Women's prison tale, with Lina Romay as Maria who is jailed after killing her father, played by director Jess Franco, who tries to rape her. Lesbian wardens, torture, nudity, sex, insanity and conspiracy round out the formula.
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Something Different For a Change in a Story Re-told.
"Alone Against the Terror" is a remake by Jess Franco of his own film "The Sinister Eyes of Dr. Orloff". Having not seen the 1972 effort I cannot compare the two, but I can state that "Alone Against the Terror" is certainly one of Franco's better plot-driven efforts that relies on a script and matter-of-fact storytelling, something absent from a great deal of Franco's films. Lina Romay, billed here as Candace Coaster, plays a paralytic woman named Melissa who is confined to bed, cared for by her two sisters, played by Carmen Carrion and Mabel Escano, both frequent faces in Franco's 80's films. The sisters' father was strangely murdered when Melissa was a child. Eventually, Melissa grows to believe that her dead father is communicating with her and wants her to avenge his death by going after those responsible.
While it is true that the plot is hardly original, Franco seems to have wanted to make a "mainstream" film here. There are absolutely no nude scenes in the entire film, and with the career exhibitionist Lina Romay being the star, this was most certainly by design. In fact, Lina's character is physically rather plain and visually unappealing, but the viewer has much sympathy for her plight and Lina, as always, delivers a remarkable performance. Sexpots Carrion and Escano are also considerably toned down -- Escano has a shower scene but Franco only shoots her from the shoulders up, so again, no nudity. The film does have some very effective fright and murder scenes which manage to work despite the very low budget.
So, if you are a Franco fan who has friends who insist that he can make only porno films and that Lina Romay cannot act in a film unless she is butt naked, then simply present this highly entertaining film in your defense and savor the victory, alone against the criticism. At this time, however, the film seems to be available only in Spanish language.
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