EDITOR’S NOTE: This film and its Jess Franco-directed sequel The Girl from Rio, as well as the 2003 movie Sumaru, are all based on Sax Rohmer’s Sumuru, who leads the Order of Our Lady, a secret society that recruits beautiful women from around the world and teaches them how to seduce and exploit men, all with the goal of establishing a matriarchal world order.
If there’s a Venn diagram of what I love in movies, this movie would be at the center of it. It’s directed by Lindsay Shonteff, who was behind so many spy films and other moments of outright cinema lunacy like Night After Night After Night. It was filmed at the Shaw Brothers studios in Hong Kong. And it was produced by Harry Alan Towers, whose life included moments of bringing rock and roll to Europe, making Fu Manchu movies and oh yeah, running a vice ring. To top it all off, it’s a movie about an army of women ready to take over the world.
Sumuru is a woman as gorgeous as she is cunning, using an all-female army to kill off world leaders — like Klaus Kinski as President Boong of Sinoseia! — and replace them with more capable women. I really have no issues with her plan, her choice of henchwomen or Shirley Eaton in this role (she was also Jill Masterson in Goldfinger).
Nick West (Frankie Avalon!) and Tommy Carter (George Nader, Robot Monster) are on the case, particularly after Sumuru frames Nick for murder.
Krista Nell (The Bloodsucker Leads the Dance), Maria Rohm (Towers’ wife, who would end up being in all manner of Jess Franco films) and Essie Lin Chia (Return of the One-Armed Swordsman) all make appearances.