Urtado, the wicked warden of "a prison from hell". Well, a prison that contains nubile young women who all look like escapees from Hefner's Playboy Mansion. This is a cue for all sorts of softcore goings-on.
The film's tiny budget is obvious - some of the guards' weapons look like they've been sourced from the bargain bin of "Toys R Us" and the crocodile special effects are somewhat rubbery. On top of this, the prison governor's car is somewhat shabby for a man in his position. However, the film overcomes these trivial obstacles and proves entertaining, even if some of the humour is unintentional.
"Sadomania" even has an appearance by Franco himself as a homosexual brothel owner. As Franco was not keen on contact with a fellow man, Ajita Wilson was asked to play his lover, without wig and disguised by a moustache.
7 out of 10. Not half as seedy as you'd imagine it to be. It could do better in the exploitation department but the cinematography really is rather good.
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