JESS FRANCO MONTH: Yuka (The Lustful Amazons) (1974)

Pygar (Robert Woods) recounts the story of his journey to Antigua — and The Lustful Amazons of the title — to Karzan (Wal Davis; if you’re watching the French version, he’s Maciste). He also tells the young adventurer that there’s a fortune in gold for the taking, but it’s all a ruse, as Pygar and the Amazon Queen (Alice Arno) are working together in the hopes that Karzan can be put out to stud. Once they get back to Antigua, Maciste is taken by the women and Pygar and Yuka (Lina Romay) go into business for themselves and take the gold.

Also known as Amazon TempleMaciste contre la reine des AmazonesYukaMädchen, die sich lieben lassen and Karzan contro le donne dal seno nudo, this is not Les Gloutonnes, a very similar film that uses much of the same footage and also places Howard Vernon into the narrative as Cagliostro.

Pygar is forced to have sex with Kali Hansa — oh the humanity! — while Alice Arno spanks him — the horror! — while Maciste sleeps with thirty plus Amazons, some of which do not survive his lovemaking abilities. Also: a werewolf shows up. Also also: the actress playing Marcia, Chantal Broque, is Alice Arno’s younger sister.

You can wonder why Franco was making a Tarzan ripoff — or peplum movie depending on the version you see — at this late date, but really, it was all about the naked Amazons.

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