Les Amazones du Temple d’or (1986)

Alain Payet — working under the name James Gartner* — mostly worked in adult films and supposedly directed this, but a few minutes in and you realize that no, you’re watching another Jess Franco movie, which is even more apparent when you realize that even though he didn’t put his name on as a director, he used two aliases for writing (story by Jeff Manner, screenplay by A.L. Mariaux) and Lina Romay shows up as one of the Amazon guards.

Man, this movie is — as is obvious — a mess, but it’s also about Liana Simpson (Analía Ivars, Panther Squad, Franco’s Lust for Frankenstein), whose parents were killed by the Golden Temple Amazons — we get to watch it more than once — and she was raised by the creatures of the jungle before getting her chimp Rocky and a witch doctor named Koukou (Stanley Kapoul, who is also in The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik-Yak, which is a much better movie of the same genre).

There’s also Antonio Mayans (who was in Revenge of the Alligator Girls and directed its sequel), William Berger in a loincloth, Emilio Linder from Christina and Monster Dog, Alicia Príncipe (The Erotic Story of O) and Eva León (Blue Eyes of the Broken DollBahía Blanca) as Rena, the leader of the Amazons, who has an all gold everything matchy matchy fashion ensemble.

There’s also the same deathtrap from Erotic Rites of Frankenstein, so this has that going for it.

Look — you’re gonna like Jess Franco or you’re going to be bored into insanity or if you’re me, you’re going to zone out and use his movies to improve your positive mental attitude and use his tics — long pauses, plenty of scenery, a near-total disregard for how to tell a story — to get closer to Nirvana. Join me, I guess.

*On Letterboxd, Kyle Faulkner drops some science on me by stating how Payet came on board when Eurocine bought this movie, took a bunch of Franco footage to reedit and added shots of women on horseback. This actually played theaters, which is destroying my brain.

You can watch this on Tubi.

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