Director: Jesús Franco
Writers: Jesús Franco , Robert Louis Stevenson (novel)
Stars: Katja Bienert , Antonio de Cabo , Eduardo Fajardo
This is one of the more interesting post-1980 Jesus Franco efforts, supposedly based (no doubt very loosely) on a Robert Louis Stevenson story. A young man goes with his drunken grandfather to an island seeking treasure. There the young man becomes fascinated with three ethereal, nubile siren-like girls (perhaps not surprising since they wander around wearing nothing but low-riding loin-cloths). In an effort to break the spell of these girls, the grandfather takes the boy to a bar/brothel where an attractive prostitute (Bea Fiedler) takes his virginity, but afterward he is still obsessed with the girls on the island and runs away to join them. He meets the dying mother of the girls, who gives this total stranger her treasure AND her three daughters to take care of. He makes love to one (Katja Bienert), but she insists he go with her;sisters as well ( I hate it when that happens). For awhile the whole movie turns into an idyllic “Blue Lagoon” type thing (times three), but reality intrudes when the grasping prostitute and a mercenary come to the island looking for the gold. . . As Franco movies go, this is kind of unusual in that is actually more reminiscent of an early 80’s David Hamilton film. Instead of exploring the sexual crevices of the older actresses he usually works with (most notably his late wife, Lina Romay) with his beloved zoom lens, Uncle Jess is content with a more innocent voyeurism–a la David Hamilton– of the nubile bodies of these younger actresses (in fact, it’s probably best not to do the math and try to figure out exactly how old Beinert was here). The most graphic sex scene is left to the somewhat older Bea Fiedler (a regular in German softcore sex films of this eras). Franco also pays much more attention to the cinematography than usual. He did not have the photographic talents of Hamilton perhaps, but his editing and pacing are certainly better, and he’s less reliant here than usual on the zoom lens. The music of the Spanish-language print I saw is actually quite good (and far, far better than the kind of dreck David Hamilton used to use). Whether the influence of RL Stevenson is very evident in the story is debatable, but at least it HAS a story unlike David Hamilton’s stuff(or many of Franco’s own films in that era). It’s not a high compliment perhaps (since he has been mostly involved in hardcore porn and SOV fanboy stuff during his later years), but this might be one of Franco’s best post-1980 film after “Macumba Sexual” and “Eugenie”. It’s certainly worth a look.