JESS FRANCO MONTH: Esclavas del crimen (1987)

Tsai Chin is the daughter of the infamous — and now dead — Fu Manchu, so she’s one Sax Rohmer character. As she controls a large empire of women soldiers who command erotic chemical hypnosis powers, she’s also another Rohmer supervillainess, Sumaru, who Jess Franco already made two movies about — The Million Eyes of Sumaru and The Girl from Rio.

Of course, she’s played by Lina Romay and yes, there’s lots of torture, as she kidnaps a rock band and a private detective named Mandell seeks to chop and kick his way through her forces. As for Fu Manchu, he’s in hell and can only speak through an urn, while Nayland Smith hired Mandell.

This whole thing was shot in a hotel, which is a late career Franco directorial trademark it seems, and there’s no concern for coherence or continuity. It does, however, have its female army dress in thongs and high heels, which doesn’t seem to be the most intimidating of uniforms, but when Franco and Romay build a fighting force of extraordinary magnitude, I guess they can really do anything they’d like.

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