Friday, August 16, 2013

Franco Friday #46 - Devil's Island Lovers

Franco Friday # 46 - Devil’s Island Lovers

I’m going back to prison. No, not for mail fraud. Not this time! I am willingly returning to the big house to get my Jess Franco fix. I was pretty impressed with 99 Women so I’m hoping that another stretch in the pokey will do me good. Ugh, I’m not good at these slang words for jailhouses. Let’s do this.

Devil’s Island Lovers
AKA Quartier de femmes
Directed by Jess Franco
Starring Andres Resino, Genevieve Robert, Dennis Price, Rosa Palomar, Josyane Gibert, Danielle Godet
81 minutes

Love is blossoming between Beatriz and Raymond (played by Genevieve Robert and Andres Resino). Isn’t that sweet? Well, it would be if they weren’t about to get totally shit on by a mercilessly cruel and unfair world. You see, Raymond was having an affair with Emilia (Danielle Godet), his godmother (I know, right?), and decided to break it off. Big mistake. Emilia is an evil beyatch. She plans to marry Colonel Carlos Mendoza (Jean Guedes), who has the clout to frame Raymond and put him in jail. But the evil plotting doesn’t end there. Mendoza is totally in love with Beatriz so hey fuck it, let’s put them both in jail on Devil’s Island for a murder they didn’t commit. A lawyer named Lindsay (Dennis Price) finds out about all of this and is determined to see that Beatriz and Raymond are set free.

This film’s cast is quite spectacular. I really like Genevieve Robert. She is simply stunning to look at, is instantly likeable the moment she’s on screen, and I actually gave a damn about her character. It’s nice to see Anne Libert (of Rites of Frankenstein) again. I am really, really head over heels for this actress. Rosa Palomar is incredibly intimidating as Senora Cardel, the warden (or is that wardeness?). Of course, no Franco film would be complete without Howard Vernon. He plays Colonel Ford, the warden of the men’s prison, but unfortunately, he plays it straight. Missed opportunity! Dennis Price looks terrible in this one but I did like his character.

Well kids, I will keep this short and sweet cuz there ain't no need when you revue a film as uncomplexicated as Devil's Island Lovers. This has all the usual content of a women-in-prison movie: lesbian overtones, revealing uniforms, ridiculous torture sequences, and catfights. Yet surprisingly, there is no nudity or long shower sequences. Whoa, really? Granted, I didn't need the nudity or the shower scenes, but this film really needed something to spice it up. There was some Franco weirdness from a bizarre torture device that I'm guessing was supposed to be some kind of sonic cannon but it was too little too late.

In the end, I guess I mostly enjoyed this movie but it has more than a few loose ends that don't get tied up at all. I can't believe I'm going to say this: This movie should have been longer! According to IMDB, this movie is supposed to be 97 minutes but the DVD, and all the other reviews I've seen have this clocking in at 81 minutes. That don't seem right! Despite feeling like it has a chunk missing, Devil’s Island Lovers does have some good going for it. The atmosphere is full of doom and gloom to go along with its bleak (though unsatisfying) outcome. And lastly, the score by Bruno Nicolai is great (as if he ever did a shitty score).


  1. "This movie should have been longer!"

    My DVD is buried somewhere (the Tartan double feature edition from the UK), but I'm pretty sure it had a rather long alternative, pre-prison opening (or perhaps the other way round? A shorter opening without the backstory? I can't quite remember). I do remember not liking this movie very much, though. And I didn't like 99 Women either. At least Barbed Wire Dolls had the charm of being incredibly cheap. His Ilsa film is not too shabby, but the ones I quite liked and found rather hilarious were Women In Cellblock 9 and Love Camp. I think I've seen even more, but after a while it all becomes one big shitty movie. And I dig it.


  2. @MLP - This movie feels like a chunk in the middle is missing. A bunch of characters and their storylines are just dropped completely. 99 Women is one I liked, definitely not loved. It has good moments. Brilliant moments even but tough to sit through.