Tuesday, February 23, 2016
DEVIL'S ISLAND LOVERS (1974)
Oh Jess Franco you've done it again! Some of my favorite insane women-in-prison flicks(BARBED WIRE DOLLS, ILSA: THE WICKED WARDEN and 99 WOMEN) were made by director Jess Franco but this one is not anywhere near any of those in terms of sleaziness, story or really even in overall quality (although the cinematography is the best thing about this whole movie). It took me two tries to watch this one since I passed out trying to figure out what the hell was going on during my first attempt. The first half hour I kept expecting a straightforward women-in-prison type deal but it takes a little while before we ever even get to the prison and then it never really even looked like a prison to me. Of course I've never been imprisoned in Spain so perhaps they just use old villas guarded by guys with machine-guns to house their prisoners there. This film is littered with a lot of nonsensical characters, including our main two protagonists who are terrible at breaking out of jail, Howard Vernon as a maniacal warden, but mainly their lawyer who is quite possibly the worst lawyer in any movie ever! I mean this guy has proof of his client's innocence and a deathbed confession by the judge who convicted them but ends up being completely ineffectual at his job by the end of the movie. On the plus side there is a downer ending so at least Franco got that part right. There's also a little bit of lesbianism and boobs to spice things up so it's not a total loss. AKA LOVERS OF DEVIL'S ISLAND
There is a shorter version of this titled FEMALE QUARTERS which does away with all the out-of-sequence flashbacks which make up a large portion of the movie. I've not seen this version but it sounds like it may be a big improvement.