JESS FRANCO MONTH: Love Camp (1977)

Jess Franco and Erwin C. Dietrich go back to prison again, except that this is about a women’s prison camp that really is used to gather sex slaves to serve as comfort women for a revolutionary army. That means that while the soldiers are fighting for some level of equality, they also need inspiration of their own and that means women taken right off the streets and from their homes and even from their wedding and asked to be concubines for the glory of freedom.

It’d be troubling but not the kind of movie that Jess Franco would make until we meet Isla (Muriel Montoss√©, using the name Nanda Van Bergen; she also used the names Vicky Adams and Anna Marc), the lesbian warden –with a talking parrot which is something I have yet to see in a women in prison movie — who is here to enact all the things expected from the WIP genre as well as something beyond that. Decapitations, sure. How about nude women tied to crosses and shot full of holes by a topless firing squad?

Beyond Franco naming one of the revolutionaries after Spanish Socialist Labour Party leader, you have to wonder what the moral is when heroine Angela (Ada Tauler) leaves her husband for the revolutionary leader who turned her and most of her friends out. And then Isla gets away without punishment?

Why am I looking for a moral in a Jess Franco movie? I should just stare at Monica Swinn and forget about things like morals when the revolution needs a love camp.

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