JESS FRANCO MONTH: Les Gloutonnes (1974)

This is not Maciste contre la reine des Amazones even though they have most of the same cast and crew. It is kind of a sequel or a spiritual one or inspired by or however you want to tie these together, as  well as to the overall larger Jess Franco Cinematic Universe as Howard Vernon appears as Cagliostro (from La maldición de Frankenstein and also that same movie was repeated as cut and paste footage for Dr. Wong’s Virtual Hell) and Wal Davis also is Maciste again.

The women of this are from Atlantis and they’re led by Alice Arno (Eugénie de Sade) and have Pamela Stanford (Convoi de filles) and, of course, Lina Romay amongst their number. They’re threatened by a blind witch named Parka (Kali Hansa, The Night of the Sorcerers) who has brought along Caronte (Robert Woods) to help her.

It really feels like three different movies are at work here and that’s because it seems like there were three different shooting sequences, all united through later editing. The most basic is Maciste’s adventures on the post-Atlantis island and his love affairs and battles. Then there’s Arno dreaming of being an Atlantean queen. And further still would be the Howard Vernon footage. The last two of these were shot nearly six months later, so if nothing adds up, well, you’re probably so far into Jess Franco’s world by now that you won’t notice, although you may wonder if someone cut these movie drugs with a little Jean Rollin, what with all the beach footage and scenes of women staring out into the ether.

What is it about Franco that makes his devotees study and attempt to make sense of his output? There are so many poor direct to streaming films and directors who also had similar output, yet here I remain in my second month of nearly being obsessed with his movies and trying to make connections between them and I find the greatest satisfaction in doing so.

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